27/11/07 Energy Policy

John Robertson:

I congratulate Mr. Cash on securing the debate. He has proven once again that he speaks well on not only Europe; he has given good speeches on energy—on coal today—and on water in Africa in previous debates.

The UK has billions of tonnes of coal, which we might need to use one day. It would be foolish to write off that coal completely and have the dash for gas that has been described. As my hon. Friend Mr. Clapham said in an intervention, we might end up with a span of three years in which we have to go to gas and might therefore build new gas power stations that will not meet our need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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21/11/07 Barnett Formula

John Robertson:

I congratulate my hon. Friend Graham Stringer on securing the debate. I sometimes wonder, when the Barnett formula is mentioned, where I should be coming from, but I think of the old “Carry On” film with Kenneth Williams, when he came out with the line, “Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!” That would apply to every hon. Member who has spoken in the debate. They have all told us that they live in the poorest area of the world or the universe, that they are hard up and that Scots people are well off. Yet by my figures six of the poorest constituencies in the United Kingdom are in Glasgow. My hon. Friend Mr. Davidson represents one of the poorest areas in the United Kingdom. Yet we are told that everyone else’s constituency is just as poor as ours, or worse off. My hon. Friend Chris Ruane mentioned the uneven circulation of money allocated by the Ministry of Defence. Some areas benefit much more than others, including in Scotland and Wales, yet when we talk about the Barnett formula we want to argue about who is the poorest, who is the richest, and who gets money for what.

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