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Brexit party #Peterborough candidate was ‘frontman’ for retail bid by firm behind British Steel collapse

Multi-million pound take-over saw former Morrisons convenience store chain in administration less than 12 months later
‘Frontman’: Mike Greene bought Morrisons Local chain with Greybull cash

The Brexit party (BP) has pitched itself as explicitly as the party of the working class, running an ad on social media that specifically tried to take that mantle from the Labour Party, claiming: “The Labour Party used to represent the working class. Now they are the party of remain.”

But Nigel Farage is well known for his wish to swap the NHS for a US-style private insurance system – and on Tuesday evening met Donald Trump just hours after Trump told media he wanted the NHS included in any trade deal.

The BP candidate in the Peterborough by-election this week also has a history at odds with the party’s working-class pitch.

According to the Telegraph, millionaire Mike Greene was the ‘frontman’ for a £25 million take-over of the Morrisons ‘M Local’ convenience store chain in 2015 – by Greybull Capital, the same firm that has just let British Steel collapse:

Like British Steel, M Local also collapsed – less than a year after the take-over, in spite of Greene saying he expected that it would be profitable within a year. The firm employed around 2,500 people. The collapse of British Steel threatens around ten times that number.

Other firms also taken over with Greybull involvement had gone into insolvency, including the Comet chain at a cost of around £70 million to the taxpayer – and around 7,000 jobs. Investors walked away with around £114 million.

The collapse was dubbed “the biggest raid in British corporate history. A government statement read:

The Secretary of State has concerns about the financial burden placed on the taxpayer caused by the collapse of companies such as Comet

SKWAWKBOX view:

The Brexit party’s claims to represent the working class are utterly bogus. Nigel Farage wants to get rid of the National Health Service, its by-election candidate is a millionaire, its chair is a property tycoon – and Nigel Farage has said that he is “running a company, not a political party”.

Anyone who cares about the working class has one option: vote Labour.

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35 comments

  1. Further explanation required please Skwawkbox – your piece seems to imply that those who voted for the Brexit party might not after all have been fully aware of who or what they were voting for – but that can’t be what you meant, surely?
    Your blog’s regarded as Brexit Central by the Brexit fans here – remainers not welcome.
    Perhaps I’m stupidly conflating two completely different things – the Brexit Party & Farage’s crew who all Brexiters thoroughly understand are no friends of the workers – and Brexit itself which will, despite Farage and the Brexit Party’s best efforts, create the best of all possible Socialist worlds?
    That must be it I expect.

    1. Disaster master millionaires attracted to Brexit for reasons laid bare by American fuckwits Woody and the Donald, deregulate and turbo charge casino economy
      Equally we dont have a manifesto unless we leave neo liberal EU, example would be NHS, it’s already open to bids and through current competition law American Health Companies can sue British government if they are prevented from tendering or state aid is used to favour in house bids
      Best we can hope for at moment is Labour brino with understanding that state aid rules will not apply to UK

      1. Doug, the best we can hope for is that Brexiters realise that we already have the best and that ANY Brexit, despite support from Galloway and Skinner and apparent postumous support from Tony Benn, all great men in their day I might add, is going to do Britain immense harm.

      2. “Neoliberal EU” is bandied about by Brexiteers as if it were the ultimate nuclear fact bomb.
        Unfortunately that whole argument fails to address the fact that Earth is a neoliberal PLANET and the only viable ‘leave’ option would require a spaceship.
        Brexit is like trying to run away from the MIDDLE of the angry mob – we’re surrounded by the fuckers.
        Either find a way to leave the planet – Plexit – or fight GLOBAL neoliberalism GLOBALLY.
        There really is no choice here. It’s a fraud. Brexit fails in the moment of its success.

      3. ” that whole argument fails to address the fact that Earth is a neoliberal PLANET …There really is no choice here. It’s a fraud. ”

        Nail on head.

