Monday, January 28, 2008

Lib Dem candidate challenges MP to debate on Northern Rock

LIBERAL Democrats in Blaydon constituency on Tyneside have chosen Peter Maughan as their candidate for the general election.

And in the opening shot of his campaign to be Blaydon’s MP, Peter, who represents Dunston Hill and Whickham East as a councillor in the constituency, has challenged the sitting Labour MP David Anderson to a public debate about nationalising Northern Rock.

“I am delighted to have been chosen by fellow Liberal Democrats as the candidate for Blaydon,” said Peter.

“For the past few years, Labour MP David Anderson has postured as the friend of nationalisation. He has called for coal mining, water and train operating companies to be renationalised.

“In economic terms there is little to justify wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on buying up companies that are operating well in the private sector.

“Over the past few years, Mr Anderson has also attacked his own government’s decision to consider privatising the probation service, search and rescue services, civil service jobs, defence training and British Waterways.

“And in November last year, Mr Anderson in Parliament congratulated trade unionists who were fighting privatisation of services.

“Given the record of Mr Anderson, I find it bizarre that he attacked the proposal for the temporary public ownership of Northern Rock when the issue was debated in Parliament in December.

“The government has now put at risk tens of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money by effectively handing it over to the shareholders and directors of Northern Rock. If the business fails, the taxpayer carries the losses.

“And if Northern Rock is returned to prosperity, the taxpayer gets only a minimal share of the success. The temporary nationalisation of the bank will ensure the benefits go to the taxpayer when it is returned to the private sector in the future.

“Mr Anderson now needs to explain why he has for years been saying one thing, and in the last few weeks has been arguing the exact opposite.

“I am therefore challenging him to a public debate about temporarily nationalising Northern Rock. I have written to him and I am looking forward to his accepting the challenge.”

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