23 March 2011

King Canute comes to Barnet

Just like me, my friend Mr D. hates money being wasted. He had some thoughts on the cost of democracy in the matter of government approved filming and so he sent me a copy of this email that he has sent to the Councillors who will consider the matter on 30 March.

Dear Councillors

Canute was a Danish King of England who is best remembered for his futile attempt to stop the tide from coming in.

You will be like King Canute on 30 March if/when you attend the General Functions Committee and reach item 15 "Filming & recording of Council Meetings" if you think that you can control filming on the obsolete basis that this was the Council's decision from 1983 to 2008.

The tide of change has already swept past you; accept it.

Let's look at this simply. The Council keep saying how many £million short they are over the next 3 years.
Therefore, any non-essential spending should not take place.
Bloggers, other journalists, trade union representatives, political activists, interested members of the public etc etc already record meetings of the Council and this is free to the Council.
There is no danger of reputational risk to the Council by mis-representation; bloggers' reports simply add some balance to the work of the Council's communications officers ( they don't report bad news or ask searching questions now do they ? ) and question what takes place in a democratic and peaceful manner.
If individual Council officers are worried about being mis-quoted they could buy themselves a dictaphone out of their allowances. There's one at Argos which is a bargain at only £19.99 and records over 500 hours of talk.
I am sure your allowances will cover that ( see link in next blog ).

So please don't waste any residents' money on unnecessary equipment. Simply accept that Council Meetings to which the public are admitted are indeed public meetings and embrace their recording. You will gain some respect for it ( and you do need the public on your side ).

Yours sincerely

Mr D

We only have to wait a week to see if commonsense prevails. Mr Reasonable will be equally pleased to see some.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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