Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Blue Barnet skies

I was sitting on my sofa this evening thinking about those demented posters, signed by CEO Nick Walkley, that Barnet council now has plastered all over its offices trying to put its staff off defending their pay and terms and conditions. How many days are they going to remain up (undefaced)?

The same message on those posters is repeated by council leader Richard Cornelius in an interview with the Times series.

Trying to fathom how these people's dastardly minds work, I realised that they, Barnet Conservative group leaders, Barnet council senior management team, must have got together one afternoon for a bit of a brainstorm over what to do to scupper Barnet Unison's effective industrial campaign.

I don't know who was there in person but whoever was presiding, Walkley, probably, must have commenced proceedings with a phrase such as "Nothing is ruled out, ladies and gentlemen. We need some real blue skies thinking."

That is how they came up with the idea of the giant posters. Not just one or two giant posters, but giant posters EVERYWHERE!

It occurred to me that they must have come up with many completely hair-brained ideas even worse than this one, ideas that should never see the light of day. That is the only explanation I can come up with for the bonkers idea that Nick Walkley should write to the 400-odd council staff planning to take a half-day strike on Tuesday 13 September, and tell them:
Finally, I want to let you know that today the Council will be presenting an injunction application to the High Court in connection with the 13 September strike. The Council has not taken this decision lightly, however, we have been and remain deeply concerned that Unison have thus far failed to comply with the requisite legal procedures to ensure a lawful strike. We have raised this point with Unison in connection with each ballot, however, we now believe we are left with little option other than to submit a formal challenge to the High Court. We consider that it is of paramount importance that all parties, specifically, the Council's employees, are afforded the full and proper legal protections provided for under industrial relations law. I will let you know the outcome.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Walkley, Chief Executive
Absolutely bonkers, I think you'll agree. Thank goodness that one was left on the drawing board... Oh, hang on a minute, unfortunately some idiot decided that was one of the ideas that would be implemented, along with the giant posters, and they typed up the letter and delivered it to some of those staff due to take action.

Later in the afternoon, a new letter had to be sent out without that final "nuclear option" paragraph, but not before everyone had been thoroughly alarmed.

The mind boggles at what other ideas were aired in that Blue Barnet skies meeting! Could any be more bonkers than the idea of the injunction?

Now, here, for no very good reason, are Erasure singing "Blue Savannah".

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