3 April 2012

Swanee Kazoo

What could be more appropriate when £1,000 has sailed up the Swanee River than a rendition of Swanee Kazoo. If that is too highbrow for you then here is the score for Commonwealth as purchased by Barnet Council with your money.

Score of Commonwealth
The copyright belongs to Barnet Council so play it all you like if you are a Barnet resident and get your money's worth. You may need to get a few friends round and once the bagpipes start the noise abatement officer will appear - once he/she realises the royal connection, yes Brian Coleman was instrumental in the selection of Tim Benjamin, the composer, the noise abatement officer will sing along.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard



  1. Mr Mustard

    According to the footnotes on each page, Tim Benjamin is claiming copyright of this masterpiece. Is it normal for a composer to retain copyright, having been paid a handsome fee for the commission?

    Has the council explained why it gave the commission to the son of Brian Coleman’s good friend Rev Benjamin without a tender?

  2. It would depend on the contract. In this case he wanted to have copyright to which I recall the committee raised no objection and then the legal department simply claimed it on behalf of Barnet Council in the contract (the legal department do try and save Barnet Council from themselves) and then you have a stark choice, sign and take the money or don't.

    There is no need for a tender at the level of £1,000 as it would cost more than the goods. There was a failure to consider alternatives by the looks of it or to think of schools or other alternatives like a competition. The Assistant Chief Executive Julie Taylor ( not on the payroll, she is paid through HAYS ) was not told of the link between Brian Coleman and Tim Benjamin i.e. through his father, the Reverend Benjamin. When asked about this her response was a bit terse (once I got an answer to the actual question and not a load of waffle from "Communications")

    "I had understood Chris's answer to address your question, but for the avoidance of doubt:

    No, I did not know that Tim Benjamin was the son of Rev Adrian Benjamin when I signed the DPR appointing him as composer of the anthem. This would not have been material to the decision, and there is no reason why I would have been advised of it.

    Julie Taylor"

    I don't think she is Asst Chief Exec material based on this one email response. She shows a complete failure to understand that cronyism annoys council tax payers and she appears to be a Town Hall Tax Dodger to boot. Not a good leadership example to set. Non-stick Nick Walkely pays PAYE, why can't his no. 2 and no. 3 ? ( Taylor and Travers for those who don't know ).

  3. It is amazing how many things the council doesn’t know. A few years ago, it didn’t realise that a planning application for a change of use related to a property owned by the then leader of the council Lynne Hillan.

    Perhaps they could provide us with a list of known knowns and known unknowns.


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.