Thursday 22 July 2010

The Battle of Barnet

I hope the Tory councillors of Barnet have woken up this morning to find their local newspapers sitting on the doormat.

I hope that they have picked them up, trotted off to have their breakfast, and sat down to have a nice leisurely read, whilst informing themselves, as all good councillors should, of the latest local events and opinions.

Oh dear.

Not good is it?

In fact, in all my years of living in this borough, I can in all honesty say I have never seen or heard anything like it. I can't remember such a violent reaction to a local issue as the intense fury and utter disgust expressed in the papers - and elsewhere - over the scandalous allowances rises our shameless councillors have just voted themselves.

It seems that most of the letters are largely by people who are not particularly politically motivated, or used to writing to the press to express their feelings; many of them ordinary, loyal Conservative voters who simply feel betrayed by what they see as a complete breach of trust.

The Tories in Barnet have made a very, very serious mistake.

How they came to make such a grave misjudgment is puzzling. Whose idea was it? It seems not to have been a collective move, as Tory group members had to be whipped into line, like the callow weaklings they evidently are. So the leadership of the group, the cabinet members, or some of them, must have pushed for it. Why? And why now? After the vote in March which had apparently already settled the annual rate? Were they so arrogant that they thought they could sneak this new allowance hike in without anyone noticing, or caring? Did they think they could take this step with the approval of the government and their own central party leadership?

Did they care? Or has the Big Society already reached the London Borough of Broken Barnet? Are our councillors taking their brief from Dave and empowering themselves with rather more local autonomy than was intended?

Almost as bad as the vote itself has been their secretive management of the proposal, the sneaking of the item onto the agenda at the last minute, allowed on the dubious basis of 'urgency' - and then their subsequent behaviour. The vindictive political battering of the one councillor who dared to abstain. The ruthless stifling of debate on the issue at the council meeting. The farce at the Residents' Forum. All throughout this grubby business we have had to sit back and watch the democratic process being shamelessly used and abused.

Well, blessed are the peacemakers: Mrs Angry would like to offer a positive way forward out of all this nasty conflict. It's quite simple. If, as has been suggested, the residents of Barnet are 'delighted' to reward their councillors with wads of extra cash, let's give them a chance to express their warm approval.

I call on every Tory councillor who voted for this new pay rise to resign from their seats and oblige us to have a series of by elections. If you deserve to be re-elected, you will be, and if the residents of your ward feel any less than delighted with your actions, you can all f*** off down to the job centre.

Can't say fairer than that, can you?


Don't Call Me Dave said...

Cllr Coleman once said that if he wasn’t a politician, he would only be able to get a job stacking shelves in Tesco’s. I’m not entirely certain about this, but don’t think there are many shelf stackers on £125,000 a year. However, I am willing to help him find out come the next election, which for him is in 2012 (GLA) unless the Conservative Party comes to its senses and refuses to allow him to stand.

Mrs Angry said...

Shelf stacking for Tescos though,apart from being on a pay scale that would barely cover a councillor's expense claims, would require the ability to work as part of a team, to work quickly and efficiently, an understanding of time management, and a willingness to undertake physical effort. How many of our Tory councillors would be able to fill that job spec?

ainelivia said...

Hear, Hear Mrs A, I heartily agree with your suggestion, would that it will happen...