Brian Binley: I congratulate the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. Anderson) on a fine and fighting maiden speech. I can tell him that I am a descendant of a long line of operatives working in the Northamptonshire shoe industry. I can convey some optimism to him, based on the fact that the shopmates of Raunds were the forerunners of the Jarrow marchers, but since then they have moved on a little. Now they...
Brian Binley: I accept some of the things that the hon. Gentleman is saying about work permits. Does he agree that a proper system of work permits is entirely reliant upon a proper system of border controls?
Brian Binley: I am somewhat bemused by the hon. Gentleman's statement that the European budget has benefited the people of Europe. How does it benefit the people of Stuttgart, who have been so dependent on the Mercedes company over the last 10 years? I should be interested to hear the answer, and I am sure that they would as well.
Brian Binley: The hon. Gentleman will know that the number of people employed by the company in Stuttgart has fallen dramatically over the past 10 years. I wondered how he felt that the European Union and its budget had helped those people specifically. I think they would tell us that they have not been overly helped.
Brian Binley: Is my hon. Friend aware that the rumour in local government circles, emanating from the Local Government Association, I think, is that this year an increase of 1.7 per cent. in the revenue support grant is being planned, with the exception of education, for which it is said that an increase of 4 per cent. is being planned? Does she consider that that will extend the concept of stealth tax?
Brian Binley: Thank you, Mr. Olner. I apologise for not letting you know earlier that I wanted to speak and am grateful to you for calling me. In my maiden speech in the House, I talked about a dear friend of mine who was the Labour agent in Kidderminster when I was the Conservative agent. I said that when we cast aside our political differences, we were surprised by how much we agreed on and how much work...
Brian Binley: I apologise, Mr. Olner. I shall do as you suggest. To conclude, I return to my opening remarks. I said that I hope we can work together. We have heard many creative ideas today. I believe that we should create a culture of change. We should start a crusade by working together. I hope that the Minister will take that on board.
Brian Binley: Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, three weeks ago the Prime Minister was asked to meet a delegation about the underfunding of police in Northamptonshire, which has continued for a considerable number of years. He did not answer. My grandmother always said, "Never trust a man who doesn't give a straight answer." [Interruption.]
Brian Binley: Will the Deputy Prime Minister now answer on the Prime Minister's behalf?
Brian Binley: Does the hon. Gentleman not think the same thing about the Labour party now that it is in office?
Brian Binley: As you know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I am new to this House. I have been told that the new Minister, who is currently leaning backwards over the Front Bench, is a good guy, that he will be all right and that he can be relied on. [Interruption.] If he will be kind enough to listen, I should like to point out that I am really sorry that his predecessor left him in this mess. It seems that this good...
Brian Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the closure of St. John's Secure Unit in Tiffield, Northamptonshire would necessitate repayment to the Treasury by Northamptonshire county council of the grant given by the Department of Health for its construction.
Brian Binley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects the Audit Commission to publish the final key lines of inquiry for the corporate assessment of councils under the comprehensive performance assessment process.
Brian Binley: As you requested, Sir Nicholas, I shall reduce my speech by half. I hope that that will please you for future occasions. I pay tribute to Chris Bryant, the hon. Member for Rhondda. I found his words most disturbing and moving. I had not known of those sorts of activities. He does a great favour to the world in bringing them to our attention in this debate and I thank him. You will know, Sir...
Brian Binley: I am very sorry and thank you for that guidance, Sir Nicholas. My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, West (Mr. Amess), who went with me to New York and wowed a crowd of 20,000 people with his speech, astounded me on that occasion and has done so again. I was lucky to accompany him and I spent four days with the organisers of that rally and with many of their supporters. I got to know them...
Brian Binley: I thank my hon. Friend for bringing that to my attention. I did not know of that particular incident, but it is in keeping with many of the slogans being paraded throughout Iran, and we should take note of the intent behind them. Let me return to the point that I was making; Israel considered the Iranian situation to be the doomsday scenario. What do the American intelligence people think...
Brian Binley: What recent assessment he has made of the performance of the UK economy.
Brian Binley: Yesterday, Mr. Mervyn King was reported as saying, "The business cycle has not been abolished". He asked, "Will the next 10 years be as nice as the last?" His answer was, "That seems unlikely." Will the Chancellor be kind to me and say whether he agrees or disagrees with those remarks?
Brian Binley: rose—
Brian Binley: Will the Minister give way?