Friday 20 December 2013

Your Choice Barnet Week - Thank you for listening - A guest blog by John Sullivan

By John Sullivan,

First I would like to thank the Barnet Eye for ( in the words of one of our better known right wing cranks) outsourcing the Barnet Eye to us YCB clients parents and supporters for the past two weeks.

It says a lot for our right wing friends when they have no problem with outsourcing when it suits him, but apparently gets agitated when outsourcing is being utilised for the benefit of Barnet residents  and public servants, rather than to their disadvantage.

Allow me to digress for a moment and point you in the direction of this Birmingham Post article, that gives us an insight in Barnet as to what we should expect from the recent outsourcing of our public services to Capita. Every issue was highlighted by us so called activists, and rubbished by the likes of our local Tory councillors, which seriously  brings into question any opinions voiced by these individuals.
To be honest the YCB week response has been phenomenal, disabled people in Barnet are finally realising they have the human right to be heard, and they have us so called activists to either help their parents speaker for them or help them to speak for themselves. We could have continued this YCB week that became a YCB fortnight by at least another month, there are so many more horrifying tales to tell of the ill-treatment of disabled Barnet residents and their families. In fact as was announced in the Barnet Eye recently we are preparing to release a video/song about Capita, one of the verses of which refers to the pernicious treatment of disabled people in Barnet and goes like this

If your disabled Barnet's not the place to be.
Your only a market place commodity
Your only a source of profit that why
If you don't make a profit your left high and dry

So let's get back to our " The Lie That Is Your Choice Barnet Week " , that has exposed  " The Lie That Is The Safeguarding Committee of 27th November", along with " The Lie That is The Task & Finish Enquiry Into Your Choice Barnet "

What has also been exposed in the articles posted over this period by parents family carers and friends of the disabled, is the abject contempt displayed towards disabled people by in particular our Tory councillors most specifically at the  so called " Safeguarding Committee Meeting of 27th November ", where they even stooped as low as to misrepresent the content of a letter presented by parents of a severely disabled son that has outraged those parents, and  I will highlight and point you in the direction of the blog posted. I personally think we learned a lot about the heartless contempt the Tory majority on that so called Safeguarding Committee have for the disabled people of Barnet ,along with their family carers parents and supporters.
 The disabled people are an easy target for these profit hungry ideologues the profit at any price brigade no matter the consequences, dogma before dignity for the disabled is their collective cry. Because they do not have a voice and everything thing was done at that meeting to distort the truth, and bad mouth the family and friends that were in attendance to give these disabled folk a voice.

Fortunately you don't have to take my word for it we have it all on film for you to make the judgement call at the end of this blog.  My blog was posted first and like the response from the Tories regarding the recent investment of £16.1 million pounds of our money the taxpayers of Barnet in Capita, that Capita were supposed to invest, there has been silence which suggests there is at the very least some truth in the content of my Blog    ( Your Choice Barnet Week - Day 1 - The LIE That Is ...)

Listen to the pleas of Phillip ( Your Choice Barnet week - How would you feel in my... ) who like many other disabled people that enjoyed their days at Flight ways but have now been as it says in the song left high and dry, because there is not enough profit to be made from these folk. Councillor Salinger can cynically misquote the words of the parents with a son at Rosa Morrison ( Your Choice Barnet Week - Outraged at being misrep...  ). But the funding for these so severely disabled folk is far greater than for the Phillips of this world, hence the reason the service albeit possibly temporarily continues to be an excellent service, cannot if you have any integrity at all be cynically used as an example of an across the board satisfaction rating for YCB services in general,  so cynically implied by Councillor Brian Salinger. The same councillor claimed " I have no problem with making a Profit "what he failed to add , was " from the undermining of the future long term quality of support services and therefore quality of  life of disabled people in Barnet ". Which dishonestly implied YCB were making a profit when in fact they are making a loss as outlined in my blog, what a very nice chap this Brian Salinger appears to be to twist the words of people

