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MEDIACITYUK EJECTS SALFORD ELECTION CANDIDATE
 

Star date: 19th April 2012

A Salford Star Exclusive

ELECTION CANDIDATE BARRED FROM DISTRIBUTING LEAFLETS

Ordsall local election candidate, George Tapp, was yesterday banned from handing out his leaflets to BBC workers at MediaCityUK which is within the Ordsall ward.

Tapp has also been stopped from handing out leaflets by the new Morrison store across Trafford Road where the streets have now been privatised. Is Salford, home of the BBC, now becoming a democracy free zone?

Full story here…


Salford Election Candidate Ejected From Media City Salford Election Candidate Ejected From Media City Salford Election Candidate Ejected From Media City
Salford Election Candidate Ejected From Media City Salford Election Candidate Ejected From Media City Salford Election Candidate Ejected From Media City
click image to enlarge

The BBC has been pointing out how it wants to engage with Salford's local community. So yesterday Ordsall local election anti-cuts candidate, George Tapp, and his agent Paul Gerrard, went to Media City, to the main piazza paid for almost entirely with public money (see here), to try and win the votes of BBC workers…

…But within three minutes of handing out their first leaflets the pair were summoned by security and taken to The Greenhouse to be told by Tony Chebrika, head of security at Media City, that their activity was not allowed on land owned by Peel Holdings.

Having been told by Gerrard that Tapp was an official candidate in the Ordsall ward which covered Media City, Chebrika stated that "the bottom line is that we don't allow leafleting or anything for any cause, or anything like that – we're more than happy for you to stand on the boundaries of the site."

When George Tapp pointed out that Salford people had paid for the `public space', Chebrika added "It's too political for me, I'm sorry, I'm just a security guard… at the end of the day the land owner is Peel Holdings and it's private property and they've decided they don't allow leafleting."

Late last year, official trade union pickets outside the University of Salford's new campus on the 30th November Day of Action were also thrown off the Media City site (see here). Meanwhile, last week the story broke that Peel Holdings security at Media City had been offering BBC workers `escorts' to their cars and tram stops.

It all seems to be an attempt to put a bubble around BBC workers, to shelter them from Salford people and events, whether they want it or not.

"The BBC is supposed to be a bastion of democracy, it's supposed to be about current affairs and there'll be through-the-night coverage of the elections" Paul Gerrard comments "Yet you can't give out a leaflet that belongs to the BBC workers."

And George Tapp points to the irony of the huge Media City BBC screens showing what is happening in Syria… "You've got people all over the world fighting for democracy, I think we'd better start in Salford. Trying to get the message over has gone in Salford."

What has happened to George Tapp and others at Media City is a reflection of the privatisation of public spaces and streets that is going on all around Salford.

Meanwhile, across Trafford Road, outside the new Morrisons supermarket in Ordsall, and around new housing build by developer LPC Living, George Tapp and Paul Gerrard were also told they couldn't hand out leaflets or set up a stall to tell people about the policies of their TUSC (Trade Union Socialist Coalition) Against Cuts party as they were on private land.

"I didn't even know this street had been privatised" says George Tapp "These companies are certainly not interested in the democratic rights of the people of Salford."

The anti-cuts party had been running its stall for weeks on the `boulevard' outside Morrisons when a couple of weeks ago security guards approached its supporters and told them it was private property.

"We'd never had any complaints from Morrisons or members of the public but they said we couldn't set up our stall or give out leaflets" says Paul Gerrard "They gave us LPC's number and I rang them but was told it was nothing to do with them and to get in touch with the management company, Savills. I sent them a polite e-mail request and was sent a curt reply saying not to show up on any part of the Morrisons' shopping area. He didn't give any further explanation."

The Salford Star has also e-mailed Savills asking reasons why permission for a genuine local election candidate to give out leaflets was refused and we are waiting for a reply.

"Basically it's because half of Salford has been sold off to private developers and streets that people think are public streets aren't" says Paul Gerrard "While you can drive on them and walk on them, you can't do political activity, especially if the company that owns them object to what you're saying - like `tax the rich', `nationalise the banks' and things like that."

