Thursday, 19 April 2012

Steve Reed caught out trying to make political capital from Brixton market

Leader of Lambeth council Cllr Steve Reed has had to change public statements he made, after he tried to make political capital out of Brixton Market.

The story begins a couple of days ago, when the Prime Minister attacked Lambeth Council for wasting £30,000 on a statue. The wasting of money is something that Lambeth Council is particularly sensitive to, as it has a particularly poor track record in the this respect. The wastage also seems to be continuing, with for example expenditure of £9,000 on five olive trees in Clapham recently.

Cllr Steve Reed tried and turn this into an attack on the regeneration of Brixton market itself (where the statue is located) and responded with a blog: "Cameron attacks the transformation of Brixton Market."

I, like many people, am no fan of David Cameron. In fact I challenged him publicly during the last general election campaign over his plans for disabled children. But I was amongst those who contacted Steve Reed, suggesting that it was wrong to try and make political capital out of Brixton market in this way. This clearly wasn't an attack on the market, whichever way you look at it, and to pretend otherwise it just dishonest.

"What a shame the Prime Minister has chosen to play narrow-minded party political games."
suggests Steve Reed. But of course, Steve Reed has done exactly what he accused David Cameron of doing.

And it seems that I am not alone in my feelings. The comments under his own blog post raised similar concerns about his political opportunism. The result is that Steve Reed has quietly changed the blog. Rather than "Cameron attacks the transformation of Brixton market" it became Cameron attacks sculpture that’s part of the transformation of Brixton Market. (Hat Tip to @mein_crustacean )

Doesn't quite have the same ring to it...

[Update 19/04/2012 12.10 pm Steve Reed now appears to have deleted many of the unfavorable comments under his blog. So much for democratic debate!]

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