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just as many youngsters now take up membership through the Young Lions, the Reds scheme at Charlton and dozens of other schemes to encourage youngsters to have a card. I hope that the clubs will realise the benefits of encouraging youngsters to join.

Mr. Tony Banks : Can I get something quite clear, so that I can speak to the Chelsea pensioners next time I visit Stamford Bridge? Is the Minister saying that the Chelsea pensioners, in their red frock coats, their medals, their whiskers, and their peaked caps, will have to be members of the scheme?

Mr. Moynihan : It may come as a staggering revelation to the hon. Gentleman, although the Bill has been published for well nigh 10 months now, that the answer is yes, just as hon. Members have a membership card to enter the House.

When the hon. Gentleman speaks to the Chelsea pensioners, he will be able to tell them about the benefits of membership that they will enjoy. He will be able to tell them of the benefits that they will have of going to Chelsea without the hooligan element disrupting the matches, causing so much trouble and bringing the game into disrepute. He will be able to tell them about the benefits that, one hopes, his club will reap with imagination from discount schemes and the many schemes that my hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans) has told us apply at Luton. In five years' time, they will be able to tell him that the appalling problem of hooliganism which racked football for the past three decades has gone. I am sure that he will enjoy that conversation, and I am certain that they will.

Mr. Barry Field (Isle of Wight) : Will my hon. Friend point out to the House that Chelsea pensioners, being ex-service men, are used to having identity cards? They had to have them throughout their service careers, so they will feel quite at home when they go to the football terraces.

Mr. Moynihan : I am sure that the hon. Member for Newham, North-West will raise that point in his discussions with the Chelsea pensioners.

I should prefer to concentrate on the benefits of membership that I have outlined in detail to the House tonight. [Interruption.] I know that hon. Members would prefer me not to shout, but if Opposition Members were a little more sotto voce in their sedentary remarks, I would happily speak more quietly.

Women and retired people can benefit from the scheme in the ways that I have outlined, and the scheme can gain much from their membership. As the issue has been discussed at length on many occasions in Committee and in the other place, I hope that the Opposition will withdraw their amendment.

Mr. Vaz : I did not intend to speak until I saw the Minister's hysterical performance--

Mr. Moynihan : Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Vaz : No, sit down. The Minister is behaving like a deranged rabbit ; he should behave himself.

Mr. Moynihan : Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Vaz : No, I will not give way.

In the two and a half years that I have been an hon. Member, I have never seen a performance by a Minister

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such as the one that we have just seen. The reason why he is hysterical is that the case against the Bill, but for the amendments, has been made. The Government have provided no evidence to show that women and pensioners have contributed to football hooliganism. The amendments go to the heart of the Bill. They attempt to save the sport, which will be destroyed if the Bill is passed unamended. They aim to ensure that women and children, who have a history of good behaviour and who have contributed to the game as a family sport, are able to attend matches and participate fully as spectators. My right hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Orme) clearly stated that there is no evidence that women and pensioners have contributed to a decline in the game, so why on earth should we exclude them?

The Minister's hysterical response is that if every group that has not contributed to hooliganism is exempted, only the hooligans will be left. That should be the purpose of the Bill. Is not "targeting" a great catchword of the Government? Do they not say, "We are targeting pensioners who are supposed to be receiving benefits"? Why do not the Government target those who are responsible for creating hooliganism? Women and pensioners certainly are not responsible for that. My mother, who incontrovertibly is a women and who is 60 years old, having just become a pensioner, told me recently when she was listening to my speeches in Committee that she used to enjoy being a spectator at football matches. She saw Leicester City play at Filbert street, before they started their decline to the bottom of the second division, from which they will soon emerge. She will not go to football matches if the Bill becomes law unamended.

Mr. Burt : Why not?

Mr. Vaz : The hon. Member wants to know why not. The reason why she will not go is that she will be confused by the new offences that the Bill creates and by the controls being placed on the game. I received a number of representations on the Bill, as have other hon. Members. Over one third of them were from women. They say that they will not go to football matches because they believe that the Government are trying to criminalise them and pensioners and to criminalise the elements that contribute to making the game a family sport.

Mr. Denis Howell : As we draw to the end of the Report stage, it is interesting and appropriate that we are dealing with women and pensioners. They have no record of causing difficulty at football matches, yet their rights are being restricted by the Government. Is it not ludicrous that the two memories that we shall have of the Bill's proceedings are Lord Hesketh, who is the Under-Secretary of State in the other place, saying that hooligans will buy women's clothing from Oxfam shops to gain admission to football grounds in drag, and the Minister's even more ludicrous statement in reply to my hon. Friend the Minister for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) that Chelsea pensioners must register for the scheme because of the benefits that they will receive from it? The benefit that they will receive is that they will be inundated with offers of membership of sex clubs in the west end of London. That is a fine benefit for Chelsea

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pensioners. The Minister said that we should encourage all those activities and fringe benefits, which no doubt will be free for Chelsea pensioners.

We strongly object to the fact that there is no Government strategy to encourage the people who should be attending football matches to do so. Conservative Members said that everyone who registers for the scheme will receive its benefits, so why have the Government granted an exemption for disabled people? Why do not the Government want disabled people to have those great benefits? That, of course, was the give away. If it is right to exempt disabled people from the impositions of the Bill, by the same logic it must be right to exclude women and pensioners.

