Q: Councillor X - what is 'easyBolics'?
A: Thank you for asking, Mrs Angry - 'easyBolics' is my new political model for local government here in Broken Barnet. It is a diabolical combination of idiotic economic theory, seamlessly combined with a one size fits all, no-nonsense return to traditional values, a patronising, inappropriate and inhumane experiment in social engineering.
Q: What sort or shape of future does this new model bring to the citizens of our borough?
A: The darkest of dawns, a bleak apocalyptic end to everything you hold dear, and a sharp increase in the fines on overdue library books.
Q: Dear God, did anyone vote for this?
A: Oh yes, I am afraid they did, Mrs Angry.
Q: What inspired you to create this fiendishly clever new political concept? Was it a desperate desire for attention in order to distract people from the mistakes of your previous political career?
A: No, it was partly for a laugh, to see what I could get away with, but mostly because for some time now I have felt that I am a divine being, with super human powers, and capable of performing miracles.
Q: Er .... what?
A: Well, I was lying on a bench in Tally Ho one morning, knocking back a can of Pilsner, when out of nowhere an interesting thought popped into my head: What would happen if I was dictator of Broken Barnet, and could run it the way I think it should be run ... what would be the most ridiculous idea I could try to impose on the electorate? Something with a snappy soundbite catchphrase, but ludicrously unworkable? 'Better services for less money', said a voice in my head. 'Don't be silly,' I laughed: that's impossible: and who is to quantify better, anyway? Better than what? Better than nothing?' 'Details, details,' said the voice, 'You can do anything, if you want to, or at least you can pretend to, which is the art of political spin, is it not, Councillor X?'
Hmm, so I started thinking ... after all, the good Lord turned water into wine, and fed the five thousand with a couple of loaves and fishes ... why shouldn't I be able to do the same? Since early childhood, you see, I have begun to realise that I have extraordinary wisdom and talents: and like all good politicians, I have always realised that I am not like ordinary people, and yet always know better than they what is good for them. This is why, for example, my colleagues and I prefer to travel by sedan chair around the streets of Broken Barnet, carried by grateful citizens, rather than be expected to use public transport with dirty people. Equally, and is only fitting, we naturally require a higher standard of nutrition than ordinary citizens and expect a suitable and regular amount of public banquets, free lunches and dinners, and, wherever possible, a steady regime of sponsored 'factfinding' trips to warm and sunny resorts in perhaps Cyprus, Florida or indeed anywhere with a four star hotel.
Q: Yes, we've noticed, but have any of you had any proven success in the real world, in the areas of business, finance or economics?
A: Obviously, like most who enter politics, I myself am doing so only because I cannot hack it in the private sector and wish to hide my failings in a life allegedly dedicated to public office.
Q: Then how do you know that easyBolics is a workable economic policy?
A: But that hardly matters: by the time everyone has realised it doesn't work it will be too late, and anyway we can always blame all failures on some senior officer and sack'em.
Q: Well, could you give us some examples of how easyBolics will work in reality? Bearing in mind that your own group leader was interviewed on the BBC and was totally unable to present a coherent explanation of the theory?
A: Sadly, you ladies do so often fail to reach the giddy heights of intellectual brilliance worthy of a male politician like myself. But let me try to make it simple enough for even you to understand, Mrs Angry, bearing in mind that I hear you still struggle with the concept of the offside rule ... Take our new housing policy. According to easyBolics, social housing should be absolutely restricted only to those in the direst need, and even then, only those in dire need who are also prepared to tip their caps, grovel, abase themselves and prove that they are worthy of charity. In other words, a return to the oft mocked Victorian idea of the virtue of the deserving poor, and the innate evil of the feckless, shiftless, undeserving poor who must be punished for their sins. Let the sins of the father be visited upon their children, we say.
Homeless families who refuse to support easyBolics values, or are a pain in the arse costing us a lot of money and social support, we will naturally dump in private accommodation via the easyBolics Slumchoice scheme, in which, as you know from personal experience, Mrs Angry, unscrupulous landlords can be matched with antisocial or even entirely innocent vulnerable families, who are in no position to complain about their living conditions. As long as they are no longer our responsibility, and the longest housing waiting list in the country is dismantled and cut, who cares?
Q: Heartwarming. And what do you have in store for the elderly residents of Broken Barnet?
A: Clearly I am immortal as well as divine, so I shall not myself be in need of residential care at any point in the future, and if my own elderly relatives require such assistance I shall merely move them to a home in another borough, or maybe far away by the seaside so I don't have to visit too often.
