Is Rooker still not in the driving seat..?

ASDA – owned by town centre cleanser Wal-Mart – has bought 12 former Safeway stores in Northern Ireland. It promises to use locally-sourced produce – although the terms and conditions were not, of course, mentioned. Regardless, should Asda/Wal-Mart decide to expand into the green belt, it is unlikely to meet any opposition from NIO Minister Lord Rooker – who seems happy to ignore planning refusals recommended by local civil servants.

But then Labour is heavily influenced by the vested interests of some of its own members, and has gone out of its way to assist the larger superstores in GB – to the detriment of town centres, local producers, some of the workforce and independent retailers. Business is big business for Labour. Wal-Mart dwarfs even Tesco, and knows it can lobby for whatever it likes. It wouldn’t be here otherwise.

Perhaps Lord Rooker will find, as he noted in a previous life as an agriculture minister powerless to bring about a moratorium on GM crops, that he is no longer in the driving seat.

  • Alan

    Geoffrey Donaldson was in very quickly with his support for the Sprucefield development. I wonder if the DUP is starting to flex its muscles.

    Now what is happening with the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee? Did someone suggest there’d be no committee until October, surely not?

  • Peter Reavy

    Asda opening up here is great news for Northern Ireland. The competition will drive supermarket prices down. Every shopper will be that bit better off and hence richer in real terms, even before we consider the jobs Asda may create.

    Jeffrey Donaldson welcomed the John Lewis development, but unfortunately he was not joined in that welcome by all of his party. His DUP colleague Sammy Wilson’s name was on the one-page advertisment taken out to ask the Secretary of State to stop John Lewis from coming to Sprucefield. Wilson should be ashamed of himself on that count.

    And since that advert also contained many other local politicians’ names, we have to ask ourselves whether these politicians are prepared to act in our interests. Or whether they prefer to act in favour of special interest minority groups instead, like the traders in Belfast and Lisburn city centres.

    Because if local politicians are not prepared to act for us in defending such developments as the John Lewis one, then perhaps something is true which we would prefer not to face: better to have the unelected Lord Rooker in charge of the local economy rather than an extravagant assembly that offers only protectionism instead of economic development.

  • Newton Emerson

    Sorry to piss on a great conspiracy theory but the John Lewis decision at least seems clean, as the John Lewis Partnership doesn’t make political donations.