Derek Clark MEP speaks out as Thameslink Bombardier decision hits the coalition in Derby

From: Derek Clark MEP
Published: Mon Aug 22 2011

The controversial decision to award the £6bn Thameslink contract to a German firm – costing thousands of British jobs – has hit the Coalition badly.
A survey by Survation has revealed the extensive damage done to the Coalition by voters in Derbyshire who feel let down by the Government, which allowed the jobs to go overseas and not stay in the county with Bombardier.
UKIP Derby MEP Derek Clark said: "It is imperative the Government review the decision that Siemens be the preferred bidder - only one party other than Labour has supported the Bombardier cause, UKIP and we will continue to do so."
The survey showed:
• If there was a General Election tomorrow there would be a large swing from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats towards Labour.
• 87 per cent of people interviewed felt the Conservatives had not acted in Britain’s best interests by awarding the contract to Siemens.
• 83 per cent thought the decision can be looked at again and reviewed.
• 75 per cent said the Government had no loyalty to the people of Derby.
Mr Clark said: "I was not surprised that the Bombardier debacle has produced a surge for Labour in voting intentions at the expense of both Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – the Coalition is getting its just reward."
He said he identified strongly with the survey’s findings the Government did not support British workers.
He said: "Successive governments have destroyed the skill base of this country. They have discarded technical schools and converted technical colleges into universities but without fully preserving the technical aspects, while encouraging 50 per cent of the age range to attend university no matter what the course.
"An academic approach to research and engineering is essential, with universities in a leading role, but not in the skills needed in production.
"At the simplistic level we are now seeing imported electricians and the like coming in from elsewhere to fill the gaps left by this insane policy. Do Government ministers not know that many youngsters actually like working with their hands making things, they are not thick – it’s a different way of using intelligence.
"Since at least some MPs are not themselves un-intelligent they must know this, so why has the decline been allowed? For that we must look to the EU with its desire to swallow up the UK - encouraged by our MPs who have lost the will to govern.
"Here it must be recognised the prosperity of the country is but the sum of its parts so, for Derby, read the UK."
Mr Clark said of the five MEPs for the East Midlands he was the only one who took part in the rally and march in Derby last month.
He said: "Since I was not allowed to address the rally the people of Derby, and Bombardier workers, do not know what I have tried to do on their behalf.
"I serve on the EU Employment Committee and, on Tuesday, July 12, I took the opportunity to speak for Bombardier. This was very shortly after the news 1,200 Bombardier employees had been made redundant. There was a debate on, of all things, "Modernising Public Procurement" and I used it to speak for Bombardier emphasising the job losses and the corrupt record of Siemens. I clearly said that, had I been on the panel awarding the contract for Thameslink, Siemens would not have got within a million miles of preferred bidder status.
"That was followed by my Written Question to the Commission asking for further examination and to enquire into the "propriety of the award to Siemens". So far I have received only delaying tactics by the Commission in spite of my repeated replies to them.
"Dealing with the job losses at Bombardier is, of course, very much in the hands of the two Derby City MPs, both of whom are working hard to put things right. However, in their speeches at the rally both they, and Bob Crow of the RMT, were highly critical of the EU. They spoke of the way continental firms were able to secure virtually all such contracts for their home industries whereas UK firms in sticking to the letter of the Internal Market Rules lost out.
"This means there is a substantial EU involvement in all of this and I wanted to say that this is where I, as an MEP, comes in. As the only East Midlands MEP to show an interest, I wanted to tell the people of Derby what I had been trying to do for them. "
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