Thursday, 1 November 2012

Brian Coleman: we are lemmings heading for the cliff - dump One Barnet

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15.7

Mrs Angry, of course, is always right. About everything. 

And she likes to be proved right, about everything. 

One Barnet, for example. Hasn't she been banging on about it not being an awfully good idea, for quite some time? Yes, she has. Along with anyone else with an ounce of common sense, which of course excludes the vast majority of Tory councillors here in the London Borough of Broken Barnet. 

Ah, but: here is some good news. There is one Tory councillor who may not have much sense, but has now outed himself as a One Barnet sceptic. No, Mrs Angry, no: a former Tory councillor, by the name of Brian Coleman. Oh yes: he has, really.

You may recall that after last week's meeting, chaired by our Brian, Mrs Angry observed that for all his faults, Coleman was a pragmatist, and knew that One Barnet was doomed. Fast forward to today here in the Barnet Press is a simply stunning piece of treachery by the man who has just been suspended by the national Conservative party:

Oh dear. Oh dear me: warning - if you are suffering from delicate health, like Mrs Angry, reading this may lead to a potentially fatal fit of coughing and indignation: Mrs Angry's comments in red.

Brian Coleman: 'One Barnet should be scrapped'

Something has happened in the last few months in Barnet. Residents have been taking an interest in the way Barnet Council is proposing to operate in future , the so-called One Barnet scheme.

One Barnet, if it goes ahead, would fundamentally change the way the council is run. It is a New Labour idea - 

WHOAH: Steady on there, Brian, excuse me: sorry: 


One Barnet, the infamous 'easycouncil' model created and so relentlessly pushed by your chum and my local Tory MP, Mr Mike Freer? 

The mass privatisation of council services, £1 Billion worth of council services, is a New Labour concept?

however, the concept of council, police, fire brigade, NHS and the voluntary sector delivering services jointly fell apart as the cuts agenda focused minds and turned opinion against grandiose reorganisation.
However Barnet Council ploughed on regardless of the changing political environment.

The opinions of sceptical Conservative councillors were brushed aside by promises from officers (and the revolving door of endless consultants) of massive savings. 

Promises from officers ... endless consultants ... With you on that one, Brian: you been reading my blog? 

The fact that most Conservative councillors had their doubts was lost as the trade unions bombarded councillors with emails attempting to protect their members terms and conditions. This campaign just drove Conservative councillors into the arms of the officers on the basis that if the unions were against it the scheme must be good news.

Most Conservative councillors had their doubts, but these were repressed purely because trade unions 'bombarded' them with emails simply out of a selfish need to protect their own livelihoods? Yes: that's a convincing excuse.
Council leader Richard Cornelius, a One Barnet sceptic, met with officers in January and the promise of savings seduced him. 

Not sure we want to think about the seduction of Councillor Richard Cornelius, but he has consistently refused to consider any of the clear evidence undermining the arguments for One Barnet, including the lack of proof that any of the savings will materialise.

The rest of the Conservatives, including me, fell into line.

Since when have you ever 'fallen into line' with anything, or anyone? Such meek compliance with a policy you claim to have rejected is unbelievable.

Then in August came the bombshell of a possible of a joint venture, something never mentioned before, and the leader of the council's anger could be heard all the way from his holiday home in France.

Quite: something else to thank the bloggers for exposing, as you and your colleagues were too stupid and lazy to notice.

Then followed the unexplained sudden departure of Barnet's chief executive Nick Walkley. Why leave if One Barnet is going to be a stunning success? 


Many Conservative councillors feel they are powerless to stop this officer-driven juggernaut or as one senior Conservative put it - we are lemmings heading for the cliff. 

We are as of one mind, Brian ... let me help you over the edge, with the toe of my boot ...

The council needs to dump this flawed scheme and introduce a proper strategy which assesses where services belong, whether that is the private sector, shared services with other boroughs, the voluntary sector or indeed occasionally in-house - a mixed economy is what is needed. For example, I don't know any councillors who agree we should privatise the planning department. 

Erm ... have you actually ... no ... you have, haven't you ..? You've been reading all this stuff we've been bombarding you with ... 

Conservatives are pragmatic
... hello: 'pragmatic' ... copyright Mrs Angry ... and anyway the concept of One Barnet is fundamentally un-Conservative and ignores localism. 

Brian Coleman: you wouldn't understand what localism if Eric Pickles sat you on his lap and lovingly whispered the entire contents of the bill into your little piggy like ear.

 It is totally New Labour, in fact. Oh stop it.

The time has come to dump One Barnet and return to core local government values and make sure this particular turkey does not see Christmas!

The Barnet Bugle reported last night that Coleman is rumoured to have taken offence at the exclusion from a Barnet Conservative mailing list, reminding his erstwhile colleagues that no one can tell him he is no longer a Conservative on the council ... ooh er. Yes they, can, Brian, if they are called Grant Shapps.

And so, predictably, here is the enfant terrible of Tory Barnet, having a tantrum, throwing the toys out of his One Barnet pram. The fact that he has chosen to keep such profound criticisms of the privatisation plans silent until a personal motive for expression has emerged tells you all you need to know about his integrity as an elected member of the residents of this borough. The question now is: what effect will this vengeful outburst have on the rest of his quivering colleagues, and how will Barnet leader Cornelius survive the onslaught now, just before the vote of confidence? 

Oh: news just in - a Cabinet meeting has been called for tonight: how very interesting ...


Mr Mustard said...

Two points Mrs Angry:

1. If the One Barnet edifice crumbles to dust, as seems likely, where does that leave our esteemed (not very good at English, esteemed does mean utterly uninterested doesn't it?) external auditor Mr Paul Hughes? and to answer my own question; with Felix Baumgartner I think, and without a parachute (good morning Paul!)

2. Councillors are not appointed, and don't get fat pay cheques, in order to "fall into line". You get appointed councillors in order to represent our interests. That means if something, like One Barnet, is an obvious turkey, you don't simply swallow it because your coleagues like turkey and you prefer chicken (oops, bad analogy alert, you are chickens).

Anonymous said...

...a lovely piece of propaganda by Mr C.. !!
The blatant "Not me Guv'" tactic is laughable, like a child caught red handed who still attempts to slither his way out, forgetting you've seen the whole thing... By trying it on, Mr C has shot himself in the foot: Councillors are elected to be in charge, over the officers, to approve or reject major decisions. If their judgement was so "twisted" by the officers then they are incompetent and not fit to control the Council.