Friday, 7 December 2012

One Barnet. A day Capita will rue

Barnet residents take over the Town Hall
I could tell you about the non answers to public questions.

I could tell you about the protests by Barnet residents.

I could tell you about the smugness of the Barnet Council Tory Cabinet.

But I won't. All of that is actually completely irrelevant.

What I will tell you is that Capita have been approved by Barnet Council as suppliers of hundreds of millions of pounds worth of services for ten/fifteen years.

This is the fact that matters. What will matter even more is that Capita have leapt into a snake pit. Barnet is a media hotspot. More journalists, media people and TV documentary makers live in the Borough than anywhere else in the country. That is why Barnet Council always finds itself in the news.

Capita today opened pandoras box. They probably don't know what lies in store for them. Let me explain just a few pertinent facts.

1. Capita are a little bit unlucky. Local Tory MP Mike Freer sponsored a bill outlawing squatting in residential properties. As a result, the Occupy movement, which is extremely well organised and media savvy now have Barnet Tories in their sights. As they don't like multi nationals, they also have Capita in their sights.

Here is the first fruits of their labours. This will not be good for Capita.

2. Barnet has nationally respected bloggers, who leave no stone unturned. They will not let anything pass without comment. Capita are under the microscope.

3. Many top lawyers live in Barnet and are not happy with One Barnet. This blog is just one of many that is getting "pro bono" advice from very clever and very pissed off people. Barnet can pay top dollar for legal advice by people who see it as a cash cow. We get free legal advice from highly motivated experts who are really pissed off. They also know that this is a lucrative area to work in,. so a nice early victory would be very CV friendly. I have changed my opinion of lawyers over the last two years.This may make Capita's victory a bit more difficult to rubber stamp than they imagined. All of this will add cost

4. Barnet is not blessed with talented politicians. Lord only knows what will happen if they wake up to their fate in 2014 before this contract is actually signed.

Capita have become avid  readers of this blog. I am sure that at the moment they can justify the bad press because of the juicy fat contracts. By taking on the residents Barnet, they are likely to suffer immense reputational damage, as their name is dragged through the mud. Other areas of the country will see that it is worth fighting such plans. By getting stuck in Barnet, they may well find that they have caught corporate cancer as the tumour spreads.

Of course, I'm no one really, these are simply my personal views. I can be dismissed. The trouble for Capita is that whilst the views of Rog T won't change the world, the near 750,000 hits on this blog have a story of their own to tell.

As I wrote this blog, I was contacted by the Evening Standard. They want to know the story from tonight. I doubt that will be the last phonecall at midnight I'll get on the subject. It certainly isn't the first

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