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News and Comment December 2012

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18 December (Part 1) - Useful idiots

ThesuarusWhere would we be without them? Short of things to report for starters.

Mick Barnbrook posed a question for the next council meeting due a whole three months away. “Why do members of the public have to have their private addresses published in the agenda for full council meetings when asking a question whereas councillors do not?”

Kevin Fox, Bexley council’s principal manufacturer of pathetic excuses, merely said that the protocol that authorises the compulsory publication of Bexley residents’ addresses is not a policy and only policy questions are allowed at council meetings. It’s an insane attempt to pervert the English language but that is what Fox said and what one must expect from him.

Mick responded quoting the thesaurus to Fox but to no avail. Back came the reply “I have spoken to the Mayor and his decision remains as originally communicated to you”.

Alan DowningA complaint has been dispatched to the Local Government Ombudsman. The LGO usually takes exception to councils that break their own rules to the disadvantage of individuals. That makes two complaints currently with the LGO about the pen jabbing mayor Alan Downing. One day he might realise that acting the constant imbecile causes more grief than it is worth. On the other hand this website might starve to death. Even idiots can be useful.

I don’t generally complain to Bexley council because the repercussions take up too much time but I made an exception when Kevin Fox said his precious protocols allowed the taking of photographs before a meeting began, but not during one. Then when told of the proposal to take a photograph well before a meeting started and in a manner only one step removed from getting Fox to press the shutter button, he told me he had made a decision to disallow all photography.

I was not best pleased by Fox’s obstinacy and apparent disregard for the stated protocol and asked him for an explanation or an alternative. The alternative was “Would you prefer to be honest for once in your life and say that there are no circumstances in which Bexley Council will observe the spirit of the new laws?” I did not get a reply but I did get a telling off from the Head of Human Resources, a thin-skinned bureaucrat by the name of Nick Hollier, who appears to believe his authority extends outside the Civic Offices.

Nick Hollier
Ooh, that’s really scary. The request for an honest answer instead of the earlier contradictions has caused distress and the implication that Fox lies for a living is offensive. No protestation that Fox hadn’t lied in the earlier answers nor was any reason provided for a decision contrary to the protocols previously quoted.

The situation is not unlike that discovered by Mr. Barnbrook the common features being protocols, a refusal to explain them and Fox. I shall have to take a leaf out of Mick’s book and see if I can interest the LGO in another Fox Fiasco.


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