On his blog he said
Meeting with Friern Barnet Library Trustees
April 3, 2013Leave a commentOver the last year or so, as I have in the past documented on this blog and tweeted about, I have been on the receiving end of a consistent and very personal campaign from a minority of supporters of the Friern Barnet Library.
It was a welcome step forward that I received an email from the trustees of the Friern Barnet Library, which in conclusion said,
“You have been subjected to some outrageous, abusive and inexcusable behaviour. I hope you will be prepared to help us repair the damage.”
I very much welcome this and have agreed to meet a delegation of the trustees next week.
I hope that this will start a more amicable relationship and we can start to work together to secure the future of a community library in Friern Barnet.
You can see the original blog here - http://robertrams.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/meeting-with-friern-barnet-library-trustees/ - this is quite a remarkable statement from Rams. As ever there is a little bit of spin in there. Firstly when Rams says "I have been on the receiving end of a consistent and very personal campaign from a minority of supporters of the Friern Barnet Library." he is being quite disingenious. I have attended many meetings and far from a "a minority" holding Councillor Rams in disdain, as far as I could tell the dislike of him was more or less unanamous. Now of course not everyone writes blogs or tweets, but I have not met anyone with a good word to say about him (including councillors in his own party).
Why? Because from the day that the Library closure was announced, Mr Rams has been less than honest with the people who mounted the campaign to save the library. He mislead them about the possibilities of reopening the library and duped them into wasting the time when they could have been preparing a judicial review asking them to "come up with proposals". When these were presented, they were summarily dismissed and campaigners were told they'd missed the deadline for the Judicial review. If you behave like that, what do you expect people to say about you.
When Occupy reopened the library, Council officials attended meetings at the library to try and work out a compromise that would satisfy the community. Rams refused to attend, leaving council officials with an impossible task. Why did he refuse to attend? It was made clear to him that the meeting would be respectful. Council officers bearing bad news were not subject to intimidation or bad treatment. Neither would he. Councillor Richard Cornelius, the leader, attended a question time meeting arranegd by the Barnet Alliance for Public services, with over 150 people in attendence. He was treated respectfully, despite leading a rabidly right wing council, so what possible concerns could Rams have. I myself was given a graphic demonstration of Rams duplicity when he tweeted that he was at Mill Hill Library. I instantly sprinted the 200 yards from my house to the library only to find no Robert Rams and a bunch of staff who said he hadn't visited the venue.
Why should councillor Rams say such a thing? Who knows. I doubt he thought I'd be there a minute later. I doubt he thought anyone would notice.
As to the comment “You have been subjected to some outrageous, abusive and inexcusable behaviour. I hope you will be prepared to help us repair the damage.” Rams seems to think that this statement vindicates him. He clearly doesn't really understand what the Trustees were telling him. The key part is the second sentence "I hope you will be prepared to help us repair the damage.” The trustees clearly were making the point that Rams own behaviour had created the campaign. They were asking him to modify his future behaviour and treat people with respect, decency and honesty. It is clear that the trustees, in their own extremely polite way, were saying "You have brought this all on yourself by your appalling behaviour, but you do have an opportunity to redeem yourself, if you start behaving in a manner befitting a senior member of the cabinet.
Rams sadly misses the point and misses the opportunity to apologise for his past poor behaviour and appalling treatment of sincere local campaigners and residents. The trustees have been extraordinarily generous in their treatment of Rams. Does he behave in a sincere and adult way and repay their trust? Nope of course he doesn't. He uses their generosity to pretend he is a victim and he is the wronged party. If Rams had posted a blog stating that there had been mistakes on both sides and both sides had perhaps done things they regret, but were now working together to create a better Barnet, maybe we would have concluded that he'd learned something over the last two years. Instead we get this awful little man, yet again taking other peoples generosity and trust and twisting it around for his own purposes.
What I find incredible is that Robert Rams is a professional political apparatchic. His job is to run the Conservative office at the GLA. He spends all of his time talking to senoir London Conservative politicians. I have a deep mistrust of career politicians on both sides of the divide. My suspicion seems well founded when I consider the record of Robert Rams and his relationshiop with the people of Barnet. It's a long way back to respectability for Councillor Robert Rams