We know from the statement made by the former Home Secretary that the Government wish to move to all-seater stadiums. We know that soon that may become a condition of clubs' licences. Although we support all-seater stadiums in principle, I shall not go into all the difficulties that they will cause. However, one of the problems that has not been answered is whether the Government intend to make it a criminal offence for people to stand at a football match. People stand at football matches, even when they are allocated seats. I saw several thousand Leeds United supporters refuse to sit in the seats that they were allocated at Maine road. What do the Government intend to do about that? As we look at the details of the Bill, we increasingly see the impracticability of the way that the Government are moving.

We strongly believe that family enclosures should be encouraged. Time and again we said in Committee, and throughout the passage of the Bill, that it would make sense to have family enclosures, where a man and his wife can take their children and where they can be exempted from the restrictions and impositions that are made on them. For some reason, of which we are unaware, the Government continually turn that suggestion down. Yet that is the sort of development towards which we must if we have all-seater stadiums. Family enclosures certainly have our support.

The Minister is obviously obsessed by the "smart card" as he has talked about it three times now. The Minister told us that he wanted a system where a person simply "touches" the card on the turnstile and is allowed into the ground. The Minister must know that we have strong objections to that system because the card is the evidence of wrongdoing. The football authorities object to the "smart card" as they believe that a wrongdoer will simply pick up the card when the red light comes on and go off with it.

The scheme will not work unless the card has to be handed to the turnstile operator, who can retain it if a bogus entrant is trying to obtain admission to the ground. There is an overwhelming case for saying that women and pensioners are the people least likely to cause offence and break the law. Their attendance at football matches ought to be encouraged in every way. They ought not to be subject to the restrictions that the Minister and his colleagues are imposing upon them in the Bill.

It being Nine o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker-- proceeded, pursuant to the Order [17 July], and the Resolution this day, to put the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, That the amendment be made :

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The House divided : --

Ayes 202, Noes 278.

Division No. 361] [9 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane

Adams, Allen (Paisley N)

Allen, Graham

Archer, Rt Hon Peter

Armstrong, Hilary

Ashley, Rt Hon Jack

Ashton, Joe

Banks, Tony (Newham NW)

Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)

Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)

Barron, Kevin

Battle, John

Beckett, Margaret

Beith, A. J.

Bell, Stuart

Benn, Rt Hon Tony

Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)

Bidwell, Sydney

Blair, Tony

Boyes, Roland

Bradley, Keith

Bray, Dr Jeremy

Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)

Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)

Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)

Buchan, Norman

Buckley, George J.

Caborn, Richard

Callaghan, Jim

Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)

Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)

Campbell-Savours, D. N.

Canavan, Dennis

Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)

Cartwright, John

Clark, Dr David (S Shields)

Clay, Bob

Clelland, David

Clwyd, Mrs Ann

Cohen, Harry

Coleman, Donald

Cook, Frank (Stockton N)

Cook, Robin (Livingston)

Corbett, Robin

Cousins, Jim

Cox, Tom

Crowther, Stan

Cryer, Bob

Cummings, John

Cunliffe, Lawrence

Cunningham, Dr John

Dalyell, Tam

Darling, Alistair

Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)

Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)

Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)

Dewar, Donald

Dixon, Don

Dobson, Frank

Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth

Eadie, Alexander

Evans, John (St Helens N)

Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)

Fatchett, Derek

Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)

Fisher, Mark

Flannery, Martin

Flynn, Paul

Foster, Derek

Foulkes, George

Fraser, John

Fyfe, Maria

Garrett, John (Norwich South)

Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)

George, Bruce

Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John

Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian

Godman, Dr Norman A.

Golding, Mrs Llin

Gordon, Mildred

Gould, Bryan

Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)

Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)

Grocott, Bruce

Hardy, Peter

Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)

Harman, Ms Harriet

Healey, Rt Hon Denis

Heffer, Eric S.

Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall)

Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)

Hood, Jimmy

Howarth, George (Knowsley N)

Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)

Howells, Geraint

Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)

Hoyle, Doug

Hughes, John (Coventry NE)

Hughes, Roy (Newport E)

Illsley, Eric

Ingram, Adam

Janner, Greville

Johnston, Sir Russell

Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)

Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)

Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald

Kennedy, Charles

Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil

Kirkwood, Archy

Knox, David

Lambie, David

Lamond, James

Leadbitter, Ted

Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)

Lestor, Joan (Eccles)

Lewis, Terry

Litherland, Robert

Livingstone, Ken

Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)

Loyden, Eddie

McAllion, John

McAvoy, Thomas

McCartney, Ian

Macdonald, Calum A.

McLeish, Henry

McNamara, Kevin

McWilliam, John

Madden, Max

Mahon, Mrs Alice

Marek, Dr John

Marshall, David (Shettleston)

Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)

Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)

Martlew, Eric

Maxton, John

Meacher, Michael

Meale, Alan

Michael, Alun

Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)

Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)

Moonie, Dr Lewis

Morgan, Rhodri

Morley, Elliot

Mowlam, Marjorie

Murphy, Paul

Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon

O'Brien, William

O'Neill, Martin

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