Tony Walley ““ On My Stoke-on-Trent Soapbox

Politics ““ It’s a Dirty Job But Someone Has To Do It ““ Don’t They? Part 1

I listened with interest to the BBC Radio Stoke interview with Rob Flello recently where the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South attacked the Managing Director of Emma Bridgewater Matthew Rice over his recent comments about the regeneration of our city.

I confess that Mr Flello’s comment left me very angry indeed and suspicious of the real reason that he had for getting his voice on the radio.

Mr Flello was suggesting that Matthew Rice was wrong to make the comments that he did and that his only motivation was to sell his book; The Lost City of Stoke-on-Trent [available from all good book shops and a few dodgy ones].

Rob went on to suggest that Matthew should get all his mates in the business sector to move their businesses to Stoke-on-Trent instead of attacking the place and running it down.

Now colour me stupid but, isn’t that part of the job of being an MP? Shouldn’t Rob be out there promoting Stoke-on-Trent PLC?

I would suggest that during the last Labour government and since his election in 2005 this City has lost thousands of jobs.

What did you do to reverse this trend Rob?

This happened on YOUR WATCH! What responsibility do you take for those workers who had a steady job and a decent income who now found themselves out on the scrapheap, or a pile of rubble of a recently bulldozed house in the name of so called regeneration?

By attacking Matthew Rice for his opinion about regeneration are you endorsing the bulldozing of sound buildings that has left parts of the City resembling a war zone?

The holes in the City’s landscape have little chance of being filled due to the Country’s perilous financial situation and the lack of any serious money for regeneration of our city.

Instead of headline grabbing and attacking one of the City’s leading business men who has actually proved that there can be growth in the current economical climate, why don’t you use your much needed air time to inform us what you are doing, as a highly paid politician, to bring investment into the City?

Matthew Rice described the City as “Ëœa fantastic place’. He has delivered jobs and prosperity for a business in a sector that has seen nothing but decline over recent times.

This decline in our City’s traditional industries became terminal during the many years of a Labour government.

I think it is absurd to criticise one of our city’s leading lights and as someone who employs a number of people from Stoke-on-Trent I have a serious concern as to what Rob Flello MP has done to help businesses like mine who fought and scrapped ourselves through the worse recessions in the country’s history without losing one single employee.

Unlike the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South who after the valiant efforts of his team of employees repaid them after getting re-elected by sacking them, asking them to re-apply for their positions and then rejecting them wholeheartedly.

I manage a business on sound socialist principles i.e fairness for all. I wonder if the same could be said for the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South?.

I think Rob Flello leaped aboard the bandwagon and used his airtime on BBC Radio Stoke to try and win back some of the popularity that was lost post election.

I think it was an epic fail.

I would suggest his time would be better utilised informing us of what he is doing to regenerate our city and to attract investment that will mean jobs for those displaced under his watch.