    2. Not everyone WAS aware, David. I have a friend who professes to be ‘well informed’ yet voted in the euro election for Brexit party and intends to do the same at a GE because as he said “Nigel has promised that he will keep disability benefits”. I sent him a link to a Canary video of the Trump/May press conference, and in that article it states Farage’s intentions for the NHS, how they are in line with Trump’s desires. If all goes their way we will see American style health service AND non existent USA style benefits.
      He hasn’t replied yet. I think he realises that his foot was just the right size to fit in his mouth.

      1. Indeed, Aidey – a simple scan of th airwaves and press produces a pile of evidence that show Brexit opinions were to a great extent based on the lying Jonson-type ramblings found in the Tory plutocrat press – not on information and analysis of the actuality.

        Of course, Remainers get shouted at for pointing this simple, observable fact – but that’s what it is.

        The ‘working class revolt’ model of the Brexit vote doesn’t pass on that test or voter analysis. It wasn’t ‘working class’ and it wasn’t a ‘revolt’ .It’s an urban (and rural) myth – at best, a kick aimed at the cat.

        The average justification is simply a warmed-up hash of the simple-minded knee-jerk ‘I’m not voting for any of them – they’re all the same’ that most door-knockers have encountered. Whatever it is, it isn’t political nous.

        The fact that the metropolitan media on both sides of the argument fell in love with this nonsense – because it showed their ‘right-on’ sensitivities to lesser mortals (allegedly) doesn’t make it more substantial. Of course, the Faragos jumped on the pseudo-explanation. Why wouldn’t they use a fiction that suited, a con – it’s second nature?

    3. Dearie me. Poor Trolling effort laddie. Don’t be a total dimwit, David. The constantly carefully explained socialist argument for freeing the UK, and a future Left Labour government , from the debilitating economic policy straightjacket of the neoliberal Single Market rules of the EU has nothing in common with the uber-neoliberal globalist US-oriented free market ambitions of Farage, or the Tory extreme neoliberal Brexiter mob. But you probably knew that – but need to repeat your vacuous uncritical pro EU Mandelson/Blair/Campbell/Big Business run and funded PV /Remainer Campaign script .

      1. “The constantly carefully explained socialist argument for freeing the UK, and a future Left Labour government , from the debilitating economic policy straightjacket of the neoliberal Single Market rules” … blah, blah etc.

        No … Penny … it’s just that David McNiven recognises the ‘carefully explained socialist’ (note use of the magic fairy dust term) ‘argument’ for the pile of shite that it actually is.

        … which is confirmed by your patently absurd assertion about “your vacuous uncritical pro EU … script” as a description of a simple and obvious choice of what is the only non-fantasy option.

      2. Much as I hate descending to your level, the word you thought you wrote is ‘straitjacket’.
        Semi-literate self-professed intellectuals are fucking hilarious.

        On the difference between the neoliberal EU and the neoliberal US/Rest of the World … frying pan, fire.
        Neoliberalism is Global and its determination to crush any nascent International Left and avoid revolution outweighs all its differences on trade, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change and everything else.

        EU rules are selectively flouted and exemptions negotiated by its member states – but if the EU should fail to defend even a defaulting member against outside attack it will fall – and in falling it will likely trigger instant recession.

        Whatever the result it’s of little economic consequence to me – demand for my particular skill set actually grows in hard times so fuck you, Betty, I’ve no skin in this game.
        I do just fine whatever happens.
        My concern over the folly of brexit is on behalf of you idiots.

    4. lazy fuckwombles
      those no deal disaster masters who have nothing to offer the 52%
      and those red tory snowflake neverenders who have nothing to offer the 48%
      combined IQ zero, combined vote 5%
      for the last time only Labour brino honours result, allows us to implement manifesto commitments, addresses causes of brexit and brings country back together,
      stop wasting our time on here you have nothing new to say, not an original thought in your heads
      make yourselves useful and get back to the day job of attacking the cheap and nasties and working for the next Labour government
      great uncle Bulgaria would be appalled by the spectacle of you pillocks pleasuring yourselves in public,
      put up or off you must fuck

  2. Seems crystal clear to me.
    Farage and his BP claim to represent the working class.
    They obviously do not.
    Simple.

