DuringÂ Parliament yesterday Laura Moffatt made what I guess will be her last speech in a debate.Â Â It was quite a long one, understandable in the circumstances, and covered quite a few topics, so I am not going to quote it in full, but will quote a passage that particularly struck me.By chance (or design?) Laura followed Nicholas Soames in the debate so she was able to start with this:
It is an absolute pleasure to follow Mr. Soames and, of course, it is not the first time that I have done so. I follow him in representing the fantastic constituency of Crawley, and I am sure that he will remember well the days when he did so. I was interested to hear him talk about the harm that the Government have apparently done to business. I remember that, when he represented Crawley during the recession of the early 1990s, companies were falling like ninepins and people were losing their jobs and homes day after day. They found that their homes were not worth half what they had been worth when they bought them. Nothing was done to help those people; no assistance was offered by the Government.
I was pleased to see that she continued with a robust attack on the lazy criticism of ‘red tape in the workplace’, pointing out that from a worker’s perspective this red tape actually means protection of rights or about being safe at work.Â She managed to get in a plug for local firm, Ceres Power (only a day after a similar mention of local firm Thales and its place in the country’s defence strategy) and how it will be helped by the proposals for a green investment bank.
Laura then went on to explain how investment in the Thameslink programme will help this part of West Sussex and about her support for regional development agencies and started to introduce the theme of intervention, relating to the mortgage rescue scheme and help for small businesses.Â This mention of early intervention was really setting her up for this flourish:
I have listened to the argument that we have no right to sell our future, as it is only on loan to us from our children. I believe, however, that every child whose parent did not lose their job because their company was given time to pay its taxes represents an investment worth making; every child whose parents did not lose their home, thanks to the intervention of this Government, represents an intervention worth applauding; and every young person who was taken on by a company through the future jobs fund and given an opportunity in the workplace will be thanking this Government for ensuring that they have a future.
Of course, such intervention requires money. In this fragile economy, when we are gently coming out of recession and back into growth, and when companies are feeling just enough confidence to acquire new equipment and take on new staff, we have no right to put any of that at risk. We in this House have no right to throw caution to the wind in order to pay back debt, and to throw those people into turmoil once again. I hope that, when my right hon. and hon. Friends are back in their places on the Front Bench after the general election, they will understand that this investment needs to continue. The confidence and sense of security that the business community needs in order to do its job are greatly valued. I did not get lots of surveys back saying that people were fed up with red tape. The people in our communities are begging for more help and support. They are not saying that they do not want that to continue; they are asking for more to be done for them.
I have known Laura for quite a few years now, and heard her speak quite a few times, but rarely better than this.Â I suppose it is too late to get her to change her mind?
Not only that, but it was all in English…Â I looked at the preceding contribution by Nicholas Soames, in which he said:
It has been a great privilege tonight to listen to a series of impressive valedictory speeches, not least from Mr. Caborn and Mr. Betts-one of which was semi vale and the other complete vale.
This was the most assive Budget that I have heard in my 27 years in the House.
I’m not even sure what he means by that last one, though presumably it was not this definition from the Urban Dictionary.