Friday 5 September 2008

Where is Barnet’s Sarah Palin?

Like many people in the UK - and probably even in America - I had never heard of Alaskan State Governor Sarah Palin until a few days ago. Now she is in all the papers and quite likely to become the next Vice President of the U.S.A.

No sooner had her nomination been announced, than her opponents tried to trash her reputation by publicising that her unmarried teenage daughter was pregnant. Of course, this would never happen in Barnet where our enlightened leaders show such tolerance of those with whom they disagree.

Governor Palin’s subsequent speech to the Republican convention simply blew her opponents out of the water. She talked about vetoing $500 million of unnecessary state spending whereas in Barnet we spent £1.4 million on near obsolete computers and a further £28,000 to put them into storage because they weren’t all needed. We spent £14,000 buying wide screen televisions for chief officers.

Sarah Palin cancelled the vanity construction project dubbed “The Bridge To Nowhere” to save taxpayers money whereas in Barnet, our Bridge To Aerodrome Road is over budget - reportedly to the tune of £4 million. The Cabinet Member for Resources responsible for this fiasco (Mike Freer) doesn’t want to us to know how much more of our money is needed to finish the work and has buried the cost in a secret report. So much for an open and honest Administration.

Governor Palin sold the private jet bought by her predecessor. “I got rid of a few things in the Governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for," she said. "That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay."

Compare that to Frequent Flyer Freer who spent almost £3,000 of taxpayers money on a business class ticket to San Francisco to attend a management training course claming he needed to fly luxury class “because you get a place to work and it allows you to arrive fresh and ready to go straight into the classroom” - even though his flight was on a Saturday and the course didn’t start until the Monday.

Until now, I had not been particularly impressed with Senator McCain’s election campaign. However, his choice of running mate was inspired and might prove to be the catalyst to ensure a Republican victory in November.

If not, Governor Palin, who is already being dubbed as America’s Margaret Thatcher, would be very welcome to move to Barnet.

What a pity that the council is completely bereft of inspirational Thatcherites to take over from Mike Freer when he steps down in May.


Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin? It seems that Barnet Council have chosen Michael Palin as their inspiration.

The PC fiasco reminds me of the dead Parrot sketch - "The Parrot isn't dead it's just sleeping"

Unknown said...

Yes sorry to hear about your troubles but I need to comment on your views of Sarah Palin There's more to that story than what was in your post. To wit:

She was FOR the bridge while running for office then AGAINST it after those folks down south raised the "Nowhere" banner. (We got most of the most of the money anyway BTW just not as an earmark). And vanity project? The NOWHERE referred to is the location of Ketchikan's airport is and Ketchikan is the "gateway" city to Alaska for millions of tourists as well as a major commercial fishing port. And tell the folks in New York or San Fransisco or elsewhere to take a ferry to their airport and see what happens.

In fact there were two bridges - the other was to connect Anchorage (also not NOWHERE) to land for future growth and development. The bridge would be 2-miles long, eliminating a 50-80 mile drive (through dark, ice, snow and cold) for thousands of commuters.

We Alaskans take exception to uninformed media-fed opinions from people who take roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, mass transit etc etc for granted. This stuff is called Infrastructure and Alaska is sorely lacking in it.

Regarding Bristol Palin's unplanned pregnancy. Actually it was the Palin's themselves who announced the "unfortunate" condition, not her opponents. Yes, a little tolerance of personal matters would be most welcome here in this most intolerant and uncivilized of countries but frankly what we really need is less hypocrisy instead. Mommmy Palin believes in abstinence as the ONLY form of birth control. Even with all her experience at parenting (count 'em 5), guess she hasn't been very effective in communicating this to her kids.

And yes, credit due to the remarkable acceptance speech and brilliant timing of the announcement. No one was talking the fact that the Democratic convention just ended with Obama crowned king or about Hilary Clinton's remarkable speech. But unfortunately Sarah speech was loaded with several little half-truths, repeated and retracted when called to account. For example: the gas pipeline license was indeed awarded, but the awardee (TransCanada) was the only submitter, is not under ANY obligation to build the thing and the deal gives them $500,000,000 of inducements - whether they proceed with construction or not. BTW: most Alaskans do not want a pipeline to the lower 48. We are in favor of an in-state pipeline for our use and development.

The jet was NOT sold on ebay. It received one bidder but the deal fell through. A businessman from Valdez Alaska bought it privately last year. A small point perhaps, but we must never let the truth get in the way of a good story, eh? (Too bad, though, she could have used it for aerial hunting of wolves and bears, a wildlife supports).

And to wrap it up, if you ever get to Anchorage go to the Lion's Den and order the new menu item the "McPalin Grilled Pig Sandwich". Comes with a side of lipstick and chips for only $13. I'm lovin' it.

30-year Alaskan & former Barnet resident 1965-1976.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Hi Benn

Many thanks for your posting. I don’t pretend to be a great expert on American politics, but when Palin was described as America’s Margaret Thatcher, it became an interesting story! I think it is safe to say that her candidacy has certainly livened up the campaign.

You say that the Palins announced their daughter’s pregnancy themselves. I have no reason to doubt that, but who spilled the beans wasn’t really central to my point. What I found unpleasant was that the Democrat machine tried to make a negative story about the daughter and her apparently self confessed redneck boyfriend. Who really cares? There comes a point when parents are no longer responsible for their children’s actions!

I put this in my blog to draw a comparison with Barnet where supporters of Cllr Mike Freer have taken to making derogatory comments about my family rather than dealing with my criticisms of their beloved leader.

In recent weeks, I have received several e-mails from Republican friends with copies of news articles trashing Obama, and similar e-mails from Democrat friends trashing Palin. I guess it is all part of the game. What I find very interesting is that Democrats seem to be far less tolerant of people who support Palin than the other way around. Call a Democrat a bleeding heart liberal and they really get annoyed!! Similarly, in Barnet, Mike Freer just can’t understand how or why people could have a contrary view to him.

As for the eBay story, this has now been featured on several web sites. Whilst it is true that the plane was not sold ultimately through eBay, it is also true that Palin did originally advertise it for sale on their site so the comment she made was, strictly speaking, correct. Again the method of sale was not relevant to my article. She was selling something she considered to be an unnecessary extravagance, whereas Barnet Council is wasting money buying televisions for chief officers.

That Palin changed her views over the so called ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ is also well documented, but the fact that she cancelled the project was the point which interested me. She says it was for financial reasons. Barnet’s bridge over troubled Hendon is reportedly £4million over budget and taxpayers are stuck with the bill, like it or not!

Whilst dirty tricks are not uncommon in US elections, I think that Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” remark went too far and was unbecoming of someone who wants to be President. I could not ever vote for a candidate who made such an unpleasant and unnecessary personal comment about an opponent.