Friday, 6 August 2010

Allowancegate : We name the guilty MEN of Barnet

As promised, we are looking more closely at the press coverage of the Allowancegate Scandal in this weeks Barnet Press newspaper. At the last Council election in May, the people of Barnet Elected 11 new Tory Councillors. Rather strangely for a party in the year 2010, all of these Councillors were male (can't the Tories replace high Calibre women who've left such as Fiona Bulmer and Jane Ellison). They all shared one other feature. None of them possess a backbone. Apart from the Salingers, who publicly disassociated themselves from the rise, all of the Tory Councillors share some guilt for this awful decision, but these 11 hold a special share of the blame.Why? because there are eleven of them with no baggage. Of all the councillors, this group should be most in touch with the man in the street (although as not a single girlie amongst them, clearly not the women of Barnet). They should be at the stage of learning the ropes, getting their feet under the desk.

So why did they vote for the rise? Well we'll never know because the lilley livered chickens won't tell us.As the press reports, they were all unavailable for comment. That says it all. You may say that these guys couldn't have changed anything. Well that is untrue. If they had have voted with the opposition, the motion would have fallen.

Their names are there, along with their pictures - the Guilty men. They veer from the risible Graham Old "Kate Salinger is my hero, but I'm too cowardly to actually back her" to the conniving Barry Evangeli "Well if she's going to make a stand, I'll 'ave 'er job". My special favourite at the moment is Daniel "Imber" Seal. Apparently good old "Imber" was asked about it recently. His response "If we didn't give people like Lynne Hillan a decent wage, they'd leave and get  a better job somewhere else".

Well my Dear Imber, pray tell. Where is this better job. She's been at the council for how many years on far less money???? Has she left for a better job ???? We all know about the last better job she had. She was the managing Director of Ashurst Direct Marketing Ltd. My Dearest Imber, do you know what happened next? Well Ashurst Direct Marketing Ltd went bust owing it's creditors a small fortune. So my Dearest "Imber", here's an offer. Why don't you write a guest blog explaining what Talent Councillor Lynne Hillan brings to the Council to justify her allowance. Tell us why, if you ran a company (as I do) you'd employ Hillan. As ever guest blog rules apply. No editing and no comment on the blog from me. Prove to the people of Barnet that you are not quite as dumb  (literally) as you make out.

My thanks to the Barnet Press for their valuable role in the war against these spongers. Thanks to their article, everyone in the Borough now knows who these lackies are, what they look like and just how completely gutless they really are.


Anonymous said...

RogT, I'm a bit disappointed that you have run on from, what I regard, as pretty weak journalism from the Press. One can only speculate as to who was behind briefing and pushing them in this direction - I have my strong suspicions!

Let me explain why I think these Councillors, out of the Conservative Group, have the least to account for. There are three broad chunks of the Conservative Group: the Leader and Cabinet (who drove this through fiercely and saw their SRA double), the 'experienced backbenchers' Andreas Thirtygrandbourides, Wendy Prentice, Maureen Braun etc etc and the new Councillors (most of which have no financial interest in this new settlement - many of whom will lose out - and as the Press points out a bit later on in the paper 'they feel sorry for').

The Times rightly named and shamed the Cabinet. The Press maybe thought they should have a similar splash but why these Councillors and not the 'experienced backbenchers'? It is my understanding that a lot of the minority opposition to this was fought by the newer Councillors who felt they were being 'bounced' into something they were uncomfortable with at their very first normal Council meeting but they were squashed by the weight of the likes of Tambourides slobbering over the big rise they will get.

So, sure, all of them are responsible. What you vote for you should be accountable for but before focussing on the 'new boys' how about a searing spotlight on the others outside the Cabinet who drove this through?

Rog T said...

Couldn't disagree with you more. If they knew this was wrong, they should have said no. They are not children, they are grown men who've been given the trust of the people who elected them.

You were a Tory Councillor. Would you have let yourself be bounced? The way to stop this at source would have been for this mob to have said no. The Press rightly points out that none of them had the guts to justify their decision on the vote.

On the other point, I don't think you can accuse me of being soft on Hillan et all.

baarnett said...

Well, we've had the Leaders (in the Times). We've had the New Boys (in the Press).

Let one of the two newspapers (no hope for the 'Ham & High' south of the North Circular), let one of them produce the "Intermediates" in next week's paper.

