If you were the leader of a local authority which had just been through a court case, where the judge decided that your authority had not discharged its legal duty, but due to a technicality, could take no action, what would you say? If that legal duty was to the disabled, elderly and vulnerable, how would you explain your actions to those whos legal right you had breached?
Well if you were Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, you would say that the Council had won "a complete victory". You would claim that the councils position had been vindicated.
The question is this. How would the people of Barnet view this response? Are the British and the people of Barnet a nation that looks kindly on those who rely on legal loopholes to get out of their legal duties, especially to groups such as the disabled? Do we take kindly to the Peter Mandelson school of spin, where the end always justifies the means? Do we want our politicians to consider that anything is OK so long as they get their way.
When Richard Cornelius made his speech declaring "complete victory" after the One Barnet legal challenge, he made a conscious decision to kill his own integrity and honour. He took a decision to look shabby and devious. It is clear to me what happened. The Barnet Council PR department wrote two speeches. One if the Council won and another if they lost. It didn't occur to the numbskulls in the PR department that the judge would deliver such a scathing dismissal of the councils behaviour.
Presumably Richard Cornelius actually read both speeches and the judgement before his statement. As such, he has to take full responsibility for delivering such an innapropriate response. Maybe he feels that "getting away with it" constitutes total victory. I doubt that the fair minded and honest people of Barnet will concur.