Monday 28 February 2011

Barnet Council vs The People - Hugh Rayner - Barnets Tinpot Dictator

If you wanted to know just how out of touch Barnet Council are with the people, watch this video. In it, Councillor Hugh Rayner, chair of the Business overview and scrutiny committee rudely barks at the Barnet Eye for having the audicity to try and make the functions of the committee more accessble. I was filming because I was asked if I could video the work of the committee in relation to Sheltered Housing for a Housebound "victim" of the warden cut. Unlike our councillors, I believe that such people have a right of participation -

(Here is the legal opinion - )

As you will hear, Hugh Rayner announces that it is up to the chairman (him) to decide if the proceedings can be recorded and he won't. When I try and explain that I have a legal and democratic right to do this he just keeps shouting over the top. Eventually when he realises that I may have a point he asks a member of democratic services to help him. She gives a non answer. In actual fact, we'd sought legal advice before I entered the council chamber. There is nothing in the constitution which forbids video recording or broadcasting. A letter is being sent to Barnet tomorrow. At tomorrow nights full council meeting, an army of residents armed with recording devices will turn up.

Given that no one noticed I was recording for 7 minutes, there can be no question that I interfered with the process. I only uttered a word when Rayner decided to stop me recording. I tried to be polite and respectful to him ( a courtesy he did not afford me). I handed a letter to the committee explaining that Rayner was a disgrace and that he'd infinged the rights to participate of a disabled resident affected by the cuts. As far as I am concerned Hugh Rayner behaved more like a tinpot dictator than a councillor elected to represent the people. His actions are a graphic example of what is wrong with Barnet Council.

Rayner looked quite pleased with himself. I doubt he will when he realises the voters and taxpayers of Barnet will view his actions differently. This sorry clip is the first time that a Barnet Council meeting has been video'd and put on the internet. It won't be the last. Please join us tomorrow.

This is just one of many clips that will feature in Barnet Eye - The Film - Rayner has the dubious pleasure of being the first Barnet Councillor to embarrass himself in it.

***** Update - If you listen carefully to the comment from the lady who advises Rayner, she says that no motion has been passed allowing recording of meetings. Sadly she clearly doesn't understand the principle of English law that you can do anything you like so long as it isn't banned. More proof of Stalinism at the Council.


Mrs Angry said...

Were you evicted from the Big Brother House? Well done: who the hell does Rayner think he is?

baarnett said...

They seem too stupid to realize that, when you are in ahole, you should stop digging!

This is a decaying and decrepit regime, just unable to realize that the world has moved on, and that their command-and-control system is about to fall apart.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

I’m sure there is something in the Constitution about councillors not abusing members of the public. If Cllr Rayner does not apologise to you, he should be reported to the Standards Committee.

Mr Reasonable said...

Well done Rog. I think it is a shame that Cllr Rayner has let himself be drawn into this. Up to now I have found him to be pretty fair minded when chairing this committee and he has always been very polite to me. I have a suspicion that he was leaned on HEAVILY in advance of tonight's meeting to avoid setting a precedent. As you say, just because the constitution doesn't say you can film, that doesn't mean you can't. The constitution is quite explicit on what the public cannot do at Article 3 -
3.02 Citizens’ responsibilities
Citizens must not be violent, abusing or threatening to councillors or officers and must not wilfully or recklessly harm things owned by the Council, councillors or officers.
Nothing about filming!

Moaneybat said...

Maybe the Prime Minister should be taking care of his Party's local dictator first rather than the one in North Africa