Details of a plan to merge the South Yorkshire-based Speciality Steels business of Tata Steel with Sheffield Forgemasters have been reported. Sky News is reporting that the “audacious plan” is part of an attempt by venture capitalist, Edmund Truell, the … Continue reading
Clive Betts Labour Member for Sheffield South East secured an Adjournment Debate on Wednesday evening on the subject of the cancellation of the £80 Million proposed loan to Sheffield Forgemasters and the exposure of lobbying by Andrew Cook, chairman of engineering firm William Cook Holdings who wrote to Conservative Business Minister Mark Prisk calling for the funding to be withdrawn.
Rotherham’s own MP Denis MacShane was also there to lend a hand as was John Healey the Member for Wentworth and the Dearne still sitting on the front bench.** The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Member for Sheffield Hallam was strangely absent from this debate.
Previously Nick Clegg had made the following statement: that he regretted the government “cannot afford to support its expansion” but added that “the truth is that this loan was promised by the outgoing Labour government as a calculated ploy to win support in Sheffield just ahead of the election”.
Labour’s cynicism is fully on show here, their promise was essentially deceptive, If the money had existed they would have completed arrangements before the General Election thereby ensuring that no cancellation was possible. They did not because they knew that, if they had won or gone into coalition with the Liberals, they would have had to cancel it themselves. Plain Hypocrisy at work! Nothing new about that then!
** In opposition, Labour MPs get to chose their front bench team by ballot, I wonder where Healey will stand once these elections take place? We shall see!
Every announcement of funding by Labour in the early part of the year, to try to convince their voters in the ‘traditional heartlands of Yorkshire and the North’ to trust them, are now exposed for the cynical election bribes they were. Only the memories of the local euphoria the £80m for Sheffield Forgemasters now remains.
Disillusionment cannot adequately sum up my feelings on this matter, to find that we were basically conned when these promises were being announced, makes me very annoyed indeed!
It transpires that they were inadequately budgeted for and would, in all probability, have been axed by Labour if, by some miracle, they had clung on to power.
The sight of MacShane practically frothing at the mouth today in Parliament, with a synthetic rant of complaint that Labours cynical ploys had been rumbled, did him no favours in the esteem department. Few, if any, constituents will have been much impressed by this and must also have reason to question his sobriety even at this early hour, if they were to have witnessed it themselves, as I did.
While not, I am sure, disastrous in the long term, this will undoubtedly put back planned development that would have directly benefited the whole of South Yorkshire, at a time when our local economy needs improvement, that this will now postpone.
This may also undermine, perhaps fatally, Nick Cleggs local support in his Sheffield Hallam Constituency and confidence in the Liberal Democrats generally in South Yorkshire if having the Coalition Governments Deputy PM as a local Member does us no good at all.
Next weeks emergency budget is not going to be pleasant for anyone, on this evidence the fun will really start next Tuesday, when George Osborne delivers his maiden budget, we shall see.
The Conservative Party has issued Labour’s Legacy, well worth a read if you have any lingering doubts that Labour’s Term of office was the usual economic disaster, nothing ‘New’ about that then?