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DON'T BE THE CADBURY CAD, NIGEL

16-02-2010

Cllr Nigel Dawkins

Voters in Selly Oak are being whipped up against their local Labour MPs by Tory candidate Nigel Dawkins who accuses them of failing to act to save Cadbury’s from Kraft’s aggressive takeover - but shouldn’t he really be aiming at his own leader David Cameron?

Dawkins latest glossy election leaflet contrasts his own vocal support for the Birmingham chocolate maker with the government’s pathetic hand-wringing on the issue.

Fair enough, you might think – The Stirrer made similar comments in December when Lord Mandelson was doing his laughable White Knight act.

But what about the Tories? Would they really have behaved any differently?

Well, when we spoke to Dawkins earlier this month he made an intelligent distinction between the free trade in goods and services, and protecting strategic businesses.

He claimed that whoever wins the next election, laws are likely to be introduced to protect key economic assets.

Unfortunately, no one has told Cameron.

Chatting to the Birmingham Mail recently the Tory leader said that while the Cadbury’s situation was “heartbreaking”, there was no prospect of his party doing anything to prevent similar takeovers in future.

“We are an open, global economy” he said.

“There is no protectionist party in Britain. We cannot start creating ownership barriers, trade barriers and protectionist barriers.

“We must not raise trade barriers and close ourselves off from the world; it would be a massive historical mistake for our country.”

In other words, they would have gone through the same wailing and gnashing of teeth as the government – with precisely the same effect.

So come off it, Nigel - don't be a Cadbury cad.

Voters may feel there are many reasons to vote Conservative at the next election – but saving the likes of the city's great chocolate maker isn’t one of them.

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