Friday, March 27, 2009

Go on then have an independent inquiry! I dare ya'!!!

I must say, it's not that often that I find myself agreeing with the leader of the Liberal Democrats Cllr Chris Abbott. I find his rather nasty style of politics difficult to swallow especially as he started an untrue smear campaign that I was a member of the BNP way back in 2004 with his coalition partner Cllr Dave Fitzpatrick. Are councillors supposed to deliberately, untruthfully smear members of the public? It was something that I took them to the Standards Board for.

However, my heart lept for joy when I saw this headline on the Gazette live page today.

I couldn't agree with Mr Abbott more, that an independent inquiry should begin immediately into not just the calamitous findings of the Audit Commission yesterday, namely that this council had acted negligently in investing money in icelandic banks that they had been warned not to, but into every last rotten aspect of this officer led and driven council.

Mr Abbott, for all of his good intentions today, really ought to remember that it was the Lib/Dem-Tory-East Cleveland Independent coalition who were 'supposed' to be in power when the Audit Commission found that the council was only a two star authority that was failing financially and not the four star authority that the coalition constantly kept telling people. He should remember that this final audit financial report that showed this, was surpressed by senior officers of the council and replaced with another final report which then miraculously showed that the council were a four star authority whilst his Lib/Dem-Tory-East Cleveland Independent coalition were in power?
Mr Abbott should remember that it was the coalitions performance whilst in power, which resulted among other things, in this council actually being downgraded to a two star authority by the Audit Commission last September and he should remember that it was the coalition that was in power when a whole raft of dodgy and dubious decisions were made by these same senior officers and who featured so terribly in tribunal decision after tribunal decision for having lied, decieved, acted illegally, concealed and brought the council down into disrepute.

I believe that Mr Abbott is well aware of all of these things and it is for that reason that I believe his call for an independent inquiry is nothing more than his attempt at playing party politics in order to score points against the Labour group in the run up to the Dormanstown by election next week and nothing more than a bit of puff and blow, which he is well capable of.

As a seasoned politician he knows that an independent inquiry isn't going to happen, every bit as much as George Dunning knew that both of his calls publicly to have Colin Moore investigated for his terrible behaviour whilst George was leader of the opposition, were never going to happen. Perhaps this is why George when he became leader of the council in 2007, then somehow 'forgot' both of his calls to have Moore investigated and then gave Moore a glowing reference in the Gazette along with 104 weeks enhanced pay deal and a massive pension that the tax payers of Redcar and Cleveland are still paying for?

Mr Abbott wants an independent inquiry even less than the Labour group, given that the old coalition were responsible for letting that clutch of officers get away with so much wrong doing themselves. If an independent investigation was ever to happen, he knows what a can of worms would be opened and he, along with everyone else within the political system within this borough and that includes the MP's, doesn't want that to happen. Strange? I don't remember Mr Abbott speaking out so loudly when Ms Baird stopped the independent investigation from taking place, to then call for an internal investigation instead, at the end of 2007?

Perhaps that's because most of the things that were being exposed showed massive failings in his beloved coalition and so he was pleased to have Vera's intervention and her call for an internal investigation, so keeping everything well and truly covered up?

Vera Baird has already stopped an independent investigation from taking place and called for an internal investigation instead. Smiling Peter Scott is saying that an internal audit regarding the matter of the invested money, has showed everything to be okay.

Does anyone remember when Sharon Shoesmith stood on the steps of Haringey council and said that their internal investigation into the Baby P scandal had shown the council had acted properly? Anyone starting to see any similarities between Harringey and Redcar yet? And we all know what had really happened in Harringey don't we? Despite the Labour Parties' and Harringey councils assurances that everything was okay.

All of the so called 'guardians of local democracy' in this area, are scurrying around making this statement or calling for this and that, desperate to try and distance themselves from all of the wrong doing that has taken place within this council and desperate to try and cover it all up.

The problem that they all have from Labour to the Liberals to the Conservatives to The Independents to both MP's, is that there is so much wrong doing that has taken place, things that they have all been aware of it but done absolutely nothing to stop, that they are all implicated and no matter how hard they try, none of them will be able to cover up, whitewash or distance themselves for much longer.

They have all been such fools for trusting these officers. They have no-one to blame but themselves.

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