Sunday 3 August 2008

Pants On Fire

On 29th July, I posted a story about Frequent Flyer Freer’s junket to America which included a club class ticket to San Francisco at a cost to the Barnet taxpayer of nearly £3,000. This story was subsequently featured in the Barnet Press issue dated 31st July 2008. Click here to view it.

In his interview with the Barnet Press, Cllr Freer justified the expense by saying "The flight to San Francisco was 13 hours and I took the decision to fly club class because you get a place to work and it allows you to arrive fresh and ready to go straight into the classroom."

The problem with this argument is that his flight ticket shows that he took the Saturday morning flight arriving early Saturday afternoon local time. The conference didn't start until the Monday (thank you BT for that information). So much for “straight into the classroom.” Cllr Freer clearly had enough time to recover from the flight and could have travelled standard class.

In any event, what council work did Cllr Freer need to do for 13 hours? By his own admission, the Chief Executive runs the council.

Another concern is Cllr Freer’s remark “I took the decision to fly club class…” It was not his decision to take. He was granted permission to visit America by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Policy & Performance and, as the council does not have a travel policy for such trips, he should have obtained permission from them. In the private sector, staff cannot fly club class just because they feel like it. Cllr Freer came to power declaring that he would be ruthless on cutting costs. But not his own, it seems.

Cllr Freer’s false statement above is not his first inaccuracy regarding this junket. He told the Barnet Press on 8th February 2007 that he did not anticipate the trip to Boston costing more than £1,000. But the travel agent's invoice showing the actual cost of £1,227.10 is dated 16th January 2007 and is personally addressed to him, so he must have seen it.

Is Cllr Freer really a fit and proper person to be Leader of the Council or the next MP for Finchley when he appears to be so economical with the actualité?


Anonymous said...

David Miller .... time you started supporting the party you are a member of ... or we all look forward to you sending back your membership ... wont your mum be proud of you

Anonymous said...

David Miller, your mother would be so proud of you .. attacking a member of your own party like this

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Dear Anon

Let me see if I understand you correctly. The Leader of the Council has misled the public and I am the one who should resign from the Conservative party?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Dear Anon

My mother is very proud of me for standing up for what I believe in.

Am I supposed to ignore Cllr Freer’s untruths simply because we are in the same party?

If you guys could get your snouts out of the trough for long enough, you might start to understand why the public no longer trusts or respects politicians.

Anonymous said...

The Conservative Party has never been the party of snivelling creeps and cowards. It's for forthright people wanting to defend the Government and country against dangerous and ill thought out ideologies like socialism.

On that basis this anonymous 'person' is clearly not a Conservative. Come on you coward, say what you think in public. Put your name to it, grow some cohones!

I should also remind everyone that the Conservative Group in Barnet isn't part of nor is controlled by the Conservative Party. It is merely a private club of Councillors. It neither represents David Cameron and the Board nor can be controlled by it.

Attacking the Conservative Group is no more attacking the Conservative Party than criticising the Conservative Club in Barnet High Street.

Come on mystery hatchet man, come out of the shadows!

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Does Mike Freer feel so threatened by my blog that he has to get his poodles to post these anonymous messages? If I have said anything incorrect, I will gladly post a correction in bold type! But, so far, no one has posted a single message defending the Leader’s actions and policies. That says it all.

Anonymous said...

Does David Miller really think that the best way to keep the membership of his party is to criticise it and its leader on a blog set up to ‘snoop’? I’m sure your mum would be so proud of that.

Why don’t you just go and join the Labour party?

Or alternatively, you could ask to have a meeting with the leader and discuss the issues in private - I don’t know, that could be the sensible, grown up thing to do.

But this is fun – winding David Miller and Daniel Hope up … I really should get out more!

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Are you really so insecure that you have to write this piffle?

Since when was my membership of the Conservative party within your gift? You do seem to have a problem knowing the rules and the extent of your power.

If you are so worried as to what my mother will think, why not phone her up and have a good old whinge about her son being so unfair to the highly regarded Mike Freer? You haven’t got the guts.

I have already told you that I do not want a private meeting with Cllr Freer. What would be the point? I’m not one of your little bag carriers who can be silenced with the promise of a Special Responsibility Allowance if I am a good boy.

We live in a democracy. If you are so proud of your policies and the way you spend our money, then stand up and be counted. Why are you so afraid of public scrutiny? Where is your mandate to pursue these ill conceived housing and taxation policies? You can follow Cllr Freer lemming like over the abyss if that is your wont, but don’t forget that he is jumping off at Westminster Station. You wouldn’t want to be wrong footed again like you were after the Salinger coup.

Anonymous said...

Moi, je ne suis 'wound up' pas. To coin a phrase 'I'm enjoying this, I'm enjoying this!'

Anonymous said...

The world of spin or to be more precise lying, has been around for generations. It is getting caught out that presents the problems, as dear old Jeffery Archer knows only too well.

When first elected, good old Dave Cameron said that he wanted to see an end to spin and Punch and Judy politics. Seems it is still rearing its ugly head in Barnet.

If the author of this blog makes a revelation and it is true, then others should just shut up and stop digging a hole. But maybe they are either too thick or just full of their own importance to realise that.

But then that would not be true to Barnet's own brand of gutter politics - which is to bad mouth those with whom you do not agree. I seem to think that that used to be a hallmark of the Communist Party. Next we will hear that someone has had a car accident.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

I was once told that Conservative Central Office was run on Stalinist lines! Based on the London Euro selection process, I now know this to be true.

We expect to have 3 Conservative London MEPs next year due to the PR system. When the ballot papers were sent out, the accompanying notes said that we had to rank the sitting MEPs 1 and 2 on the main list (even if we didn’t want them re-selected) and, in the secondary list, we had to rank the remaining 6 candidates 1-6 in order of preference. But if we did not rank all candidates, our vote would be discarded. This meant voting for someone who you might have considered to be entirely unsuitable for public office.

We were also told that a female candidate was going to be placed top of the secondary list irrespective of where she finished in the ballot. Informed sources say that Marina Yanakoudakis was the highest place female candidate on the list (fifth out of six) but she was bumped up to third, thereby effectively ensuring her election as an MEP next year. That’s good for her, but rather bad for democracy.

There was no point in London members voting in the ballot to choose the candidates because Central Office had already rigged the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Didn't anyone ever tell you not to wash your dirty linen in public?

I find it quite pathetic that you resort to a 'blog' to dis-credit someone. Wasn't it true that you 'Don't call me Dave' have caused numerous reports into certain aspects of the council costing the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds?

Instead of slagging people off with your little gang of one friend, why don't you stand for the council yourself and put your money where your mouth is?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

There’s nothing like a sanctimonious hypocrite! It’s OK for you guys to criticise me, but not the other way around? What part of democracy don’t you understand?

Councillors already have a forum to express their views. Some have newspaper columns and blogs of their own. But, according to your view of the world, nobody else is allowed to have their say. We should all bow down in deference to the Dear Leader.

Whilst I take it as a compliment that you and your colleagues are reading my blog, I find it quite tiresome to have to repeat that no councillor has yet responded to any of the points I have raised here.

As for your comment about the cost of investigations, my response can be summed up in two words. Partingdale Lane.

Anonymous said...

"That's the way to do it"