Although Tony Solomons did not name names, I am assuming I hope correctly he is referring to the same councillor referred to here in the Guest blog from Tirza Waisel (Your Choice Barnet Week - The view from the Public... ) which goes on to highlight the contempt shown for all and sundry trying to protect the rights of disabled people. A Councillor sleeping then when awakened going into a rant insulting all and sundry and branding them Trade Union activists or some such nonsense. Parents family members friends trying to put the case of those without a voice, abused by this ogre of a man a man that denies anyone else an agenda, whilst foisting his own agenda on others without consultation or a voice, perhaps Putin should run for the Tories at the coming local elections, he would fit in nicely. Can you look at the films from this farcical meeting of the 27th November and with your hand on your heart no matter your politics say, Phillip or the family acting for Carl Woolf one of the many potential victims of the planned closure of Flightways with no plans to replace the facility, that is now denied to Phillip and many  others, came across as union activists. Can I, as a 71 year old parent with a life threatening illness and a 50 year old disabled daughter, who had his words read out by his colleague and friend Barbara Jacobson, be branded a trade union activist because I am concerned for the welfare of my daughter,and the long term ability of the failed YCB company to provide her protection in the long term.

Seems to me Councillor Gordon is little more than  a rightwing loud mouth, well if he wishes to test his loud mouth against my loud mouth at any time I will be happy to oblige him, the utter contempt this man showed for us families and our supporters was beneath contempt. It is trade unionists that have cared for my daughter and her peers for over 40 years, that are the teachers that taught me and my children in school, that are the nurses and Drs looking after me in the NHS, that empty my bins and do so many things that enable our society to function. One thing is for sure the trade unionists Gordon and his ilk continuously bad mouth, contribute far more to Barnet society than the likes of Gordon and his fellow Tories. I am not a trade unionist but if I had to choose between them and the likes of Gordon Salinger Rayner Rams and Cornelius, I would take the trade unionists every day of the week, because they contribute and would be a far greater loss to Barnet society than any of those mentioned above, in fact any Barnet councillor of any political persuasion.

The chair of the meeting  Cllr Perry chatting through most of the meeting not even bothering to listen to what was being said and even forgetting there had to be a vote, because it was obvious to all the decision had been made prior to the commencement of this so called Safeguarding Committee meeting before the meeting commenced. It further exposed the naivety of the two Labour councils on the Task & Finish Group who weakly and it would appear unwittingly supported this farcical dishonest whitewash of an enquiry, and the cynicism of the Tory Councillor whose name escapes me. Who only chose to have an input into the meeting in order to point the finger at the labour councillors in question, not to ask anything about the welfare of the disabled but to play political games.

As another aside I had an exchange with Council Rayner the so called Chair of the so called scrutiny committee that did not scrutinise the huge Capita contract we are now lumbered with, he appears not to have scrutinised the handing over to Capita of £16.1 million of our money to Capita, although prior to the signing of the Capita contract it was Capita that was supposed to be providing this finance. He also chose to play political games again prior to the meeting, the exchanges of which are attached, which further suggests the decision was made prior to the meeting and the decision had been made to point the finger at the two naive labour councillors.

Today we had a blog posted by Barbara Jacobson  ( Your Choice Barnet Week - Safeguarding? - By Barba...
 ) that in her professional manner covers the complete farce the whitewash that was the Task & Finish Enquiry, an enquiry that was a deliberate cover up yet another action Putin would have been proud to be involved in.

This enquiry refused to speak to parents and family carers they refused to speak with support workers, instead they took the word for everything from YCB. But when you consider that YCB is a Teckal company controlled by Barnet councillors who make every strategic decision on the direction of YCB. They were not even talking or listening to YCB, they were talking and listening to themselves.

There is no possible way you can conduct a transparent and open and honest enquiry into as complex an issue of the clients of YCB without consulting with their parents and family carers, it is simply not possible to arrive at an unbiased conclusion. More importantly if all of these ongoing changes to YCB services which includes the demoralisation of staff , which includes massive cuts to their wages and replacing skilled long term staff with unskilled short tern cheap labour are going to improve things as YCB/LBB claim. Then why would you refuse to consult with the parents carers and friends of the YCB clients. The obvious answer being it is a Lie to suggest the services will not be affected by the proposed further changes , and they know full well they would lose the argument if they engaged in genuine consultation, because lies are always  exposed when challenged .

