Thursday 15 November 2012

One Barnet: the centre cannot hold - things falling apart

Warm greetings to friends at Agilisys: working on a Saturday morning? There's dedication for you. 
Or is something up? 
Do hope not.
Have a nice weekend ... xxx Mrs Angry.

Well, well. 

After a blitzkrieg of terrible publicity - an onslaught of media attention focused on the iniquitous mass outsourcing plan of One Barnet - at last, there appears to be a major faultline opening up in the very heartland of our Tory administration, here in the blighted landscape of Broken Barnet.

What makes you say so, Mrs Angry?

It seems that our quivering, quavering Tory councillors are slowly, slowly, beginning to realise the implications of what they have done, by sanctioning the progress of the One Barnet privatisation of almost all our council services. 

Yes, ok: it is rather late in the day, and yes, they should have read the reports properly, and demanded full access to the risk register, and scrutinised the whole bloody thing with  rather more application, but hey, better late than never ... and look here ... according to this story in the Guardian, and in the Barnet Press - see below - leaked emails between Mill Hill Tory councillor Sury Khatri and 'action man' Tory MP for Hendon Matthew 'Gobshite' Offord now show that there are deep misgivings among the backbench Tory councillors.

 We have no mandate, says Khatri. 


"None of the literature we distributed prior to the election mentioned one iota of this. The local people do not want this and have not been consulted, hence the vociferous reaction by residents. As councillors, we still have no details on this so how can we have campaigned that this was the best thing since sliced bread."

Oh dear, Cllr Khatri. Mrs Angry would have more sympathy, you know, had she not sat through countless council meetings where you and your colleagues kept quiet, and nodded through all the One Barnet policy decisions without question.

As councillors you are paid to question policy, and to scrutinise, and to challenge. Speak up, when you are sitting on a committee, she would suggest- and don't collect your allowances unless you are prepared to earn it.

Still, you deserve some credit for realising that, yes,  we are now on the brink of disaster and that in eighteen months time you and many of your colleagues will be losing their seats because of the idiotic, reckless scheme to which which you have committed us.

Your leader Richard Cornelius is claiming that the only consultation and approval needed from the electorate for the One Barnet programme is the election result in 2010.

Really? In Mrs Angry's view, this is rather like someone claiming that his partner has consented to being f*cked,while she was sleeping, without consent, simply by nature of having already been in a sexual relationship with the alleged rapist. Not the most convincing defence.

You might think this is an extreme analogy. 

Mrs Angry would disagree. 

In her view, the residents of Broken Barnet have been assaulted, exploited, and utterly betrayed by their elected representatives, those in whom we had placed out trust. We have been used - and abused.

Only now, when we have stood our ground, and said, very loudly, that we are not prepared to take this, have they begun to listen, and worry about their own positions. 

On Monday, the second Barnet film - "Barnet, the £1Billion Gamble" -  will be shown at a screening at the House of Commons, explaining exactly what is going on in our borough, and why the residents feel they must put so much effort into opposing One Barnet. 

Attending this screening will be Barnet resident John Sullivan, and his disabled daughter Susan, on whose behalf solicitors have now made an application for judical review of the One Barnet programme. 

John explains why he feels he has no option other than to take this course of action here: please watch it, and listen to what he has to say.


The Barnet bloggers have sent the following email to councillors today:

"Dear Councillor:

Susan Sullivan is launching a legal action to secure a judicial review of the One Barnet programme. 

As concerned Barnet residents, we believe that it is vital for the financial wellbeing of this borough that this programme is halted. 

We have seen no evidence that justifies the claims of savings, and plenty of evidence that signing 10-year contracts is highly risky. 

We do not believe that anyone knows where the economy will be in five years, let alone 10 years. 

 To illustrate the point, in 2007, nobody would have predicted the Credit Crunch, and RBS were embarking on a wreckless takeover of ABN AMRO. 

The markets and the private sector trumpeted this deal as good value for the shareholders of RBS, but it brought the organisation to its knees, and the company would have gone bankrupt had it not been bailed out by the taxpayer. 

BT, Capita and EC Harris, who are bidding for the One Barnet contracts, have nothing like the market capitalisation or financial strength that RBS was perceived to have in 2007; it cannot possibly be claimed that there is no risk. 

Gambling, speculation and risk are matters that should not be entertained in the provision of services to vulnerable people. Yet they are precisely the values at the centre of the One Barnet programme. 

As such, we fully support Susan Sullivan in her action.  Her father John Sullivan has been interviewed and gives his reasons for opposing One Barnet and helping his daughter to launch her action. We urge all Barnet councillors and every resident of Barnet to listen to John, as he eloquently sums up the reasons why One Barnet should be abandoned."

Richard Cornelius's pathetic performance at last week's public meeting; Councillor Khatri's leaked email, the outing of Brian Coleman as an opponent of One Barnet: this is the end of days, as far as the Barnet Tories are concerned. Do they know it? Some do: the rest are too stupid to see it. 

Some of those still clinging to the fraying banner of One Barnet are, ironically, those whose seats will be most vulnerable in the elections of 2014.  

Perhaps they think they have the most to lose by admitting that they have been wrong. 

This would be a grave miscalculation, if so.

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