I am afraid this Opposition day debate proves one thing more than anything else: Labour has not changed and it never will.
I am a bit of a political anorak and occasionally I watch re-runs of previous general elections. One of my favourite moments is from the 1983 election when, in the early hours of the morning, Robin Day, with a glass of Scotch in his hand, turned to Arthur Scargill and asked him, “Well, Mr Scargill, what do you think a future Conservative Government will mean for all the voters out there?” Arthur Scargill proceeded to give a bit of a diatribe not dissimilar to the utterances of Chris Leslie on the Labour Front Bench. He said, “Public services will be smashed and the NHS will be privatised.” I half expected the four horsemen of the apocalypse to turn up at some point and also to see Mr Burns from “The Simpsons” rubbing his hands.
The reality is that everything changes in politics, but nothing does actually change. If my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary wants guidance on where Labour is in the 21st century, he would do well to look at the soothsaying words of Arthur Scargill, because that appears to be the party’s direction of travel.