Wednesday 21 December 2011
Broken Barnet: Rotten Borough Awards 2011
Mrs Angry sends her warmest congratulations to the Tory leadership, councillors and senior management team of Barnet Council, whose idiotic attempts to obstruct the relentless scrutiny of the Barnet blogosphere have resulted in a well earned citation - 'highly commended' - in the 'Legal Bullies of the Year' section of Private Eye's 2011 Rotten Boroughs' Awards.
In case you cannot read the small print, chaps, let me transcribe the commendation:
Legal Bullies of the Year
"The past year saw a growing trend for councils to use the law, or the threat of legal action, to stifle free speech and limit public scrutiny of the way elected representatives spend tax payers' money. Councils seemed particularly alarmed by the increase in 'citizen journalists' writing blogs and tweeting - and holding councils to account in ways that many local papers no longer have the balls to.
Highly commended: Tory 'easycouncil' Barnet was one authority which took fright at the interest shown in its activities by electors - in particular a busy group of bloggers. It seriously considered prosecuting one of them, 'Mr Mustard', under the data protection act, until the information commissioner told it not to be so silly. Meanwhile it hired security men dressed in black paramilitary style uniforms to intimidate members of the public who turned up for an important budget meeting. Hats off to the bloggers, in particular 'Mrs Angry', who revealed that the company, MetPro, hadn't got a proper contract, and used unlicensed, non CRB checked staff."
It only remains for Mrs Angry to emphasise that all of the Famous Five Barnet bloggers took part in the MetPro investigation - and what fun we have all had together, in the past year - so hats off too to Mr Reasonable, The Barnet Eye and Citizen Barnet.
Congratulations to our blogging friend in Camarthenshire, Jaqui Thompson (nee Evans) also known as Caebrwyn, for her award, and howay man, also to the elusive Mr Monkey, from South Tyneside.
Mrs Angry would suggest to the empty headed Tory councillors of Broken Barnet that they reflect on the significance of this award, and resolve to start the new year with a better attitude and a new commitment to the principles of transparency, accountability and openness. It's called localism, councillors of Broken Barnet: ask Eric Pickles to explain it to you, in words of one syllable.