"I'd rather put my poodle up for election than Hazel Blears" declared Victor to much applause "The only thing she's very good at is the Save Hazel Campaign…"
This set the tone of the evening as people from all over Salford aired their own grievances about the MP who won't stand down. Rita, a nursery worker, said that so many people don't know their rights – "I'm here to stand up for them"…
There were people from Langworthy who received almost nothing for their houses, complaining about Hazel's grand plan for the area - bring in Urban Splash and hand them over £20million to re-do the properties at an unaffordable sale price.
There was David Henry from Salford Youth Council, complaining that the authorities were trying to shut them down as being `undemocratic'…There was Gary Duke, recently sacked from Salford University, who has helped to expose extravagant expenses of the University bosses.
There was Steve North from the Save Our Post Offices campaign which, he said, had Hazel's backing before she went back to Parliament and did nothing. There were people talking about Hazel's hypocrisy over the Hope Hospital Maternity ward closure…There were people who had never received replies to letters sent to Hazel. There were people who had their letters to Hazel passed on to the very people they were complaining about. There were people from Wythenshawe and Wigan sharing experience from similar campaigns against their MPs…
But, most poignant, was the poem about Hazel read out by Leigh Edmenson, in memory of her cousin, Neil Hill…
We've lost faith, you can't be trusted,
Discovered secrets, they're out, you're busted,
You betrayed your people, your council's tenants,
To lose your seat must be your penance,
Come on, face your fears Blunder Blears!
Everyone at the meeting agreed that this was just the start…the petitions, the posters, the campaign was well and truly launched. Watch this space.
Photos by Steven Speed