The Infant Hercules by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Oi! Vera, Yes, you, Vera Baird! You listening? I know you still read this blog, I can see you logging in. You find time to comment on here to defend one of your chums, Lord Ahmed – how about finding time to defend your constituents? This piece is written by one of them, someone on whom you used to be able to rely on for a vote. Anything you want to say to him? Regards, Anna
This Infant Hercules……..
Middlesbrough was once famously described by Prime Minister William Gladstone this way, many years ago.
I wish I had the ability to write about this, it is enough to make me weep. This area has been the most tribal, dyed in the wool Labour voting area since the year dot. It has been held up to ridicule in the media for quite some time now, voted the worst place in England to live. If ever the Labour Party should stand up for some of its staunchest supporters, then this is the opportunity. Or will they lift their collective snouts out of the trough long enough to sniff the air and see there is nothing in it for them, and just carry on as normal.
“This is a dark day for British manufacturing,” said Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of the Unite union.
“Unite will do everything possible to prevent this closure from going ahead. The government must now act to save Teesside as decisively as it acted to save the banks last year.”
“The steel industry overall has suffered an unprecedented fall in demand in the global recession,” Lord Mandelson said.
“The government worked hard with all parties following the cancellation of the main supply contract in May to continue the agreement but a commercial solution could not be found.”
Kirby Adams – the Europe chief of Tata Steel, which owns Corus – confirmed the plant’s closure to staff on Friday.
He said that Corus had funded the business since May, and at one point, it looked very likely that the plant would close in August.
“Corus is not in a position where it can bankroll a loss-making business such as Teesside,” Mr Adams said in a press conference. “We are acutely aware that this will be devastating news for our employees, our contractors, their families,” he said.
“All four members of the consortium should look at this and hang their heads in shame.”
“This is a gut-wrenching disappointment after all the effort and the hopes won by the sheer doggedness of our workers,” said Redcar MP Vera Baird.
“I’m furious that, after our workers won months of export orders, Corus has not been able either to get a longer term contract or to clinch a deal for the sale of the plant.”
To paraphrase a famous piece of Norwegian football commentary; Stuart Bell, Vera Baird, Lord Mandelson.
Your boys have taken one hell of a beating!
Is there any chance of a government bail out then, Vera?