Monday, 8 August 2011

Bonkers Council : I'm not a number, I'm an anaesthogist

Are you sleeping soundly? Great then we'll begin.

You won't feel a thing (unless you're young, old, disabled or disadvantaged - in which case many of the services you rely on will disappear in a puff of smoke)

We are going to make a little cut. You see we here at BONKERS Council need to save money. You do understand, it's not our fault, don't you? Times are hard. We are doing everything we possibly can to ensure that the cuts affect you in the smallest possible way (unless you live in a road where there is a CPZ and you need to buy car parking permits). We're tackling the problems that we face, we've hired a whole bevvy of the finest consultants we can find and we're paying them handsomely to dream up ways to save money. We've spent three years doing this and we've found lots of services which huge multinational companies are fighting each other to run. The advantage of having these companies in charge of providing the services is that they can generate huge profits for their shareholders, so if you have a few quid, you too can buy a few shares and rake in nice big dividends for years to come. There are lots of other fantastic benefits to this scheme. At present, if there is a problem, you can discuss it with a councillor and they can do something about it. All of this interference causes all sorts of problems for the senior executives at the council, as they always have to look over the shoulders. Under the new system all of these interfering busybodies will have to mind there own business. Complaints will be directed to a nice call centre in a far flung part of the world.

If you are not happy with the service, you can hire a nice expensive lawyer to read the fine print of the contract. They will be able to tell you that the company has been delivering EXACTLY the services they are contracted to deliver. If you don't like it, that is because you are too stupid to understand that providing services is BIG business now.

Of course to ensure that BONKERS council gets the best out of it's contractors, we need people who really understand contracting to work for us. That is why we employ a contractor as the deputy chief executive and pay him £1,000 a day for the privelege.

Many troublesome lefties and bolshie bloggers claim we don't have the necessary skills to engage such companies and we'll be taken to the cleaners. This can of course be exposed as a complete lie. We already have thousands of companies supplying services. Many of these companies do fine work for the people of Barnet and deliver great value for money. Of course we have a few minor problems (such as rats eating outsourced datacentres, security companies operating illegally and not having proper licenses, huge costs of millions of pounds awarded against us by the High Court for badly drawn up contracts), but as they say, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.

Of course you care about none of this, do you. You are asleep. You are comfy. None of this affects you does it? And in a few years, when it all goes wrong and your council tax goes through the roof, when the taxpayer has to pick up the tab for all the costs, when the Police have to pick up the pieces of a fragmented society, you will say why didn't you tell us that this would happen?

But we did, sadly you were fast asleep and you didn't listen. Did you?

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