Saturday, 24 December 2011

Barnet bloggers put another Yule log on the fire burning under the Barnet administration

Making it three posts in an afternoon - and me with a train to catch! - can I draw your attention to the Barnet council civic awards? Usually, not desperately exciting to most, the competition could be more interesting this year.

Barnet CPZ Action are nominating Barnet blogger Mr Mustard (aka Derek Dishman) for services to blogging and his part in the campaign against the CPZ charge rises, and David Attfield, also for the latter.

There will be other people who should be honoured, I would include all my other fellow Barnet Bloggers, Mrs Angry, Mr Reasonable and the incomparable Barnet Eye. The bloggers have done a great job this year scrutinising the failings of the current administration.

Private Eye has just honoured the Barnet Bloggers, Mrs Angry in particular, in its 2011 "Rotten Borough" awards:
The past year saw a growing trend for councils to use the law, or the threat of legal action, to stifle free speech and limit public scrutiny of the way elected representatives spend tax payers' money. Councils seemed particularly alarmed by the increase in 'citizen journalists' writing blogs and tweeting - and holding councils to account in ways that many local papers no longer have the balls to.

Highly commended: Tory 'easycouncil' Barnet was one authority which took fright at the interest shown in its activities by electors - in particular a busy group of bloggers. It seriously considered prosecuting one of them, 'Mr Mustard', under the data protection act, until the information commissioner told it not to be so silly. Meanwhile it hired security men dressed in black paramilitary style uniforms to intimidate members of the public who turned up for an important budget meeting. Hats off to the bloggers, in particular 'Mrs Angry', who revealed that the company, MetPro, hadn't got a proper contract, and used unlicensed, non CRB checked staff.
With all the plaudits rolling in, I don't think we'll be going away next year! To take part in these exciting elections - the awards ceremony would be a hoot - visit this webpage. You only have until 31st December to make nominations!

1 comment:

Mr Mustard said...

I have put my form in nice and early nominating David and I expect there will be several. They can't all get lost in the post can they?