At the present time, politicians of all shades are under pressure. Excessive expenses and excessive allowances were order of the day. The public doesn't like it and the ruling classes are under pressure as never before.
One Councillor in Barnet, Geof Cooke, a Labour stallwart saw this and decided to do something. He tabled a motion proposing a cap on the rather generous allowances which Councillors can get. He thought it might restore trust in our local politicians.
How did the ruling Tories react?
They tabled an amendment which said
Council notes that the December 2007 report by the Labour-dominated Councillors Commission supported significant rises in allowances.This is quite bizarre. They opposed it because Labour thought big pay rises for Politicians were a good idea back in 2007? So are we to believe that Mike Freer and his Tories think that the mark of a good policy is if Labour support it?
It seems so because Council Leader Mike Freer said later :-
The Government have made it abundantly clear that councillors should be recompensed for the duties they take on.
This blog has noted before that Mike Freer is the biggest Brownite in Britain. It's a funny old world. At the next election all of the staunchest Tories in the Borough will be voting for a Brownite Council pretending to be Tories. They've been completely taken in. I remember my Dad once saying that the quickest route to success for a Communist was to join the Tories and pretend to be one. It seems that maybe the same is now true for Brownites (the arguments he makes for Future Shape could be taken word for word from Gordon Brown's plans to sell of the Tube system under PPP and we all know how that worked out).
Apart from the 33 members of the Conservative group on Barnet Council, are there any other Tories in the Borough who disagree with Geof Cooke that Councillors should be limited in how many allowances they trouser?
If the Tories in Barnet had a clue, they would have nicked Geoff Cooke's idea and used it as their clarion cry at the next election. If I were the Labour Party, I'd hire an open top bus, plaster it with posters saying "We tried to get the Barnet Tories to curb their troughing, but they said "NO NO NO" " and I'd drive up and down Finchley Central High Street all day.
I'll tell you how rubbish Barnet's Tory Councillors are. They've just handed the Barnet Labour Party a massive propoganda coup, that if they have half a brain they could use to sling Freer and his mates out with.
I've a little suggestion. Next time you see a Barnet Tory Councillor, ask them if they voted against Geof Cookes motion. If they say "yes" - tell them that you will never vote for them again. If they say "no", then they are telling porkies and they don't deserve your vote.
P.S If anyone knows of any Tories who voted for Geoff Cooks motion, abstained or were not present - please leave a comment as such, so that we all know. I'd hate for any that did the decent thing or were laid up ill to be treated unfairly.