Mr Campbell loves to fight the class war. Indeed, I remember when he was first elected in 1987, he made a big fuss about accepting only an "working class" wage, rather than the pay of an MP. That was quietly dropped and more recently the expenses scandal drove him to offer to repay thousands he claimed for purchases bought in shops that most of us would regard as not normally frequented by the "working classes".
Anyway Mr Campbell's most recent move has been to attack Lib Dem run Northumberland County Council for supporting an equestrian event which he dubbed "a weekend for toffs". So, what is all the fuss about?
The County Council has provided a grant from the Government's Working Neighbourhood Fund of £80,000 to support the equestrian event in rural Northumberland. So that means the event had to be agreed by the government in the first place. The benefit to the local economy of this event is great. 5,000 visitors buying local services and staying in local hotels. Think of the jobs. Think of the extra money ringing through the tills of local businesses.
Mr Campbell doesn't think of them. He said, "It is a weekend out for toffs...making sure the rich and the so-called elite of the county have a good weekend out."
He then suggested the money could be spent on care of the elderly and disabled. That of course would not be allowed by his own government. The money can only be spent on activities that boost employment.
The area where the event will be held is very rural. Equestrian businesses are important to the local economy, as are hotels and other tourist centres. Mr Campbell may look back in sorrow at the loss of the old, heavy industries but the world has moved on. Mr Campbell hasn't and he prefers to fight a class war rather than work with the local council to help find new jobs in the real world.
I'm glad to see that Northumberland Council's leader, Jeff Reid, put the boot in on Mr Campbell this morning. And it's time to scrutinise much more Mr Campbell's claims, words and actions more closely. Watch this space!
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