6 November 2011

An idiot's guide to attacking & stopping Mr Mustard

Every time Mr Mustard gets on a motorbike and so is out of contact ( he could set up bluetooth to the crash helmet Mrs A but it might be a bit dangerous ) something happens. Also being out to dinner on 2 consecutive evenings stopped Mr Mustard from attending to his tweets and emails - it is not polite to be playing with one's blackberry under the table! Now, he is back.

So let us see where we are. It was on 29 September 2011 that publicservice.co.uk published the incorrect information ( they took the council at their word, not wise when the council is Barnet ) that a blogger cost the council £40,000 in 6 months. As there are 5 well known main bloggers in Barnet ( Mr Mustard is the newest and is still learning from the others )  they got phone calls which eliminated them which just left Mr Mustard so he was effectively outed by Cllr Thomas. 

Now one of Mr Mustard's readers sent him the following:

The point has been well made that Cllr Thomas's claim about the costs of processing your requests was false.

Cllr Thomas has been invited to correct the article that appeared and has chosen to side-step the question. Elder statesman he is not. Cllr Rawlings will tell you if you ask ( email him here ) that if Mr Mustard makes a mistake, even one based upon an incorrect reply to a Freedom of Information request, as it was, he takes it on the chin and issues a correction.

So attack number two has occurred, and in fact number 2 came before number 1, which we wouldn't have known about except for a brilliant FOI request by Roger of the Barnet Eye. See also the leaks website, here.

Mr Mustard is flattered that as early as 24 April the council were worried about him. They should be more worried about themselves. This was the blog that put the wind up someone. Then more senior people were persuaded to submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office which has been roundly rejected. The heinous crime that Mr Mustard was supposedly guilty of was not registering as a person who processed data because he put on his blog some wording that was on the other person's blog ( yes, a bit flimsy I know ). The remedy for not being registered is to register and it costs £35 a year ( it will take more than that to empty Mr Mustard's pockets ) and the advice on the website of the ICO is that if you think someone e.g. Mr Mustard should register is to suggest they do so. Barnet Council know where I am. I have not received an email, a letter or a telephone call giving me the benefit of their advice.

The upset person happened to be in a non-job. They are not badly paid and being blogged about is par for the course nowadays. You just have to suck it up. Mr Mustard now has to send in a whole host of Freedom of Information requests to get to the bottom of what went on which will doubtless further upset the council but it is self-inflicted. 

Mr Mustard will not give you the name of the employee as he gets on fine with rank and file employees ( did you know that the apt collective noun for Moles is a Labour of Moles, nor did Mr Mustard until he dug that fact out a minute ago - his moles labour away night and day at great personal risk for him and their work is greatly appreciated ) and the person who started the complaint is an irrelevance. It is the management who have made a grave miscalculation. Mr Mustard actually went easy on the non-job holder; he has some "lovely" photographs.

At the time that the MetPro scandal was exploding you were checking if Mr Mustard had a £35 registration, which you just buy, there are no qualifications, whilst at the same time the following was being dug up about MetPro.

From the audit report of 16 June 2011.

In the absence of a formal procurement exercise, we could not locate the following documents/confirmation for MetPro, which the CPR require:
· Financial viability of the company
· Equal Opportunities Assessment
· Criminal Records Bureau checks
· Confirmation of company’s Public Liability Insurance arrangements
· Confirmation of the company’s Health and Safety registration
· Confirmation on the SIA licence status of the Company Officers
· An agreed specification which outlined the service to be provided
· An agreed schedule of rates for payment of invoices A process for monitoring performance of service delivery to establish if the Council was receiving value for money.

Looks like the audit department missed Data Protection Act off of their list!

So whilst attending to the spec of sand in Mr Mustard's eye, which wasn't there anyway, the enormous plank in their own eye was not noticed.

Is overpaid incompetent idiots sufficient description of Barnet Council? Blistering incompetents? Arrogant popinjays ( copyright Mr Bailey ) gormless chumps (enough, we'll be all night if you carry on. Ed)

You really don't know Mr Mustard very well do you Barnet Council? For 24 years he has collected debt; there is nothing that he hasn't heard, he simply does not give in. He just dusted off his London marathon medals ( 1983, 1995, 1996 ) and a man who can run continuously for 4h&16m does not fall over at the slightest sign of resistance from Barnet Council. Resoluteness is the very core of his being - as you will find out. Here is a quotation from Calvin Coolidge which you would do well to remember:-

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
So what now? Well there is a joint letter coming; they always lead to a lot of publicity for Barnet Council. Your attempt to stifle free speech has already reached Birmingham and who knows where else.
How to stop Mr Mustard?
This was promised in the heading. It's easy. 
Start engaging properly with the residents of the borough
tell them all about One Barnet
don't have secret reports, including from opposition councillors, unless they really are secret
make sensible decisions in a democratic manner
let residents ask anything they like at residents forums
reverse the car parking & CPZ increases
apologise if you make an error
put parking meters back
let in-house teams bid for contracts
chuck all consultants out
get rid of all non-jobs
and generally become a sensible boring well run council that does not cause any excitement.
When all of those occur, Mr Mustard will fall silent.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Mr Mustard, although it think it would have been much better with, say, a flashing phrase repeating the words FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, no?

    It really is too funny that the council that was pursuing this ludicrous 'complaint' to the ICO had somehow forgotten the law on procurement, or CRB checking, or accounting, and had 600 non contracts operating, mostly for the care of our most vulnerable residents, that is to say children with special needs and elderly people in care homes. Funny, and yet really quite staggeringly awful. There is seemingly no end to their incompetence, nor their determination to evade the scrutiny of the community they are supposed to serve. As Mr Reasonable asked the Cabinet the other night: What are you so scared of? What have you got to hide?


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