Friday, 7 October 2011

The failure of the right in Barnet

One issue which no one seems to have picked up on is the total failure and collapse of the right wing  in Barnet. Rubbish, you will scream - they control the council and picked up two seats at the election in 2010. Absolutely correct, but whilst many right wing councils & MP's are actively developing a radical and progressive agenda which is developing and building a core, Barnet seems unable to move beyond a 1970's sub Thatcherite agenda of corporate privatisations.

Many Tory councils are developing interesting and unarguably good policies with regards to openness and transparency. Windsor and Maidenhead lead the way. All council papers are published and very little is held back. They save a fortune of FoI requests (compared to Barnet) because all the info is readily available. Whilst many Tory councils are actively encouraging community engagement and participation in the "Big Soceity", in Barnet we have the bizarre spectacle of Tory councillors criticising residents for setting up their own forum. Idiotic Tory fellow travellers scream an open forum is a "convention of the anti cuts brigade", when a video shows that the forum was anything but this. Whilst many councils encourage citizens to engage to help cut costs, Barnet seek to ignore every suggestion. In many Tory boroughs, when council officials are obstructive about FoI requests, the Tory Councillors step in to get officials to do their job, in Barnet they collude with officials to be obstructive.

At GLA level we have Brian Coleman who believes that the concept of "we are all in it together" is nonsense. Coleman tells us nothing and does nothing. He abuses local citizens who ask for his help as well such scatter gun attacks on groups as diverse as the disabled and the British Athletic team. He attacks bloggers (who have been praised by Tory local Government minister Eric Pickles) claiming they have no role. Contrast this with his GLA colleagues Roger Evans who writes a highly readable and informative blog - - and James Cleverly who even promotes Beer and Sandwiches sessions with the Unions - - clearly seeking a sensible dialog with important stakeholders. James said this of the session  on Twitter

  • Just finished our Beer and Sandwiches meeting with the unions. Genuinely interesting and informative. 2 days ago
It's called sensible, grown up dialog. Then we have our MP's. What does a good MP do? Well firstly they do all they can to look after their constituents. This week we have a letter in the local paper detailing how Matthew Offord MP (Hendon) has completely failed to get in touch with a local resident. His most famous intervention so far was a TV appearance asking for the human rights bill to be used to allow him to take his dog to work (rightly ridiculed by all). Offord's latest twitter does at least recognise that the local councillors are lazy and letting people down -!/HendonMP 

Matthew Offord
Much anger at Residents Regeneration Group meeting in West Hendon tonight-compounded by the fact that the local councillors didn't attend

We have Mike Freer MP, who's most famous campaign is one for the rights of Col Gadaffi to evict campaigners who staged a protest by squatting in his multi million pound mansion. Is that the type of resident he really cares most about?

However you look at it, the right in Barnet is out of touch. Of the bloggers on the right, Don't Call Me Dave has given up completely. His reason - he believes that the local Tories are beyond the pale and beyond redemption. The other local blogger Dan Hope hasn't posted a blog since august 9th - - and seems to studiously avoid mentioning Barnet.

Failure. That is the local Tory mantra, at every level. Sad really


baarnett said...

Don't Call Me Dave is still blogging, now on

No, I've no idea why he started a new site, and the link from the old one ought to be made more obvious.

I see one of today's headlines is "BRITAIN IN GRIP OF WORST EVER FINANCIAL CRISIS", so why not add comments to DCMD's latest post on his new web site?

By the way, Syria's ruling class knows it will be an ex-ruling class soon, and is liquidating its property in Britain. I hope Mikey will stop any squatting of Syrian property in Barnet, to allow them a clear run. Support the Dictators!

Jaybird said...

Not really convinced by your examples Rog. James Cleverly's beer & sandwiches with the Unions had James in the chair and Brian Coleman & Matt Wrack amongst others in the hot seats. Rams helped organise it.
The West Hendon cllrs that Matthew referred to are Labour.

Rog T said...

Rams had to organise it. Cleverly is his boss as GLA group leader. Presumably he also told Coleman. Cleverly is a decent bloke from what I've seen of him.

As to his comment about councillors, I was commenting on Offord acknowledging that all is not well at council level generally. What we need is far more of this. I see this as a role for him, but he hardly ever does it and only ever does it in a partizan manner. That was the point.

If the left pretend that the right has nothing at all to offer, we are deluded. We have to recognise that some Tory administrations are doing some things which are positive. I see very little of this in Barnet, which is why Barnet has such an active blog scene

Don't Call Me Dave said...


I stopped writing Not The Barnet Times simply because I was fed up blogging about Barnet. I felt I had said everything that needed to be said about the council and the councillors and until there is a change of administration, I see no point in repeating myself.

The new blog is just an outlet for me to let off steam about non Barnet related issues when the mood takes me. It’s quite therapeutic but I don’t intend for it to become a replacement to NTBT. I am too busy writing a novel to return to full time blogging!