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Cadbury workers are heading to London today seeking reassurances over jobs and investment from new owners Kraft - but local councillor Nigel Dawkins warns that the only way to protect British companies in future will be to change the law. He says we have to backtrack on the “everything’s for sale” culture.

Dawkins, the prospective parliamentary candidate for Selly Oak, will take part in a flower laying ceremony in Bournville at noon today marking the death of the dream of the factory’s founder George Cadbury.

“It will be a very simple and dignified ceremony,” he said.

“George Cadbury had the dream of a factory alongside a village – he was passionate about the working class and had seen the misery of the back to back slums.

“We want to mark that dream and give thanks for George Cadbury. And then we have to look to the future.”

As a Conservative, Dawkins is open to allegations of hypocrisy over his stance on Cadbury’s, where he has called for government intervention.

How does he square that with his belief in free markets?

“My personal view is that we have a track record over the last 12 years or so where we have allowed manufacturing assets to be shipped into foreign hands.

“It is too easy and I believe that whichever party takes power at the next election, we’ll have to look at this.

“We should take a more strategic view of manufacturing – especially exporting manufacturing.

“This is not about free markets. I believe in free trade – but free trade in goods doesn’t have to mean free trade in companies. We don’t have to sell our manufacturing assets.

“I think there has to be a shift from the idea that everything’s for sale.”



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