It really would be good to hear their views, but presumably it will be "No comment" with knobs on.

Broadway Blogger said...

Allowancegate is now very much in full steam. Every small cut - every large cut will bring out a raft of stories from the press.

Whoever is doing the PR advice for the Barnet Tories should be sacked. They are being crucified and surely the only way out is to take the high ground and say they were "wrong" and get rid of the allowances rise.

Mrs Angry said...

No need to squabble, boys, over who is in need of naming and shaming: they all deserve every bit of attention and scrutiny that can be mustered, and it is important to keep the momentum going. Each individual is the keeper of their own conscience and each should be held accountable for the decision they made. The fact that they all refuse to comment on the vote is something that must not be tolerated: it is up to the electors who put them in office to keep raising the subject with them in person, at their surgeries, by email, or by telephone. The press must also keep demanding statements: I don't think there is much chance of the blogs letting the story drop either, somehow ...

Don't Call Me Dave said...

It is clear that these supine councillors have been silenced from talking to the press. I have a text message from one of the idiots above who told me that he did not want to vote for the increase but was threatened with the loss of the whip if he did not comply. He considered this to be more important than standing up for the people who elected him.

I dare say that the bully boys played on the inexperience of the new boys. I understand that most of them had not received any training. But the more experienced councillors - who all now privately claim to be against the increase - knew that the threat of mass abstentions would have been enough to kill the proposal. They all sat their and did nothing and they are all collectively guilty of betraying the trust of the electorate.

The idea that they were only obeying orders simply won’t wash. They are all adults and supposedly with minds of their own. Even now, after three weeks of relentless criticism, none of the above have got the bottle to stand up to Hillan and Coleman and speak out. None of them deserve to be re-elected.

Anonymous said...

You are all missing the point that I thought I had carefully made.

I said clearly that all of those who voted for this were responsible for their actions. I am questioning why on earth the Press felt these Councillors were MORE culpable than the Prentice's and Tambourides' of this world who did not have the excuse of being inexperienced AND saw increases in their allowances.

@baarnett - not sure we have seen any editorial in the Times

@rogt - I'm not going to answer hypotheticals and I don't know how I would have responded a few weeks after being elected, having been told this was a firm three line whip, with Coleman bawling at me etc etc before I knew much better. What I do know is that I felt a lot different about things 1 year after being on the Council than 1 month. Many of the new Councillor's heads are still spinning having got elected and, in my view, it is a disgrace that (just as they did in 2006 re: Salinger) Coleman and Hillan have taken advantage of this situation to push through something outrageous again.

In response to the 'refuse to comment' stuff. I'd invite anyone to go through the past 20 years of the Times and Press and find any Councillor from any party (who isn't a spokesman) commenting on Council matters. I would like to see that change but it hardly news Councillors don't comment on such stuff is it?

So I repeat, these Councillors deserve to be held to account. But I ask myself why them MORE SO than the middle ranking, experienced Councillors who stood to gain financially?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

In case my English teacher reads this blog, I realise that I should have said " sat there" and not "sat their"

Mrs Angry said...

Surely your English teacher died of apoplexy years ago, DCMD?
Daniel Hope's point about the new boys being singled out I suppose is answered by the expectation by us that new councillors still have some principles in tact. Of course in Barnet, the sort of people who are tempted to become councillors have probably been inspired by the dubious example of the old timers, hence the lack of backbone. They are all as guilty as each other even if working from different motives. They bear individual and collective responsibility for what they did and will have to face the consequences.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Mrs Angry

My school teacher is happily still with us, the hair on his head now fully restored by my absence from his classroom. I was more concerned about my future English teacher seeing the post. After 30 gap years, I will be starting at University in October to read English Language & Literature so that eye can learn how to right proper.

Rog T said...

reading English Language - You've come to the wrong place ere then

My last English Teacher gave up teaching and became a nun

Mrs Angry said...

Blimey, DCMD, if you are going to be a student, think of all the spare time you're going to have, lounging about in the bar etc. You can take up blogging again: of course we will expect a higher standard of literary worth and philosophical debate.(You know, like wot you get in my blog).
Rog: that's funny, the effect I had was the reverse, mine all kicked the habit and stopped being nuns, as I seem to have caused them to lose their vocations.