Yes, it's true: Mrs Angry has been asked to write a blog for Boris Johnson.
How could she refuse?
As you know, Lynton Crosby, Boris' fearsome Aussie spin doctor, and Mrs Angry, fearsome Finchley blogger, are on first name basis now, and he likes to send her emails, you know, to keep her on message re Boris' campaign & all that. It's all going awfully well so far, we think. Good, good. Doing my bit. Anyway, yesterday, again, checking out her junk email folder Mrs Angry found - hello - two interesting messages, one suggesting Mrs Angry might like someone's opinion on her 'non -guilty pleasure ideas' (she would, as it happens, or even guilty ones) and another equally enticing request from City Hall:
"There are 6 months to go until Londoners head to the polls. Our city will come to a crossroads; do we continue to move forward under Mayor Boris Johnson, or do we allow Ken Livingstone to take us back to the past?
Ever since Boris was elected, he has worked hard to deliver for this city and for every one of the 32 boroughs. So we've launched a new campaign - Boris In Your Borough.
This is a 32 day look at what the Mayor has delivered right across London, from putting more police on the streets and investing in transport to supporting local high streets, keeping council tax low and growing the London economy ...
... So far residents in Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Harrow, Lambeth, Bexley and Southwark have shared their views and we'd love to hear from you.
**Submit a blog about your borough by emailing email@example.com and tell London what's changed in your area since Boris was elected and what you love about your patch**"
Stand by your beds.
Boris was elected in 2008. Let's see: what were his election promises, can anyone remember? No. Did he visit Barnet during his campaign? Might have, on a flying visit. Has he been back since? Not that I recall, apart from a visit to Temple Fortune police station in the company of Brian Coleman, who was being released into the care of a responsible adult, or something.
Erm. And what have you done, Boris, for Barnet since 2008? I think we dealt with that in the previous post.
Oh and then there was the totally unnecessary £400k grant to the already affluent Chipping Barnet high street, the home of the Barnet Tories' association office, rather than, say, those in Burnt Oak, West Hendon, Colindale, Friern Barnet, Finchley Central, North Finchley etc, which are in Labour wards, and not in need of a vote winning mayoral handout. Fighting crime? You've taken away SNT police sergeants, despite the huge increase in burglary and the frightening fact that knife crime in this borough has gone up this year by a staggering 46%. Transport? Thank you for the fare increases, and the threat to remove staff from tube stations. Nobody here benefits much from your expensive bike scheme in town, if at all, and only a few sad old men in anoraks will give a toss about your new buses.
Of course when you were elected, Boris, you came with an added extra, didn't you? Since then we have been stuck with your Tory colleague, our GLA member, Brian Coleman. Do you remember, when he was elected, his graceless and provocative acceptance speech, attacking his Labour rival, and announcing 'the king of bling is back' before storming off, accompanied by his mum?
Oh dear, all the trouble he has caused since then ... let's see: the matter of those embarrassing taxi fares in 2008 ... and then the refusal to publish details of his expenses in 2009, do you remember, Boris? You were obliged to force him to do it, after he stated:
"I won't do it voluntarily. It's none of the public's business", and that "Politicians with lower expenses tend to be the politicians who do least work. Those with higher expenses are the ones who do most work."
Andrew Dismore, Brian's much feared new Labour rival for next year's election, is of the opinion that Brian could do rather more work in order to earn those expenses, you know. He has published a series of responses to FOI queries about correspondence by Brian Coleman on behalf of constituents, relating to key issues such as housing, and transport: as Andrew says:
"Just what is he doing for the salary and allowances he receives as a Councillor and Assembly member? Time and again, the response to FoI requests has been the same: he seems to be a complete stranger to pen and paper or computer keyboard. People of Barnet and Camden have been let down by Mr Coleman’s failure to stand up for them on these vitally important issues."
Now the election is looming, you seem to be less than keen to be associated with Brian, for some reason, but here in Broken Barnet and Camden, we do not have that luxury: we are lumbered with him, at least until next May. You could have ignored him, when you were elected Mayor: in an example of your questionable political judgement, however, you chose to appoint him to chair the London Fire Authority. A strike predictably ensued, after severe provocation, which was supported by Londoners,as it turned out, as their sympathies lie with our hard working firefighters, you know, Boris, rather than the luncheon loving Chair who made remarks about firefighter union members who were 'thugs and bullies' . Remember this:
‘Most of the union officials, if they had half a brain cell, they’d be dangerous. Most of them are thick, can’t string a sentence together and, frankly, are incoherent.’In 2009, Coleman had signed a contract with Assetco, a company which has offered generous hospitality to Brian in the past, but has been in financial turmoil for most of this year, resulting in enormous uncertainty for the service, and now we hear even more privatisation of our emergency services is planned. We don't want this, by the way, in case you were wondering, from Serco, or anyone else. Surely Assetco proves the point that a private company cannot make profit from a public service, and especially an emergency service?
But what else has changed in my area? Let's see ... here in Tory Barnet we started off, in 2008, with leader Mike Freer, now a local Tory MP. Oh dear, whoops: under his watch we lost £27 million pounds in the Icelandic collapse: Private Eye, a journal of inestimable discernment, named Mr Freer as their Banker of the Year. Undeterred, in 2009, this political genius, after his immersion in the BT Vital Vision programme, came up with the 'easycouncil' idea, a model for local government, not as he liked to imply, a model unique to Barnet, but a conveyor belt production from the private sector friendly school of thought promoted by SOLACE, BT - and various private sector friendly companies performing on the global stage.
Easycouncil sloughed off its skin to become the folly known as Futureshape, and Futureshape has itself metamorphosed into the mutant creature that is One Barnet. Funnily enough, only recently, Boris, you were given the opportunity to endorse the mass outsourcing agenda of One Barnet, but you declined the offer, with an unseemly scowl.
Still: here in my patch, in Broken Barnet, in May 2010, we elected another Tory council. As soon as they were in power, do you know what they did? At the same time as telling the residents they were about to impose a budget of savage cuts in public spending, huge reductions in vital services and compulsory redundancies for council staff, guess what? The Tory members all voted themselves nice fat pay rises. Except for one woman, who was subjected to vilification and bullying by her colleagues, just for sticking to her principles, a notion unheard of in the Conservative group of Barnet Council.
This was a declaration of war, Boris. Which brings me on to the last part of question: what do I love about my patch?
I love the fact that here in Broken Barnet, we are not lying down and taking this shit from you and your Tory colleagues. We have had enough, and we are standing up for ourselves. On our patch, as it happens, we have produced a school of blogging, a chorus of citizen journalists who are bearing witness to the terrible things being done to our community by the Tory leadership and senior management of this council. What we write about may not be entirely to your liking, or to your advantage. Your Tory colleagues don't like what we write either, and have tried to shut us up, and they have failed, unfortunately.
So don't bother coming round here to open some Chipping Barnet high street Christmas light display, or the Boris Valley green walk: you won't fool anyone, even if you keep Brian Coleman out of the picture. You're not interested in this borough, or anything other than your own political career.
Here on our patch, in the spirit of localism, we have taken matters in hand, and frankly, Boris: you're not welcome in these parts.
Clear off, why don't you, and take your little fat friend with you back to City Hall?
We might even pay the price of a taxi fare, if you promise not to bring him back.
Was this what you had in mind, Lynton?
Mrs Angry x
PS: Mrs Angry has just found the perfect antidote to the BackBoris rubbish: look away now, Mr Lynton 'Bing' Crosby.