Dear Sir, I was not surprised to read in Iron Angle (Birmingham Post, December 3) that Coun Nigel Dawkins is still up to his populist tricks of claiming to be against Conservative policy when it affects his constituents, but for it when it doesn’t.
Paul Dale is right to highlight that the issue of the threatened takeover of Cadbury is one of shareholder democracy, rather than whether the owners are English or American. (For Coun Dawkins’s information the current CEO of Cadbury is American and Hershey already makes Cadbury products under licence in America).
If Coun Dawkins feels the Government should prevent shareholders from voting as they please, then he should say so, but as far as I am aware this is not Conservative party policy.
I know trivia like Conservative party policy has not stopped Coun Dawkins when he has opposed elected mayors or called for nationalising MG Rover, but as he expects people to vote for him as a Conservative it would seem the decent thing to be open about it.
It is also worth noting that when Cadbury announced it was to lose 800 jobs, Coun Dawkins had nothing to say on the subject and he has not chosen to support the Unite union in its negotiations with both Cadbury and any future bidder to save those jobs.
Neither does he seem concerned about defending the charitable trust that is part of Cadbury’s commitment to social housing in Bournville. This is not surprising as Coun Dawkins has in the past disagreed with Bournville village trust’s commitment to social housing because he would prefer accommodation to be decided on how ‘local’ you are.
What people in Bournville are concerned about is whether a takeover threatens their jobs and the houses they live in. Ownership matters because it is about how much control we have over our own lives, not whether the boss has a funny-sounding name.
There are problems with the shareholder model but this is best addressed by standing up for employees and those in the community who depend on Cadbury. This is where the co-operative model made famous by John Lewis/ Waitrose and Barcelona FC has strength.
If Coun Dawkins has genuinely seen the light, then he is welcome to stop being a Conservative and join the co-operative movement, but otherwise he should be clear about what solutions a Conservative Government has for Cadbury’ and show some conviction.
Labour and Co- operative candidate for Bournville ward