Friday, 4 April 2014

Cornelius the genius is on a roll

Cornelius the Genius contemplates the future
I'll let you in on a little secret. Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, loves his job. How do I know? Because he told me. On a social level I get on fine with Richard. If I didn't write a blog saying what a rotten job he's doing, I'm sure he'd count me amongst his closest political allies. In fact he probably does anyway. You see, contrary to the popular view, the man is a political genius. Despite the fact that his administration has presided over some of the most hard right, divisive policies ever enacted by any Tory Council anywhere, Richard has emerged totally unscathed. There are no "blame Corny" protests. In fact neither the local Trades Unions or the local Labour Party have a clue how to deal with him. He writes a column in the local paper, but no one takes him to task. He enacts policies which have cost hundreds of jobs, but there are no burning effigies of him. In fact no one seems to hold him responsible for anything at all.

His council has presided over some monumental cock ups and done some inexplicably stupid things. The Your Choice Barnet botched privatisation, giving Capita £16 million after saying the purpose of the One Barnet Contract was to make Capita invest, renewing the Catalyst Care contract after all manner of court battles and even a death. But no one says "It is all the fault of Richard Cornelius". At the election, I doubt more than 10% of people know who he is. I suspect that more people in Barnet think Brian Coleman is the leader of the Council than Richard.

You may ask why he considers me one of his closest allies. This is down to the nature of the Tory group. Unlike most of them Richard has a very thick skin. I suspect that this blog is the only place where anyone has had a proper go at him. If you search his name you'll find hundreds of references. Few say anything positive and despite my best efforts some are quite nasty really. The thing is that to Richard this is a real bonus. He simply doesn't care what the Barnet Eye writes, but he knows that plenty of those who'd stab him in the back would care. He simply says to them "Have you seen what the bloggers are saying about me, isn't it terrible, my wife gets so cross about it" and they all think to themselves "Hang on a second, do I really want Mrs Angry & the Barnet Eye trawling my cupboards for skeletons". Richard finds Mrs Angry hilarious, he confided this, but said most of his colleagues are scared to death of her. You see Richard does not take himself at all seriously. Every time I get a photoshopped picture of him stroking a white cat, looking like Dr Evil, he knows that his more pompous, self important rivals for the job whither a bit on the vine.

That is the true genius of Richard Cornelius. Like a Judo fighter, he has used his opponents power against them. Every personal attack on him has strengthened him. He also got lucky. When Brian Coleman got booted out, he was able to say "look what happens if you upset the bloggers, it's not very nice".

For some strange reason, the local Labour Party are somehow in a state of paralysis faced with Richard Cornelius. They don't know how to cope with him. He knows this and has played them like a Grandmaster. He set a budgetary trap for them, which they walked into. He somehow managed to persuade Labour to buy into the Your Choice baleout, ensuring that he got off scot free.

If in May he gets re-elected, who knows what will happen. Rumours abound about a putsch by the "young turks" of the local Tory party. I suspect that they would be making a terrible folly if they did. I suspect that Richard has been diligently opening up their cupboards when they are in the loo and knows of all the skeletons. I suspect that, like a smiling assassin, anyone who crosses him will find out they've made a terrible mistake, but only when their career has already been murdered.

But then again, what do I know ;^)


button55 said...

Richard s a fine chap,i do like him..

It`s a shame he doesn`t turn up to B.A.P.S meetings to defend his policies..

Come on Richard lets get kicked out together next time,then we can have a pint afterwards.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

The reason nobody blames Richard Cornelius for any of the council's failings is because everyone knows that it is Alison Cornelius who really pulls the strings. She is the leader in all but name.

As for Labour not knowing how to deal with Richard, well that is down to the inadequacies of their own leader. I rather suspect that any putsch after the next election will be on the Labour side – even if they win control of the council. Actually, especially if they win control.