Bob Stewart: May I wholeheartedly endorse that comment? The Minister currently on the Treasury Bench, who opened the debate, would make a superb Minister of State.
Bob Stewart: My right hon. Friend has just read out a very touching story. John would expect his country to look after his widow for life. It is a very simple matter. Let us correct it now.
Bob Stewart: And backdated.
Bob Stewart: What is my right hon. Friend’s position on the boarding school allowance for service children? That benefits not just officers, but non-commissioned officers and soldiers, who tend to use it increasingly frequently.
Bob Stewart: My right hon. Friend has not mentioned fairness in taxation. That is another principle that we must use for taxation. Fairness implies that the people who have the least pay the least and that those who can afford it pay more. I am quite sure that the Government are fully aware of that point when raising taxation.
Bob Stewart: I thank my right hon. Friend for giving way to me again. For the sake of fairness, we must of course ensure that multinational companies making profits in our country contribute properly to the economy of the country. I hope very much that we can somehow link the profits made in the United Kingdom very closely to the amount of tax that is paid. At the moment some international companies are...
Bob Stewart: I thank the hon. Lady and everyone who has played a part in this campaign. Is it not tragic that it has taken this House 17 years to sort out the matter? We are congratulating ourselves on having achieved something, but, in those 17 years, we are fully aware of the lives that have been wrecked by our inactivity. Thank goodness that we have got it right now.
Bob Stewart: Forgive me, I thought I was on new clause 14. I will shut up in that case, having been admonished by you, Mr Robertson. I totally agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Ochil and South Perthshire, but he had a stake in the country while he was away. My queasy thought is that, while they may be very small in number, some people might not. That is my point and now, Mr Robertson, I am quashed.
Bob Stewart: The hon. Gentleman referred to the hon. Member for City of Chester, who is extremely popular with my old soldiers. That will give him quite an advantage, despite the fact that he is from that accursed Opposition party. I want to reassure him that he is extremely popular with old soldiers, and they will probably—despite my instructions to the contrary—vote for him.
Bob Stewart: No love-in this time, but I am worried about two things connected to the proposed new clauses. The first is how difficult it would be for an electoral registration officer to ascertain someone’s home 50 years ago. That would be extremely difficult. I know there will be records, but as time goes by people’s memories will obviously recede and blocks of flats and houses will be knocked down....
Bob Stewart: I am slightly concerned, but I hope that the Minister will be able to answer my question. In a general election, our electoral communications are sent out by the Post Office. Am I right to assume that they will be sent to all overseas voters? Will the Post Office and the Government pay for every single overseas voter on the electoral roll to receive an electoral communication from all parties...
Bob Stewart: Personally, I consider stamp duty to be daylight robbery. The Government do nothing for it; they just take money from people who are trying to get a home.
Bob Stewart: Does my right hon. Friend agree that Sir Roger Scruton has shown true courage and humanity through some of his journeys, particularly to the east, and that his writings and speeches are actually pretty good—
Bob Stewart: I have to say that my hon. Friend is absolutely right: they are better than mine. But I will finish my question. Does the Secretary of State agree that Sir Roger Scruton continues to have massive respect for all sectors of our society?
Bob Stewart: When NuGen hands back the Moorside site to the NDA in January, will it be the taxpayer who pays for the clean-up, or—I hope— its preparation for a new tenant?
Bob Stewart: The Minister said that a million fewer people are stopped and searched than in 2010 and that the success rate then was around 10%. What are the results under the new regime—are we getting more convictions?
Bob Stewart: We have not talked about the French much today, but the French suffered incredible casualties. My wife’s family lost 17 members at Verdun. We have a biscuit tin full of Croix de Guerre, Légions d’Honneur and Médailles Militaire, but we do not even know to whom they were given. The French really suffered, as did the Germans.
Bob Stewart: May I pursue that point? I understand from what I heard last night that, as support for the poppy has grown in the Republic of Ireland, there has been a surge in the number of people from the Republic who want to join the British Army again. Is that not wonderful?
Bob Stewart: I thought the speech by the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn) was very touching; I thank him for giving it. I want to talk about an incident in my life that connected me to the first world war. On Friday 17 December 1982 at St George’s church, Stockport, I attended the funeral of a young soldier from my company who had been killed in Northern Ireland. Sadly, it was the...
Bob Stewart: Let me remind my right hon. and learned Friend of the words of Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy—“Woodbine Willie”: “There are many kinds of sorrow in this world of love and hate but there is no keener sorrow than a soldier’s for his mate”.