1 April 2013

One Barnet scrapped

One Barnet to become less visible

Mr Mustard sat through 3 days of argument at the Royal Courts of Justice the week before last. The judgment is expected soon and the whole process has shaken Barnet Council to its core even though not a single councillor from the majority party could find the time to spend even a minute in the RCJ. They go on about being Open and Transparent when really all they mean is that they want to appear to be Open and Transparent without the public, especially those eccentric socialists from BAPS, the pesky bloggers, exiled Americans and a café owner getting in the way and asking the difficult questions that need to be asked.

So the new plan, which has been leaked to Mr Mustard by his mole in Governance, is to "scrap" One Barnet. Stop cheering because that isn't the good news that you think it is. The evil One Barnet programme, once described by Mr Mustard as "everything and nothing", is not going to change in any way shape or form, Cornelius is going to keep driving that juggernaut until it crashes spectacularly but what will change is that the words One Barnet will disappear from sight. This will be achieved by the spellchecker on council computers being programmed to replace the words One Barnet with nothing at all and any member of staff who uses the words in any communication from now on will be sent away for a day of re-training by Alfur Training who won the recent mini-tender competition (training costs a fortune and their quote, the cheapest by some way, was still £500 a day - Mr Mustard exhorts all employees not to use the words One Barnet ever again as he doesn't want his Council Tax wasted in this way). 

Here is the proof, the leaflet that came with the 2013/14 Council Tax demand talks about changing the way services run but does not mention One Barnet

By doing this, the thinking goes, the multifarious changes planned in Wave 2 of "blank" cannot be so easily attacked by BAPS. What will they put on their banners, just the word "Stop" and then a blank space? It will be harder to link together the wave 2 projects, which include:
  • community safety
  • early intervention and prevention
  • health and social care integration
  • sport and physical activity
  • waste and street scene.
Mr Mustard is looking forward to seeing the Sport and Physical Activity programme. "Better fitness for less effort" which probably won't be the next Olympic slogan.

This idea, probably one of his best, is that of Chris Palmer who is now the Head of Communications. He is known as the Tooting Twister because "spin doctor" implied a certain ability and thus was inaccurate, because he lives in Tooting and because he is the mouthpiece for the council and mangles words for a living, a very nice six figure living at that. He has been hanging around Barnet like a Town Hall Tax Dodger for some time now and must be getting a bit fed up with the journey as he has been seen (the bloggers' eyes are everywhere) looking at nice Victorian houses in Finchley (well they do go well with the council's policies) and so he will also need a new name. He will have to be the Finchley Fudger from now on.

Mr Mustard has been thinking about how the bloggers can combat the anonymisation of the programme formerly known as One Barnet and he thinks there is a need to fight a non-slogan with a memorable and catchy slogan so that his suggestion for the next march up the High Road is to use a new chant, Keep Name One Barnet, calling out the letters k, n, o & b in time to the placing of the feet, (think 2-4-6-8).

Sing it out proudly comrades.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

Footnote : 2 April 2013

As the clock strikes mid-night Mr Mustard is obliged to tell you that this entry was his April Fool although like all good jokes it could be true. I will ask Richard Cornelius not to do this if I have given him the idea without payment of a suitable fee. Given that this is the best idea on the subject Mr Mustard doesn't think that £24,999 would go amiss and of course doesn't need any boring contract paperwork.

It is of course true that not a single councillor could find the time for even a brief visit to see the Judicial review in progress which is an utter disgrace.

Mr Mustard does not have a mole in Governance (is this a double bluff?) although he doesn't expect this to stop HR dragging all the staff into a room for an interrogation one-by-one as to whether they are Mr mustard's mole or not.

Alfur is Icelandic for "fool".

Maybe Chris Palmer is going on the payroll as he certainly isn't going anywhere else. Mr Mustard will have to put an FOI question in although doubtless it will be as vexatious as only his questions are. Actually Mr Mustard thinks that one other person has now had one of their questions deemed as vexatious but can't remember offhand who it was. It will come back to him. So nice not to be alone.

Mr Mustard recommends that members (double entendre not intended) of BAPS (nor here) do not shout Stop Knob or even stopcock as they march up the High Road in the future as they might get arrested for breach of the peace.

Until next year then and try not to make fools of yourselves.

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