The following is an email I just sent to a local Tory councillor in my area who keeps trying to campaign for the upcoming election off the back of the Kraft Cadbury takeover…
Dear Councillor Dawkins,
I found your recent newsletter about your efforts to save Cadbury highly disingenuous.
Whilst I have absolutely no doubt that you wrote your "important letter" to Lord Mandelson and delivered our petition to Downing Street, opposing the hostile takeover of Cadbury, there is no getting away from the fact that, as a member of the Conservative Party - where the ideology of free-market capitalism is sacrosanct - your words and deeds sound inherently hollow.
The Kraft Foods takeover of Cadbury, though it will likely be devastating for our area, was a direct result of free-market capitalism working absolutely as it should do: a money-making, independent business got an attractive offer from another company, the price was right, and so they decided to sell. Not only is this loss of Cadbury to Kraft nothing to do with the Labour Party (other than the fact that, to their eternal shame, they have done nothing but continue to pursue Tory economic policies since the day they came to power), it is the underlying economic philosophy that specifically drives your party - the promotion and celebration of unfettered free-market capitalism - which encourages it. Indeed, one of the central tenets of Conservative economic theory is that it is not the business of government to get involved in the natural functioning of markets, so how you can pretend to be upset that the Labour government did nothing to intervene in the Cadbury decision, when you know full well that it would be ideologically incoherent for a Conservative government to have acted any differently? It just smacks of opportunistic electioneering and, to me, seems highly cynical.
According to your newsletter, you said: "We know that the banks, the shareholders, the city whizz kids and Kraft will all make big money out of this takeover but it will be the ordinary residents of Birmingham who will eventually end up paying for this terrible loss." Your sentiments are entirely right, but coming as they do out of the mouth of a party-member whose party has championed precisely this approach to doing business for over thirty years, you'll excuse me if I remain unconvinced.
Dr. Daniel McKee
I’ll report back if I get a spin-free reply…