So I really don't care very much what happens to anyone else: serves them right for being old and causing long queues in the post office. In line with correct easyBolics thinking, however, we will be encouraging residents to look after themselves in the future, and stop being dependent on others like some form of nasty parasite. Elderly residents who cannot afford the £1,000 upgrade Priority Class level of easyBolics corporate services will be therefore expected to provide their own care: taking turns to share warden duties, empty wheelie bins, and sweep the streets. They may also be placed on pot hole filling duties, if and when we have a recurrence of last year's cold snap.
Q: Some might say, Councillor X, that my feeble attempt to parody your revolutionary approach to local government is almost impossible as the real thing is hardly any more credible ...
A: Is this a parody? No - I'm not having that. I must not be mocked. Stop writing. Let me out.
Q: You don't exist: you are merely a composite of everything I find most despicable in the lunatic behaviour of certain Tory councillors here in Broken Barnet. So sit there and listen. Last week we read that while we are being told that an easyBolics council is about to make radical cuts in spending on essential services, £300, 000 is being spent in creating three new senior officer posts by your administration, in order to, um, save money ... and yesterday, as the Chancellor was laying out his austerity budget and informing hard working public sector workers of pay freezes, one of your colleagues was proudly announcing a 9% rise in his allowance as Leader of the Greater London Toad Protection Project ...
A: This is an outrageous accusation.
Q: But is it true?
A: Of course.
Q: Then clearly there is no point in trying to sustain this parody any longer.
Pure Genius. Mrs Angry should run for public office.
but Dave,just look at the feckin eejits I would have to mix with: couldn't do it ...
We THE PEOPLE OF BARNET have had enough - enough of the lack of action by those who represent us.
The Council fund the POLICE with tens of millions of pounds - what do they get for that ? Are we safer ? are those who commit crime under any threat ? NO. From our experiences in Mill Hill the POLICE swan around all day in cars with sirens blaring and generally pick on "techicalities" with those going about their lawful business.
When it comes to ANTI SOCIAL behaviour on our streets the POLICE are not even there - dont turn up and then make up excuses why they cant do anything.
With the HENDON TIMES reporting "Years of lawlessness" from one 16 year old who has terrorised an estate with his mates - where were the POLICE and COURTS ? why was this individual not stopped ? why was he not prosecuted ? if a middle aged driver had put one wheel on the kerb they would have been taken to court - if a middle aged woman exceeded the speed limit by 3 miles per hour she would have ended up in court.......WHY ? do the laws only seem to apply to decent people who cause no problem to anyone else ?
The POLICE and COUNCIL must shoulder the blame for BROKEN BARNET. It is time they came down hard on criminals and left the general public alone. It is time the POLICE got out of their cars and WALKED the streets of BARNET in the evenings and became a deterrent to ASBO youths.
ASBOS are worthless unless the POLICE are on the street on the beat. If they are in their cars with radios up high they would not even notice an ABSO kid blowing up a house........
It is TIME FOR THE BLOGGERS OF BARNET and the MEDIA in BARNET to get behind MRS ANGRY. We are ALL part of the "Angry Family" now - we have been pushed to our limit.
We must have change and it is up to our NEW COUNCIL to listen to us - the majority ( Silent for far too long ) and make our BOROUGH a safe and lovely place again before it goes the way of places like Enfield/Edmonton which are virtually no go areas in the evenings now.
Hello Broadway Blogger: as I understand it, policing is funded partly by council tax but mostly by central government. As you may know, that nice Mr Cameron, who, pre election, felt such anguish about 'Broken Britain' has just announced cuts in police numbers and courts too. As things stand, funding is insufficent to deal with ASB effectively: this new round of cuts will only make things worse. The problem in Barnet is that there is clearly a lack of interest by the local authority in working in partnership with the police to tackle ASB. Last year, for instance, the council abolished the only ASB officer post.
Like you, I was infuriated by the story in the local Times about the youth who has been causing so much trouble for so long. You may have noticed a friend of his claiming his behaviour is due to his 'ADHD' and 'conduct disorder'. Although we do not know the personal details of this case I really despair at hearing this excuse yet again for lack of previous effective intervention: as in our experience, the perceived rights and needs of the perpetrators of the trouble are being put before the welfare of the victims. This might seem strange in a Tory borough, but then this is a strange Tory borough: I suspect that this sort of weird tolerance of ASB is due more to a reluctance to commit resources to the issue rather than any PC reverence for understanding the personal issues of the trouble makers. In other words, it's cheaper to take the 'support' route than it is to take them to court. And that, my fellow citizens, is how we have ended up in Broken Barnet.
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