The Thick of It

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Sustainable Ming, part 2

I recently derided Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell for his pledged support for the Sustainable Communities Bill - seeking to preserve high streets - while also supporting his party's administration of Islington. Islington Lib Dems as we know is in the process of selling off more than two hundred properties across the borough.

It has been widely stated that the sale of these properties will drive rents up for local shopkeepers and threatens to turn Amwell Street and Essex Road into big brand chain store clones. So it was with interest that I heard about Ming visiting Essex Road post office today to campaign against it's closure by the government. Funny that, when this property is actually one of those to be sold under council leader James Kempton's Islington Fire Sale. The sale brochure states that the buyer of the post office site could increase the rent by 85%, from about £15000 a year, to around £28000.

Is Ming finally losing it? Has he gone senile? Campaigning against the closure of a post office that your party itself wants to close? Or perhaps he has decided to carry on where Charles Kennedy and Boris Yeltsin left off and he has hit the bottle...

This is yet another example of Islington Lib Dems claiming that they are listening - having "learnt" the error of their ways having received less votes than Labour in last years local elections - and instead continuing to ignore the wishes of the community. It is so absurd it would be funny if it wasn't true.

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