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Put Woolworth’s in public ownership and turn into People’s Woolies’

PUBLISHED: 00:21 02 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 05 October 2010

Dear Editor, WOOLWORTH’S would have celebrated a century of trading in this country next year, but has succumbed to this terrible credit crunch. The Government could turn it into a People’s Woolies, employing local people, buying from local producers and ensuring it provided services and goods people on low incomes need. The alternative is to allow the vultures to pick it apart for their own profit

Dear Editor,

WOOLWORTH’S would have celebrated a century of trading in this country next year. It has survived two world wars, the 1930s Great Depression and the oil shocks of the 1970s.

But it has finally succumbed to this terrible credit crunch.

Woolworth’s is one of the first shops I ever remember going to. Although it has changed somewhat since I was a child, it still provides cheap goods, from sweets and toys, to kids’ clothing, DVDs and CDs, kitchen hardware and other useful items, predominantly to those on lower incomes.

Just as importantly it employs 30,000 people nationwide, including a significant number in the East End, at Bethnal Breen Road and Roman Road market in my constituency, where we are already feeling the adverse effects of the meltdown in the banking industry.

Woolworth’s ought to be on Business Secretary Lord Mandelson’s list of companies which the Government should intervene to save, as a matter of urgency. It is on sale for just a £1.

Although there would be additional costs to keep it as a going concern, the Government could turn it into a People’s Woolies, employing local people, buying from local producers and ensuring it provided the services and goods people on low incomes need.

The alternative is to allow the vultures to pick it apart for their own profit.

The Government has been moving in the right direction in response to the credit crunch—but not nearly fast or far enough.

Now it needs to bite the bullet and take Woolies into public ownership to show it really does mean to try and stop the worst effects of this mother of all recessions.

George Galloway (Respect)

MP for Bethnal Green & Bow

House of Commons

Westminster


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