George Tapp has found it impossible to campaign around virtually all the new flats in Ordsall and Media City as sections of Salford become gated off.

"We go to the high rise blocks and are told we cannot leaflet, we cannot campaign, and those people are being deprived of any information from our party" he says "Unless you're a millionaires' party where you can send things by post our message isn't getting across. You expect it in regimes like Syria, not in Salford."

Ironically, the security guards who told George Tapp and Paul Gerrard that they couldn't give out leaflets on the public piazza outside the BBC wore jackets emblazoned with the slogan `Our City, Your City, MediaCityUK'…

* George Tapp is the Ordsall candidate for the Socialist Party: TUSC Against Cuts. Other candidates standing in Ordsall are Ray Mashiter (Labour), Kate Middleton (Liberal Democrats) and David Morgan (Conservative).

The Salford Local Election takes place on Thursday May 3rd, at the same time as the Salford Mayoral Election.

andrew behan wrote
at 11:31:13 AM on Sunday, April 22, 2012
Having stood in the Ordsall Ward in 2010 I can understand the frustration of not being allowed access to these sites.I tried to canvass and leaflet in salford quays but failed to gain entry to many of the new apartments(one of which a standing Labour councillor lives in).Whilst out leafleting I never saw any other Candidate doing the hard work out and about amongst the electorate.That's because they have been using Phone Canvassing and getting in contact with the postal voters(2000+) In Ordsall Ward.This is TUSC 3rd election for Ordsall so hopefully the Postal voters will have allready received Georges Leaflet. I will try and ask what the Mayoral Candidates think about this next Thursday at BBC Media City.
 
A.P. wrote
at 11:27:05 AM on Sunday, April 22, 2012
Do we really want more of this betrayal ,People ? These arrogant Big Biznez Clowns think they own this Deadcity , and can do as they want , ably assisted by Bungle and Chums up at the Madhouse . Vast sums of OUR money is tossed away at Big Biznez , while we are forced to endure Austerity . Bungle and Chums wasted £22 Million of OUR money on the failed congestion charge bid bullshit . Council tax in this Deadcity has risen by 86% since 1997 , and is one of the highest in this Deadcountry . And WE do not benefit . Just cutbacks , and slashed services , and Peoples rights trampled on . NO MORE . Vote for Change . Vote for a massive reduction in the exorbitant council tax rip-off .No more funding for Big Biznez,Chapel Street 'regeneration' Bullshit , or any other crackpot schemes . Let's vote the CON/LIB/LAB traitors into the gutter , where they belong .
 
Ex-Labour Voter wrote
at 12:48:41 PM on Saturday, April 21, 2012
Adrian Wilkinson ranting on about a NAZI ? Which nazi ? There is no nazi standing for election , and even more important , no socialist candidate .Such a shame George Tapp is not standing .
 
Adrian wilkinson wrote
at 12:12:30 AM on Saturday, April 21, 2012
I think personally on the issue of who will be mayor, providing we don`t get a Nazi i am fine. What made Britain great was defeating their politics in world war two (personally i would not give them time of day let alone chance to be mayor).. I am sick of the attitude in life of racism and the fact foreigners are the reason the countries on its ass.. Foreigners are fabulous i know loads of people from foreign decent,I don't understand why they swapped sunkisseed beaches for here but nevertheless. The reason we are on our ass ,is dodgy politicians who have wasted billions very often on projects that don`t happen. My suspicious nature also makes me wonder with everything being privatized and good causes paid for by the lottery (where is the tax going ?) and what kind of mess would we have been in ?.. What is a concern is the level of power the new mayor will have, its open to serious exploitation. Personally i would vote a real salford person who knows the area and plenty of people in it. Vote for a foreigner lol !! they might do a better job..
 
A.P. wrote
at 2:59:55 PM on Friday, April 20, 2012
I am quite sure many of us would vote for George Tapp . Integrity , Honesty and cares about people . What a refreshing change from the usual rubbish .
 
