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Further fun with maiden speches - John Major

From Hansard in 1979, during the Budget debates, sandwiched betwixt Jim McCraigen and Derek Foster:

A tolerable joke:

"Huntingdonshire is a remarkable constituency in many ways. It is an ancient constituency. It has returned Members to the House since the first Parliament of Simon de Montfort. It is proud of that tradition. It is proud because amongst its former Members was, for a brief period, Oliver Cromwell. He caused your predecessors, Mr. Deputy Speaker, more trouble than I anticipate causing, at least in my early days".

An early sign of soundness:

"I believe that public opinion requires four things of the Government in terms of economic management. It requires them to cut taxes, to curb inflation, to create new jobs and, as far as possible, to maintain satisfactory public services. But the simple truth is that although public opinion may require all those four things, with the best will in the world the Chancellor and his colleagues cannot possibly achieve them all at the same time. In order to create jobs and to maintain public services, it is necessary first to cut taxes and to curb inflation".

Like it. Like it A LOT.

More good stuff:

"I was pleased to hear my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary this afternoon reiterate that the Government's commitment to spending cuts and to restraining the level of public expenditure generally was substantial and that the Government intend to keep to it. Whenever we talk about spending cuts there is bound to be a certain amount of uproar. It is never popular to cut services. But it seems that much of the uproar which is currently being engendered is to a large extent synthetic".

And again:

"I appreciate that we can keep a problem at bay temporarily by throwing subsidies at it, but if we are to curb that problem in the medium term in my constituency and in many others, it requires the establishment of new companies and a great increase in the total number of jobs available. I believe that my right hon. and learned Friend yesterday introduced certain tax and other measures which, over two to three years, will create a climate in which jobs can be increased and begin to be formed. I wholly welcome those measures".

And still more soundness:

"Since it affects many of my constituents who are retired, I am delighted to see the abolition of dividend control and the reduction of the investment income surcharge, particularly the extent of the reduction that has been made. The surcharge has always been utterly indefensible, by any practical logic, in a society that wishes to encourage investment and needs investment to provide jobs. It is grossly unfair that those who were. sufficiently prudent during their lifetime to save should find themselves punitively taxed for saving and investing, as every Chancellor of every party has asked them to do so many times in recent years. I believe my right hon. and learned Friend's measures in this respect to be simple justice".

One might think we had the makings of a pretty good future PM, based on that.

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:12 pm

Indeed, which is why John Major went on to be one of the most competent Prime Ministers in recent political history.

Major's commitment to cutting inflation and interest rates allowed him to start the process of tax cutting.

Unfortunately this country was let down by years of Labour Government, days which are soon to be finished.  

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