Following an excellent picket of the Labour Party meeting that re-affirmed Hazel Blears as the Labour Party’s candidate for Salford, the inaugural meeting of the Hazel Must Go campaign took place last week.
Around 50 Salford residents gathered to discuss what could be done to get rid of the MP.
Several local activists spoke about their campaigns to protect services, jobs and the community.
Whether it was the local council’s record on housing, education or the job cuts taking place at Salford University, working people spoke eloquently with anger.
The most moving speech came from Leigh Edmenson, the cousin of local campaigner Neil Hill.
Neil was a long-standing campaigner in Salford to stop the privatisation of council housing in the area.
Following the transfer, when huge rent rises were imposed on residents, Neil took the housing company and Hazel Blears to court.
The case was dismissed on a technicality and half an hour afterwards, the Treasury hit Neil with a £3,000 legal bill.
Two days later, Neil committed suicide.
In an email he sent to the Treasury before he died, he promised that he would haunt them for the rest of their lives for what they had done.
This is the sort of anger and hatred that Blears has created. Many of those at the meeting would have previously voted Labour. None of them will do so again.
The possibility of fielding a candidate against Blears at the next general election was raised several times – a candidate that would represent ordinary people, and one who would represent a real opposition rather than the divisive policies of the British National Party.
The campaign recognised, though, that the first stage was to build the biggest possible campaign against Blears.