Breathtaking hypocrisy from Labour MPs following yesterday's announcement that Imperial Tobacco is to close its Nottingham factory.
Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East, tweeted:
I hope Imperial Tobacco will work with DWP to redeploy the many affected Nottingham workers who are losing their jobs & need new employment.
Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South, went one better:
Thanks @UKLabour colleagues inc @Vernon_CoakerMP @Nik_McD & @GrahamAllenMP working together to support Imperial Tobacco workers. #onyourside
"On your side"?!!!!!
It was thanks to legislation introduced by the last Labour government that 500+ workers have now lost their jobs.
In case Greenwood, Leslie et al have forgotten, laws included a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, a ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces, a ban on tobacco vending machines and a ban on the display of tobacco in shops.
Today they have the cheek to shed crocodile tears for tobacco industry workers, many of whom may have written to them asking them to oppose those measures in case they cost them their jobs.
The packaging industry has made no secret of the fact that plain packaging could result in more jobs being lost.
Labour supports plain packaging so if plain packs are introduced and packaging companies subsequently announce the loss of jobs, can we expect similar tweets along the lines of:
I hope x will work with DWP to redeploy the many affected workers who are losing their jobs & need new employment.
Thanks @UKLabour colleagues working together to support packaging workers. #onyourside
I think I'm going to be sick.
PS. Via Breitbart.com here's my full response to the closure of the Nottingham factory:
Simon Clark, director of the smokers' group Forest, said, "It's not pro-smoking to mourn the loss of jobs. The reality is however that the closure of Imperial's Nottingham factory will have no impact on consumers.
"What's worrying is that it follows a decade in which successive governments have introduced increasingly draconian policies designed to force adult consumers to quit smoking.
"Instead of focussing on education, government has prohibited tobacco advertising, banned smoking in public places, outlawed cigarette vending machines and banned the display of tobacco in shops. Now ministers want to introduce standardised packaging.
"How many more people are going to pay for the war on tobacco with their jobs? The smoking ban alone led to a huge number of jobs being lost as thousands of pubs closed as a direct result of the ban.
"Sadly, when campaigners are demanding further action on smoking, they don't take the loss of jobs and the impact on workers' families into account."
Via the Nottingham Post, here's an interesting article about the history of Imperial in Nottingham. Worth reading.