Monday, 30 July 2012

Guest Blog - There's One Barnet for them and One Barnet for the rest of us, by John Sullivan

By John Sullivan,

Such a shame so many pensioners disabled people and families with children looking forward to the "Our Barnet not One Barnet" party in the park  on Saturday  the 21st , had to be stopped from attending  due to the crass behaviour of Barnet councillors and were so sadly let down at the last minute due to the threats from Barnet councillors arriving at one minute to six on a Friday evening.

Who would have thought that Barnet residents who I personally thought owned their local parks and open spaces, who pay taxes to upkeep and maintain those parks and open spaces. would be stopped from holding a residents party in the park to complete the Barnet Alliance for Public Services " Our Barnet not One Barnet Parade " ?. So many people that were for a mixture of constructive reasons unable to join the parade, but were looking forward to the party in the park on the first dry and sunny day in months to demonstrate their objections to the One Barnet Programme? . Who would have thought that public sector workers would be frightened to join a march against the privatisation of the services they work in and in many ways love, a privatisation that threatens their future security of employment ,for fear of intimidation and possible threats of the sack if they did so?.

Who would have thought there were so many rules and regulations to stop Barnet residents that supposedly own the local parks and pay to maintain those local parks holding a party in those parks, that threaten them with up to £ 20,000 fines and possible imprisonment if they held a party in the park ?. Worst of all what kind of democracy is it  when Barnet councillors bully & threaten their residents with £20,000 fines and possible imprisonment at one minute to six on a Friday evening, leaving no opportunity or time left to respond or seek a reasonable compromise, when all they wish to do is to lawfully assemble to discuss their opposition to the One Barnet programme ?. Couple this with attempts by somebody unknown presumably from Barnet council to stop the " Our Barnet not One Barnet " torch parade, by making  calls to Scotland yard, saying  the Baps parade was being formed to disrupt the Olympic torch parade even though it was on a different day ?.
All  this venom, intimidation and bullying to stop Barnet residents discussing the rights and wrongs of the proposed" One Barnet Commissioning Programme ". So I have to wonder" WHY ", what is it that is making these councillors go to these extremes to stifle free speech and the right of assembly on the One Barnet issue, along with access to the redaction free  One Barnet business plan. The Leveson inquiry exposes the stench of the possibility that the current PM, Chancellor and current and former Ministers along with some senior police officers were  in the pockets of Murdoch's billions and the stench of corruption still prevails,  the inquiry into the banking industry has exposed bankers as the most dishonest corrupt and rotten scheming lying thieving rats in the history of mankind, that still  maintain what appears to be questionable links with the current government, and the stench in banking and politics grows worse by the day.

Therefore with that in mind and with the refusal of Barnet councillors to make the proposed One Barnet business plan available to full and open scrutiny to all, does something begin to smell at Barnet council I ask ? do they have something to hide ?. Why for example would you spend "24 million" yes I repeat the figure " 24 million " on consultants to privatise public services that is being paid for by the cuts to the provision of services to the vulnerable ,  when those millions could be spent improving those in house public services?. I sense a smell rising that I fear will become a stench, and would encourage the opinions of all on this matter including Barnet Tory councillors  through Baps email if Baps will allow it ( Barnet Alliance4Public ). In order that we can form a broader opinion of what is going on and what possible reason there could be for this cover up, this refusal to be open about the One Barnet business plan . After these recent threats and acts of bullying and intimidation from Barnet council to deny open debate and lawful assembly on this  subject, something  has started to smell for me, the question is how many of us can smell it and what is it that is starting to smell.
John Sullivan is a Barnet resident and a carer for his adult daughter Susan. Guest blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye.