Thursday 17 December 2009

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

When Mike Freer became leader of the council following the coup of 2006, he was widely criticized for retaining his cabinet portfolio for resources. That was akin the Prime Minister staying on as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Freer’s control freakery was not without its consequences - the £27.4 million gambled in failing Icelandic banks being the most notable catastrophe.

The council’s own auditors have slammed the current administration for its use of resources and, try as he might, Freer cannot duck responsibility as his hand was on the purse strings whilst our money was being frittered away.

But rather than accept that the public has been let down by this inept and economically illiterate administration, new leader Lynne Hillan, pictured right, has decided to emulate her predecessor and award herself the two top jobs.

Gone are the days when the council was run by experienced men and women from all walks of life, for the benefit of the public. Now we are ruled by incompetent egomaniacs who have failed to cut it in the private sector.

Lynne Hillan simply does not understand the concept of public service. In Barnet she is second only to Brian Coleman in terms of rampant snout-in-the-troughism. Don’t Call Me Dave would not be surprised if Hillan tried to force through yet another rule change to allow her to draw yet another allowance for her two cabinet portfolios.

She presides over the least experienced cabinet in Barnet’s history - precisely at a time when more experienced hands are desperately needed to guide the council through these tough economic conditions.

It is unlawful to discriminate on grounds of race, religion or colour. In choosing her Cabinet, Lynne Hillan has also decided not to discriminate on grounds of ability.


Rog T said...


You are usually a most perceptive commentator, but in this case you are sadly wrong. Hillan has most definately discriminated on grounds of ability. Where is the talent?

I have long said that Brian Gordon is one of the best councillors we've got. Why isn't he in the cabinet? Fiona Bulmer is a safe pair of hands and run Hillan a close second. Why didn't Hillan eat humble pie and persuade her to be the deputy for the sake of the party and to unite it? My friends in Edgware tell me that Darryl Yawitch is also a real talent.

Could it be that Hillan is more interested in shafting any potential challengers than doing the job?

One interesting story I heard was that after the fiasco at Tuesday nights council meeting where a Tory motion fell because they were too busy slapping each other on the back to come out in time to vote, who was it who was heard screaming and berating them in their ante room for their lack of professionalism? Ex leader brian Salinger. Leadership isn't about slapping each other on the back, it's about getting people to do their job. I'm not a member of the Brian Saliger fan club, but he seems to be the only Tory in Barnet to understand that

Don't Call Me Dave said...


When Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, she gave cabinet positions to people who did not necessarily share her political ideology. This was for two reasons. First, because she recognised the need to have the most talented people working with her, but second (and perhaps more importantly) it was because, as Lyndon B Johnson famously said, it was better to have your enemies on the inside of the tent pissing out, rather than on the outside pissing in.

I have heard from several councillors who all report that to get them to vote for her, Lynne Hillan made a lot of promises to a lot of people, which she cannot keep. They now realise they have been duped.

Freer ruled by fear but the councillors have been pushed too far this time and you will now see a return to the relentless infighting which plagued Victor Lyon and Brian Salinger. Just what the party needs with an election less than 5 months away.

It is somewhat ironic that the one councillor who has just cause to complain about the conduct of his colleagues is the one person now trying to get them to behave.