19 July 2010

Question time

Did you see the Zac Goldsmith being interviewed on Channel 4 by Jon Snow? It seems that Zac may have a problem with his election expenses (what a surprise) and he came on Channel 4 to be interviewed by Jon Snow, Channel 4 having been a critic of Zac's finances.

From the start Zac went on the offensive but he wasn't attacking Channel 4 with facts supporting his election expenses. No, Zac was attacking Channel 4 and Jon Snow over whether or not he (Zac) had been invited to come on to the programme some days before. It was quite clear that Zac didn't want to go near the expenses issue and his petulant and tantrum-like ranting only drew more attention to his desire not to answer the questions. And I thought about the Rod&Sherry show from last week and the similarities were striking.

Rod Briggs is clearly a thoughtful and intelligent guy and he is faced with the problem of supporting the Keenan/Canvin administration and, to do so, his chosen strategy is to try to discredit the enquiry into the finances of Somerton Town Council under their leadership. His approach is to question the cost of the enquiry and to blame the person raising the objection ie myself. The strategy is a good one but Rod has a very real problem in that, if there was nothing to enquire into, then the External Auditor would have kicked the original objection into touch. The External Auditor isn't in the business of wasting taxpayer's money (unlike Rod's friends Keenan/Canvin et al) so maybe, just maybe, the scale of the enquiry indicates the depth of the problems.

Then there is the cost of Freedom of Information enquiries, something else that Rod complained about and here, again, Rod sought to blame the messenger and ignore the message. Rod's friends, Keenan&Canvin, ramped up the cost of Freedom of Information enquiries by trying to obstruct them. Rod's friends weren't interested in answering the questions because the answers were embarrassing. So Rod is trying, on their behalf, to deflect attention from the cost of their stupidity.

And then there is the chairperson of the Secretive Community Association, Mrs Sherry Briggs, who also happens to be the '(unnecessary) assistant to the (useless) Town Clerk'. This conflicted situation probably explains Rod Briggs' appointment as standard bearer for Messers Bully & Sidekick. The assistant to the Clerk, being a 'Public Servant' and paid from the public purse, probably appreciates that it would be difficult to fly the flag for the Suiciders without looking just a tad .......... prejudiced.

Sherry Briggs has made it quite clear that the Secretive Community Association has an awful lot to hide. Has the Secretive Community association published any formal accounts (not the list of 'grants' made by the Secretive Community Association) but yearly balance sheets? No. Has the secretive Community Association published any information about its membership numbers? No. Has the Secretive Community Association consulted with Somerton's community over how public funds and donations should be spent? No. Has the Secretive Community Association registered with the Charities Commission? No. Is the Secretive Community Association anything more than the 'Sherry Briggs Fund to prop up the old Somerton Town Council'? Probably.

And that brings me to an interesting possibility. When the old Somerton Town Council came up with the idea to appoint an unnecessary assistant to the useless Town Clerk, was it a bung?

Was the idea that the old Town Council would give Sherry the job in return for access to or influence over a chunk of the Secretive Community Association's dosh? Now that is an interesting idea. It would certainly explain why La Briggs pitched £50,000 of Secretive Community Association funds into the Tin Dunny without seeking the opinion of the community beforehand. Maybe Sherry was also led to believe that the useless Town Clerk's job would be hers when the Clerk finally tired of doing nothing. Afterall, who would turn down £40k+ pa for that kind of employment? But I guess that we'll never know because no-one took any notes at the many confidential/in-camera/secret meetings that used to be such a feature of the old Somerton Town Council.

Till next time, I'm still Niall Connolly

PS Out of respect for Rod Briggs, who seems to be a pretty smart guy, I'd like to make an open invitation to Rod to come to my home and he can explain to me where I'm getting it wrong. Maybe he can explain the documents that have turned up and he can also explain why there is so little documentation of the business activities of the old Somerton Town Council.