Alice Searle wrote
at 11:29:51 AM on Friday, April 20, 2012
I am not in George Trapp's constituency but if I was I would vote for him. He has integrety, honesty and genuinely cares about people. I feel angry that he should be asked to move from the BBC, 'our voice for freedom around the world!' It must be Peel holdings because the BBC cannot send anyone away from their premises unless creating a public nuisance. Last year, when the BBC was on Oxford Road, crowds gathered weekly outside in support of the Egyptians, the Lybians and Gaza.There were flags, leaflets and loud speakers. This was a regular event and a genuine demonstration of support for democracy in these countries. It was accepted by the police, whose only suggestion was that the pavements were kept clear. So maybe we have to organise a demonstration for OUR democracy and hold it on the empty forcourt to the BBC. Don't be inhibited George. These are your rights and ours too!
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 5:05:46 AM on Friday, April 20, 2012
Jack Lynch, because it's their innate right to hand out leaflets wherever they want. If this is not making you as mad as hell then maybe you work for Peel Holdings or Morrisons or some such bunch of parasitic leeches. Just a thought does anybody think Peel fancy their chances of buying the Mayor in this election
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 5:05:29 AM on Friday, April 20, 2012
Paul - It doesn't matter whether it was Markendale Place, Trafford Road or the Quays itself! - I Know the area you speak of - and the clue is on the street sign Casually Plastered on the wall - It's a new street, adopted by the council. If you had asked the returning officer he would have probably given you a permit to canvass freely. Morrisons probably still have nightmares over the recent dispute with their contractors, and as for the landowners, all they are interested in is the sale of their property (which I note - they are selling unfinished!) If you had set up your stall inside the store - you would have probably been in the wrong...as it is - You were on a public walkway and were merely doing what people do on a regular basis in Manchester's main walkways and centres
 
Jack Lynch wrote
at 4:03:20 AM on Friday, April 20, 2012
Why don't you just put them through people's letterboxes like every other political party does rather than deliberately trying to generate artificial controversy by handing them out on private land, to people who in all likelihood don't live in your ward?
 
Paul Gerrard wrote
at 12:02:24 AM on Friday, April 20, 2012
Hi Brian F Kirkham There's a slight misunderstanding. GHeorge Tapp and I were not banned from Trafford Road but from the paved area between the Travelodge and Morrisons. If you'd like to check go to: http://www.radclyffepark.co.uk/about/progress/ and click on the 4th image labelled, as Salford Star pointed out, the Boulevard. It also has a street name, Markendale Place, I think. If you look at the image you would think for all the world it was public space - but the block paving gives it away. You're on private land. The Radclyffe Park motto is 'live, eat, shop'. Just don't try to discuss or persuade or campaign.
 
michael felse wrote
at 12:02:10 AM on Friday, April 20, 2012
I add my anger at private landowners interfering with elections. The 3 week canvasing window needs to allow access to voters where the candidate feels their best response will be secured: peacefully, courteously and in using an honest representation. Security can easily check validity with the Civic Center. While my leafleting has not met with such restriction I do think we need the Salford business community to realise their best way to show a real social responsibility it for Peel and Morrisons to issue an apology to Mr Tapp and to instead produce an easy guide sheet for election canvassers.
 
BYE BYE BUNGLE wrote
at 12:00:46 AM on Friday, April 20, 2012
This city needs somebody with George Tapp's credentials and commitment for Mayor . Somebody to sort out the skullduggery , deceit , deception , and venality . To end the council lapdog / big biznez relationship , and to put the People of this city first .
 
Aslan AK wrote
at 3:04:34 PM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
This is an insult to democracy, who are these fat cats to attack free speech? They are clearly frightened that a Socialist might win a seat on the council and have an adverse effect on their profits! PEEL HOLDINGS ARE DEMONSTRATING EXACTLY WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOCIETY. We need a Socialist alternative like George Tapp, else democracy will be dead.
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 1:31:16 PM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
I find it bloody infuriating that Peel Holdings can say who does what on their land but the public don't have the same privilege when it's the other way around. It's our environment, Peel Holdings shouldn't be allowed to use it without the express permission of the Public (with ref to the Monton Incinerator). Course, our spinelss council will find some way of ignoring the Public in Peel's favour and letting them pump toxic shit into OUR air, AND use OUR roads to do it.
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 1:30:53 PM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
Er, sorry for asking folks...isn't Trafford Road an adopted road or public right of way? If it is, there should be no problem with the action given they don't restrict access. If it isn't, It should be - given most of the services run under it and is access to not only the motorway but also the neighboring authority. As for auntie beeb and associates at Mediacity - would they be interested in voting ? They kind of live here - in the community of apartments on the quaysbut commute back home when they want to - again - to the neighbouring authorities of Trafford or elsewhere. So If any of the Mayoral Candidates want their vote - canvas midweek and leave your notices with the concierges!
 
