Saturday, February 14, 2004

After a morning on the doorsteps of Bowthorpe I went to Norwich to show my support for the market traders in their battle against the Lib Dem plans to wreck their livelyhoods as quickly as possible. The LibDems say "no change is not an option", we say the market is a landmark - do it up don't do away with it.

However (after a massive lunch in the market) I was heartily disappointed to find that the protest - what there was of it - was being led by several senior Labour Councillors. Now we are used to the Greens and LibDems hijacking popular causes but this really takes the biscuit. I was working under the mistaken premise that this was a fight being led by the traders; it's great for local politicans to throw their weight behind such campaigns, but to try and pretend that they are leading it really crosses a line. I spent a while speaking to traders (many of whom were not happy with the work of Labour), signed the petition and left. Norwich market is such a special place and it has our full support, but we are backing a campaign led by the traders, not by any political party.

And when the Council sees sense, it'll be the traders who deserve the credit, and not the politicians...

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