Monday 6 June 2011

Barnets most expensive tea boy - The end of Councillor Andrew Harper as Leader

So we now know that the battle for leadership of Barnet Council is a three way battle between Andrew Harper, Richard Cornelius and Mark Shooter. An interesting fact has emerged. Andrew Harper has not resigned his post and plans to try and hang on to the deputy leadership post, if he fails to take the top job. Word reaches the Barnet Eye that Richard Cornelius is non too impressed with this. Cornelius is old school. He believes that people should do the decent thing and in Harpers case, the decent thing would to be to bugger off back to the back benches if his abject failure is recognised and he loses the leadership, based on his record thus far. Richard plans to have a nice little chat to explain why a new leader should have freedom to appoint who they like.

As to Mark Shooter, what would he do if he won? Well lets just say that whilst I'd love to play poker with Harper or Cornelius for hard cash, I think Shooter would be a different proposition. He gives me the impression that he may well have a trick or two up his sleeve. I suspect that Harper would have a whole new set of responsibilities under a Shooter Leadership, with a whole new set of responsibilities "Yes Andrew, I think you can take over responsibility for the Leader Listens program. We've booked you a session in the Bald Faced Stag in Burnt Oak next Saturday night at 10pm, to find out how we can interact better with the people of Burnt Oak".  "Yes Andrew, I think that we need to understand the issues which the Police have, so I've booked you to go out on Patrol with a few PCSO's at Tally Ho Corner on Friday Night at Midnight". "Yes Andrew, we are launching a blood donor drive, I've booked you in to give a few pints down at the health centre that government cuts are shutting, those lovely nurses who are being made redundant are really looking forward to seeing you, and have promised that you'll only feel a little prick when they sort you out". "Oh yes Andrew, make sure that the tea isn't late for Tuesday's cabinet meeting, and make sure you search Barry Evangeli for pilfered biscuits before he leaves the building".

I must say that Brian Colemans support for Shooter is rather interesting.  How much do you reckon Harper paid Coleman to say that? (Tee Hee Hee) As Brian Coleman has withdrawn from the race, you may wonder who the Barnet Eye is now backing. Harper is a complete disaster. Whoever wins, he would be bad for everyone. The man has shown a complete lack of aptitude. As for Cornelius and Shooter? As far as I'm concerned there is only one way to choose. I'll go with Brian Colemans recommendation. I was going to toss a coin, but as the biggest tosser (of coins) in Barnet has already made his recommendation, who am I to argue?

And as for Harper, the sooner he is despatched to tea making duties the better. I look forward to hearing the manifesto for the three candidates.  Here is the what my spies tell me the platform the three candidates are standing on is.

Councillor Andrew Harper - Continuity (ie more Metpro style scandals and more money down the bog with One Barnet schemes)

Councillor Richard Cornelius -  The Sensible Party (ie get a grip on the executive and try and salvage the useful bits from One Barnet, whilst taking a machette to the consultant crazy culture that has sprung up)

Councillor Mark Shooter - The slash and burn party (ie have a bonfire of the vanities in Barnet, kick the shit out of the executive, have a sacking frenzy for all the people doing non jobs and hope that at the end of day, injecting a bit of sanity into the council can save a few quid and sort out the huge black hole which Mike Freer built).

Current Betting  : Cornelius 11/12 , Shooter 2-1, Harper 3-1

For what it's worth, I think that the Shooter & Cornelius teams are working together to stitch up Harper, because they both recognise the fact that Harper = Disaster. Lets look at the maths. Shooter lost by one last time. That means that as Lynne Hillan is indisposed, it is a dead heat. Brian Coleman has backed Shooter which means Shooter has 19 to 17, if every Hillanite backs Harper. Rams does what Coleman tells him, so that is 20 -16. All Harper can offer is cabinet jobs, but he can't really afford to lose anyone, so the next question is how will Cornelius split the vote. I hear that he's likely to get a minimum of six cabinet members and possibly 10 other councillors  (6 from Shooter and 4 from Hillan camp). So this means the following :-

First Round
Cornelius - 15
Harper - 8
Shooter - 13

The Harperites are likely to swing behind Cornelius as they know that Shooter means the firing squad.

Second Round
Cornelius - 22
Shooter - 14

What this means is that Harper isn't the second most popular Leadership Candidate so he hasn't got a leg to stand on for retaining the deputy job (hence my view that it's a stitch up). That my friend is the way the cookie will crumble. It is possible that once Harper's mates realise what's going on, even more will defect to Cornelius in the first round and that will be that.


Jaybird said...

Shooter is far too canny to put himself forward for a second time if he did not feel pretty confident.

Rog T said...

I suspect that many of them are telling all of the candidates they will vote for them

Mrs Angry said...

I have it on very good authority that that is exactly what always happens: few Tory councillors have the balls to tell candidates the truth about their voting intentions. No surprise there, really, is there?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

@ Mrs Angry. Labour are no different in this regard. How many of them have the balls to tell Alison Moore she is useless as Leader?