Which encourages me to repeat my mantra that YCB is a lie was conceived on a lie and continues to be supported by lie, a lie that has spread to the so called safeguarding Committee and the Lie that was the Task & Finish enquiry is the biggest lie of all.

You have heard and read of the antics of Councillors Gordon, Brian Salinger . Bridget Parry , Hugh Rayner, along with the silence of Mrs Cornelius who had nothing to say at all about disabled people, of the councillor the name of whom escapes me who never bothered to ask a question about the plight of disabled people but chose to play politics on such a serious issue.

But what of Councillor Alison Salinger who clearly stated " I think it is true to say that no one sitting around this table failed to be moved by what we have heard tonight.... And it may be that the Safeguarding Committee, in my opinion, needs to look further into some of the issues that have been raised tonight  and I would be happy for future meetings of the safeguarding committee to bring up some of these issues" end of quote.

Well for starters Cllr Parry could not have been moved because she was not listening, Cllr B Salinger was obviously not moved because he sang the praises of the fantasy profits making of YCB, Cllr Gordon was asleep most f the time , so he was obviously not moved, and as no other Tory councillor chose to raise any question of any of those presenting the case for the disabled, one can assume the reality is none of them were moved.
What is even more laughable if it were funny, is having made those comments Cllr A Salinger voted in support of the whitewash the obvious Lie that was the Task & Finish Enquiry, knowing full well there remained serious questions to answer.

We learned that Tory councilors put ideology and dogma and party loyalty before the plight of their disabled residents, they believe in profit before people and support entirely the principle if you're not disabled enough to make a profit ,then you are of no use to them and are left high and dry.

What we learned about the Labour councillors involved in this whitewash of a task & Finish Group Enquiry, is they need to grow a pair and not be rolled over by the right wing heartless ideologues of the Tory party, and stand up for what they believe in. Not after the event which they chose to do by not challenging the veracity of this farce of an enquiry from the outset, and left themselves open to political games on the part of their Tory opponents, all at the expense of the most vulnerable people in Barnet who deserve better.
The lie that is Your Choice Barnet will be back in the headlines soon, and no matter how many lies that are uttered and how many strokes are pulled to avoid meaningful consultation, the family carers & parents with the support of our friends at CADDSS, Campaign Against Destruction of Disabled Support Services, will not give up the fight until these vulnerable folk are protected from the vagaries of the market place, and their support services are brought back in House where they will once again be safe, as they were prior to the formation of the financial car crash that is YCB

I finish on what is probably one of the biggest YCB / LBB lies of all, the claim that an LATC had to be formed due to the direct payments legislation the bedrock excuse for the for want of a better word of the privatisation of adult services . It is suggested by legal minds but yet to be fully confirmed and perhaps challenged legally, that this claim is and I quote " in my view this is a misstatement of the law, and they should be asked where they got their advice from.

So in the new year that is exactly what we will be doing, we have exposed so many lies to date we will not rest until we can be certain that the claim an LATC had to be formed ,was based on truth or on yet another Lie.

Please watch the filming for yourself and form your own views.

1.Your Choice Barnet - Public Questions Part 1

2.Your Choice Barnet- Public Questions Part 2

3.Your Choice Barnet - Public Questions - Part 3

4.Your Choice Barnet - Barnet UNISON - Public Comments 

5.Your Choice Barnet - Janet Leifer from BAPS & CADDS

6.Your Choice Barnet - John Sullivan's statement read by Barbara Jacobson

7.Your Choice Barnet - Philip Rackham

8.Your Choice Barnet - Barbara Jacobson

9.Your Choice Barnet - Tirza Waisel

10.Your Choice Barnet - Councillor Arjun Mittra

10a.Your Choice - Councillor Brian Gordon on Unions

11.Your Choice Barnet - Report, Councillor Brian Salinger

12.Your Choice Barnet - Final Part
John Sullivan is a Barnet resident and a parent carer. Guest Blogs are always welcome. 

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