Silly old me. I thought that local MP's were meant to stand up for local residents. Every time a factory shuts in Derby or Sheffield, we hear the local MP on the radio saying how terrible it is and how they are working to try and reverse the decision. This week Barnet Council announced that it is "outsourcing" many of its functions and that 300 staff face the sack. These jobs will have a devastating effect on the local economy, during the worst recession in decades. These 300 sacked people will have no cash to spend in local shops, their children will suffer financial hardship and the council will in some cases be left to pick up the pieces.
What have our local MPs Matthew Offord and Theresa Villiers had to say? Nothing. The reason is that Mike Freer was the man who first came up with the idea of destroying these jobs and peoples livelihoods. He was the leader of the Council when the One Barnet project was first dreamed up. He has been a constant supporter. Mr Offord was his deputy at the Council and as recently as two weeks ago was sending emails to local councillors supporting the concept of sending Barnet jobs to Doncaster and Delhi. The message to hard pressed families facing job losses, from this undynamic duo, could not me more stark. It is "I'm alright jack, on my parliamentary salary, with my perks and my allowances, you can get stuffed".
Of course we have the chance to answer back at the next election, but sadly by then, for many families the damage will already be done. In Barnet we have a plutocratic Tory elite who are completely out of touch with the trials and tribulations of ordinary families, traders and working people. They care nothing for the local economy and nothing for local people. Their silence is damning.
I received a response to an email from a "Conservative voter", who claims that Mike Freer cannot be held accountable for this as he ceased to be leader of the Conservative group in Barnet in 2009 and ceased to be a councillor when he became an MP in 2010. Is it possible that Mike Freer MP no longer wishes to be associated with "his baby"? Well Mike, you could always issue a statement asking for One Barnet to be brought to a halt and the council to drop the plan.