  3. Falange is full of shit, we know. That said, anyone who comes on here claiming working class credentials is dismissed as bogus by the self-confessed middle class wum known as rh.

    Refer to him – and him ONLY – to find out who represents the working class…And he’ll tell you if you claim a working class background and voted to leave then you’re a falangist.

    1. “anyone who comes on here claiming working class credentials is dismissed as bogus by the self-confessed middle class wum known as rh.”

      Oh Toff. You’re a scream.

      Lesson No. 1 – being ‘working class’ isn’t a polite way of saying ‘dim fantasist’ – which seems to be your badge of honour as you make up various stories. My point is exactly the opposite of your self-righteous rant. As said – Labour – supporting members of the working class voted majority ‘Remain’. Unlike you. ‘Nuff said.

      Lesson No.2 – the counterpart to your simple-minded idea that class labels are about sin or virtue (Marx would have laughed his beard off at such a notion) – being ‘middle class’ isn’t something to ‘confess’. Only the fixated religious use the term, anyway. It’s a description.

      You really should stop pretending to represent the working class. It’s a bit of an insult to a large and varied group of people (who don’t all hang out in ‘ale houses’, BTW)

      1. … and of course, the support for a range of ‘anti-semitism’ tropes, and anxiety to get real socialists out of the Party lends credibility to that thesis ….

        Mmmmm ….

      2. THREE goes, this time. Boy, dicky, I musta REALLY hit the spot – again.

        Just shows how much people who consider themselves working class rankle with you; so much so that you have to write chapter and verse every time. And you claim you don’t look down your nose at people like me?

        Yer, alright then, dicky. I can think of all of three people on here – maybe four – who’ll be kidded by that one as well.

        Oh, and I’ve never claimed to represent the entire working class, neither…Nevermind write volumes on why.

      3. Toff – you couldn’t hit a barn door at 18″.

        You really are incredibly dense if you don’t get it – your pseudo ‘working class’ guff doesn’t impress – whether the utterances of a Faragist troll or a simple dimwit.

        Why you should think ‘working class’ people ‘rankle’ – you’ve misread (as usual) – it’s *wanking class* people, such as you that invade my sensitive nostrils – because of the parody they perpetuate – the ”alehouse” poseur types.

        Keep trying.

      4. RH 05/06/2019 at 5:39 pm ·

        Why you should think ‘working class’ people ‘rankle’ – you’ve misread (as usual) – it’s *wanking class* people,

        The absolute fucking state of this^^^

      5. The painful truth is, dicky, that despite your writing war & fucking peace on every instance someone mentions their working class roots, the ones who have voted leave adnrefuse a 2nd ref. have gone against your bidding MORE than any toerag EVER could.

        Of course, you’d like to think that your being a labour voter (we only have your word – and your word is seriously called into doubt with almost every post you make) gives you some sort of ‘solidarity’ with the lower classes.

        You delude yourself. It does fuck-all of the sort. Your own confessed disdain for the working class – no matter how much you plea it’s others’ ‘faux badge of honour’ or the ‘alehouse poseur types’** – grasses you up; along with your perpetual sniping at the left of the party.

        As I said, they’ve already refused to do your bidding (and continue to do so.)

        THAT’S what’s embittered you.

        **Bet you don’t even go to ‘the alehouse’ do you, pencil-neck?

    2. Gawd…There are certainly a lot of pro Remain , uncritically pro EU, Trolls (or a few Trolls posting under multiple identities) on here this morning – all spewing out the usual banal Mandelson scripted dross. I particularly like that defeatist garbage about “we live in a neoliberal global set up – so we can’t escape it – but only fight it “globally” in some unexplained way, verbiage. What this really argues , no doubt from some Lib Dem Troll, is that we all just accept the full menu of neoliberalism that the EU enforces – but hope that somehow , some mysterious social force will “fight it globally” . Sounds a bit Far Left Trot to me in overall tone, ie, “there is nothing we can do to ameliorate or combat the most extreme features of globalist neoliberalism – UNTIL the world-wide communist revolutionary Party has been built to overthrow capitalism in one go – at some far distant time”.

      For most radical reforming socialists it is quite obvious that the nation state sociopolitical form , in this case the UK, under a Left government, (the fifth largest economy in the world), could indeed significantly protect our economy and people from the worst ravages of the globalised neoliberal economy, and Labour has a very popular policy offer to do so. That’s the difference between the socialists on here compared to the rash of paid Blairite Trolls , ie, we represent the hope of millions of our citizens for a better way of running our economy and society. Whilst they think our current , hugely unequal, increasingly privatised, economy, with a crumbling NHS and sadistic treatment of the most vulnerable, locked into the permanent Austerity that the EU “balanced budgets” rules impose across all EU states, is somehow the best of all possible worlds. Only complacent, smug, personally privileged Troll scumbags could think that.

      1. Quite. What’s the point of a socialist leader, a socialist party or socialist policies if we’re surrounded on all sides by neo-liberalism? Might as well throw in the towel and give up any hope of change.

      2. Why do you do it to yourself, Penny?

        Your sad, long-winded lack of real argument betrays itself immediately with the incontinent deployment of the word ‘troll’ – like a little lad in short trousers practicing a new swear word.

        As Einstein said …

        … although, the constant ‘troll’ refrain linked to automaton drivel could indicate a *real* troll trying to take the piss out of the left.

      3. Hippy, if ‘give up’ was what you took from my post then there’s little hope of you ever achieving Nirvana.
        Unite Globally, spread the word and fight harder, fiercer and most of all smarter is my message.
        Smarter means not being deceived by the Tories into believing the EU is the sole cause of our oppression – and recognising that Global capital can fight us outside the EU as effectively as inside.
        It means activists becoming more mobile – for policy ideas and direct action to be Globalised – translated from every language to every language and shared – it means complete international collaboration between socialists because the neoliberal parasites that infest the planet have that already.
        Their agenda is identical – crush socialism wherever it pops up.
        They’re so united in their hatred and fear of us they hardly need to discuss it, though they do constantly.
        After centuries they behave as if controlled by pheromones from the hive mind.

        The UK leaving the EU is only a pimple on the arse of Global neoliberalism – but it’ll attack us with everything it’s got to prevent the spread of socialism, up to and including war.

        WHEN THE FUCK DID PEOPLE FORGET THAT?

  4. Heard a new insult today your all welcome to use
    Lazy Cockwombles
    Applies to no Dealers who ignore the 48% and red Tory snowflakes who ignore the 52%
    Any other usages ?

  5. Door knocking in Peterborough last weekend I was surprised how often people of Asian origin expressed their concerns about rising Islamophobia and the perception that only anti Semitism was an issue for the Labour Party Another lady who had been canvassing also said this had been mentioned to her.

    1. There’s an interesting item in the New Statesman (not my favourite journal) – an interview with Magid Magid -Sheffield ex-mayor and recently elected Green MEP for Sheffield.. As someone of Somali background in that city, his experience is that of seeing more racism than he experienced as a kid arriving in this country over 20 years ago.

      1. So, let me guess – it’s the fault of the ‘lexiteers’, isn’t it?

        Bet there’s LOADS of Somalis living by you, dicky?

        Whaddaya mean – NO? Poles? Czechs? Sri Lankans? Egyptians?

        There’s (small pockets of) people from those nationalities live within 1/4 mile radius of me; I (regularly, in some cases) speak to those who I know. I haven’t heard of one single instance where some knobhead has been emboldened by brexit to racially abuse them; or to put it another way – they don’t get any more abuse that they did (or might’ve expected to have done) previously or specifically because of brexit. Not from adults at any rate…

        Pissed adolescents, yes. From the immediate area? Doubtful, but not impossible.

        I’m not saying it’s NOT happening, but it doesn’t appear to be the case in my area, and I’ll refuse to believe any claim/protest that you live in an area anywhere near as diverse as mine.

  6. Wow! Hold the front page! Brexit and its backers are a front for right-wing casino finance.

    Now – there’s a surprise!

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