I've been informed that there is a meeting of the Labour Group this week to discuss the outcome of the Council Elections. The Conservatives are also having a meeting. This is where the roles and responsibilities of the various Councillors will be discussed and the shape of the administration and shadow administration will be formulated.
I am not going to beat about the bush. The Labour Group needs to take a very long, hard look at itself before this meeting and face up to the fact that they have royally let down the people of Barnet over the last four years. The Leadership of Alison Moore has spurned numerous opportunities to expose the local Tory administration as a bunch of complete incompetents. At the elections last week, they had the opportunity to take the Council, on the back of a London wide swing to Labour. Self indulgence and fantasism got the better of them, along with a perverse need to shaft their historical allies in Barnet politics.
The only way for Labour to move forward is to choose a new Leadership team, who understand that there is more to running a campaign than sticking a few numbers on a glossy leaflet. The Barnet Eye has not seen much value in scrutinising the behaviours of the local Labour Group. We've let too much incompetence go without comment and been guilty of excusing the unexcusable. I could write a fourteen page blog detailing all of the bad decisions, missed opportunities and total arrogance of the Labour regime. If Alison Moore is still in charge after the group meets I will write that blog and it will expose the total ineptitude of her regime. That will be the end of support for Barnet Labour on this blog and they should consider us hostile. If the group take on board their mistakes and appoint a fresh team, the we'll watch and see how the new regime shapes up and hopefully have a constructive role going forward. I have been a stalwart supporter of Andrew Dismore over the last four years. He has done a great job at the GLA. The sad truth for me is that if the party don't learn from what has happened, there is absolutely no way I'll be able to support Andrew going into the election in a years time. I've no idea whether the support of this blog will make any difference to his campaign. In some ways the question is irrelevant if he can run a good campaign. But I will say this, the Barnet Bloggers have been an effective campaigning force for progressive values in Barnet. If the local Labour party want to dump us and dump on us fine, but I hope for all concerned that they see sense and take some advice from critical friends.
Now is the time to refresh the Barnet Party and correct the mistakes of the last four years. It is time for new Leadership in the Council team. Failure to deliver this will demoralise local activists and could cost the local Labour party far more than a few Council seats at the election in 2015.
I was discussing the role of this blog with a pollster who I've been regularly talking to over the last few years. He explained the numbers game. If on average every blog I've written has persuaded one person to change their vote ( approx 1,000 people a day read the blog), then over a year thats 365 votes changed. Over four years that's 1500 ish. If it's two then double that. I've no idea if he's right or wrong, but at the next election, who knows 365 votes might make all the difference to someone. Maybe that figure is far more?
Now I am not some egomaniac or child who thinks that just because I don't like the Leadership style of someone they should go. If everyone who I respect in Progressive Barnet Politics told me I was wrong, I'd say nothing. The point is that everyone outside of the inner circle of the Labour Leadership I've spoken to agrees and they have done so for the last four years. We have collectively allowed ourselves to walk into a train train crash, because we were all too nice or too disorganised to say "hang on, this isn't working" Some of us are not prepared to say that anymore.
Before the election, I was assurred by senior figures in the Local Labour Party that they knew what they were doing and they had a strategy. As the train crash unfolded and it became clear they screwed up, those of us who wanted to see a change of administration were stuck in a mini hell, knowing that if we said anything, we'd only make matters worse. Barnet Labour ran an abysmal campaig and in truth got the result their campaign deserved (if not their supporters and grass roots activists). I am sick of these arrogant, lazy and stupid individuals riding roughshod over everyone else in Barnet. So the choice for the group is clear. Change.