Steve wrote
at 1:30:23 PM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
Here's an interesting article on the same theme... http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/stuart-weir/britain-is-not-just-%E2%80%98undergoing-privatisation%E2%80%99-this-is-modern-enclosure-movem
 
AU. STERITY wrote
at 1:29:49 PM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
OUR CITY , YOUR CITY - BUT NOT IF YOU'RE A SALFORDIAN , EVEN THOUGH YOU PAID FOR IT THROUGH COUNCIL TAX EXTORTION MEDIA CITY - PRIVATE PROPERTY SALFORD , KEEP OFF , SHEEPLE DEAD CITY. SALFORD CLOWNCIL GRUBBY DEALS DEPARTMENT .
 
kitestramrt wrote
at 10:17:34 AM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
I've posted this news on a popular discussion website. http://tinyurl.com/cpheoff Apparently many people are just fine with cities being slowly privatised.
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 9:07:47 AM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
@Salford Monkey - Maybe. But right now it looks like the money from my Television Tax goes to the BBC who in turn pass it on to Peel Holdings and that money not only pays their rent but is used, apparently, to eliminate free speech in what should be, for the purposes described here, a public space. If the BBC are happy in their walled garden and support this, they're complicit.
 
Salford Monkey wrote
at 6:51:25 AM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
Winston Smith: Don't blame the BBC. They're just tenants on Peel's site.
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 6:09:30 AM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
HOW STUPID DO I FEEL NOW?!? On this site I've often tried to speak up for the BBC and Media City against the local hostility against them as I thought there might, eventually, be benefits for Salford. Judging by this they really do just want some sort of bubble for themselves; a sterile gated community of their own that's cleansed of locals (presumably unless we're spending money there or cleaning their bogs). Well that's one supporter they've lost, fuck 'em.
 
Ian - OB - Obrien wrote
at 6:09:25 AM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
"the bottom line is that we don't allow leafleting or anything for any cause...." I wouldn't call running in local elections a 'cause'. But this just illustrates how far down the road from true democracy we have come. The US experiment in a society based purely on unbridled capitalism has infected every aspect of life in Britain. I personally would have refused to move and called in the national press while awaiting the arrival of the police.
 
Gareth L wrote
at 6:09:04 AM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
Why am I not Surprised! What surprises me is that someone from Salford actually got into Media City!
 
Gary Paul Duke wrote
at 6:08:59 AM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
We've become accustomed to our civil rights and political rights being trampled on by politicians of all the major political parties as they clamber over each other to prove how serious they are about imposing 'austerity'. It's given a green light to bosses to trample over workers rights, and for these corporations to try and throw their anti-democratic weight around. The above piece clearly demonstrates that one of the biggest threats to democracy and our rights, is the privatisation of the public spaces in society. This is precisely what neoliberalism means to democracy and civil liberties. In short, the brave new world offered to us by the Cleggameriband's is one where we do as we're told, pour our money into the pockets of the corporations and the corrupt, keep our mouths shut and our heads down. It's likely the next step for the coalition government will be to rush through a piece of legislation that forces us all to buy caps so we can doff them to 'our betters'. There is a solution of course. That is to say no and to carry on handing out leaflets. I for one would relish the sheer embarrassment of Peel or one of these other wealthy corporations having George Tapp arrested for the heinous crime of 'handing out leaflets' and for standing up for OUR democratic rights. It would certainly raise his profile and garner more votes.
 
hjk wrote
at 6:08:16 AM on Thursday, April 19, 2012
Not the first time: http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=1210
 
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