Council chief: staff who resist cuts are terrorists


12:00 pm - August 14th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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It has emerged that that the chief executive of a council called members of his staff who resisted cuts as “terrorists” for opposing his agenda.

Martin Kimber, chief executive of Rotherham borough council, was speaking to local charity leaders in south Yorkshire last month when he made the remarks.

Kimber explained how cuts in public spending over the next three years would impact the council and local community services. The council has already lost £6m from in revenue funding, £3m from capital funding and £100m of Building Schools for the Future capital finance.

In the Q&A, he is asked if his staff are prepared for these changes. He acknowledges that there are some staff who will reject these changes.

He says these are: “The terrorists, the resisters.”

The comments were highlighted by Sheffield Indymedia and reported by the Society Guardian, but not picked up elsewhere or made into a story.

The Society Guardian reporter asks:

But think about it: does resisting changes that will do away with your job really make you a “terrorist”? Will the Provisional TUC go about bombing Rotherham council offices?

We highly doubt it. But it’s amazing the Council chief executive made such statements and got away with them.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Malcolm Armsteen

It also speaks volumes about the quality of elected councillors.

@malcolm

Martin Kimber is the Chief Executive of Rotherham Council i.e. an unelected official, so his views have nothing to do with the quality of elected councillors.

@1: “It also speaks volumes about the quality of elected councillors”

Of 63 councillors on Rotherham Council, 49 are Labour. The local MP is Denis MacShane.

We can but wait to learn what their response is to the council’s chief executive describing any who oppose the spending cuts as “terrorists”.

4. Malcolm Armsteen

I stand corrected.
It says a great deal about unelected officials.

@martin

At the most senior levels anyway – they’re all Tories with 200K salaries who share a distaste for the rank and file

“It says a great deal about unelected officials.”

The aspect to consider is the pay of council chief officers – relative to the PM, say – and how many services and lower paid jobs are sacrificed in order to preserve the status, salaries and perks of the chief officers. But all that is overseen by elected councillors and has to be approved by them. Watch what develops.

The behaviour of the Special Advisers (SPADs) brought into central government by New Labour isn’t much of a recommendation for politically appointed officials.

Remember Jo Moore and her emailed advice to colleagues on 9/11 in 2001 that it was a good day to “bury bad news”?

To be fair, everyone in South Yorkshire is a terrorist pretty much by definition.

Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

“To be fair, everyone in South Yorkshire is a terrorist pretty much by definition.”

C’mon. Nick Clegg’s constituency, Sheffield Hallam, is in South Yorkshire.

It’s one of the most affluent constituencies in Britain according to this BBC report:

“A Sheffield suburb has been named as the wealthiest place in England outside London and the south east. A survey by Barclays has found that nearly 8% of people in the Sheffield Hallam constituency earn more than £60,000 a year. This puts it in 17th place in the top 20 of most affluent places ahead of traditionally wealthy areas such as Twickenham and Windsor. The only other district outside the south east in the top 20 is the Tatton constituency in Cheshire.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2191223.stm

Is anyone able to find the podcast? I followed the links but it seems to have been removed.

To be fair, everyone in South Yorkshire is a terrorist pretty much by definition.

Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Typical Southern naivety.

Our sleeper cells are everywhere. Revenge will be swift. And you, Nick, are now on our list.

*insert spooky music/evil laugh*

It’s perhaps not widely appreciated that about a third of Orwell’s study of poverty in the north of England in the 1930s, published by Gollancz for the Left Book Club as: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), is about South Yorkshire. He also published chapter 7 as a free-standing essay: North and South

“There is nevertheless a real difference between North and South, and there is at least a tinge of truth in that picture of Southern England as one enormous Brighton inhabited by lounge-lizards. For climatic reasons the parasitic dividend-drawing class tend to settle in the South. In a Lancashire cotton-town you could probably go for months on end without once hearing an ‘educated’ accent, whereas there can hardly be a town in the South of England where you could throw a brick without hitting the niece of a bishop.”
http://www.george-orwell.org/North_And_South/0.html

10 – I grew up in Doncaster. Spending some time in Devon too, but mostly Doncaster.

I really, really want to nuke it from orbit.

The amazing thing is that Anthony Barber – who went on to become Ted Heath’s Chancellor of the Exechquer 1970-74 – was the MP for Doncaster from 1951 to 1964:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Barber

What changed? Try this piece about Doncaster from the Guardian in 1999 which sheds much illumination: New Labour and the curse of Donnygate
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/1999/aug/08/1

14. Dick the Prick

@5 – All senior officers are Tories!! Common purpose old bean but not Tories.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. TheBiPolarBearMD

    RT @libcon: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: 'terrorists' http://bit.ly/cF5Drs

  2. Jules Mattsson

    RT @libcon: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: 'terrorists' http://bit.ly/cF5Drs

  3. Nate

    Chief executive of Rotherham council, Martin Kimber, called members of his staff who resisted cuts “terrorists”: http://bit.ly/cF5Drs

  4. Kate B

    Rotheram council staff who don't like the idea of being sacked are terrorists http://bit.ly/9jvW0n. Yeah – fuck off, Martin.

  5. Mags

    RT @hangbitch: Rotheram council staff who don't like the idea of being sacked are terrorists http://bit.ly/9jvW0n. Yeah – fuck off, Martin.

  6. Political Animal

    RT @hangbitch Rotheram council staff who don't like the idea of being sacked are terrorists http://bit.ly/9jvW0n. Yeah – fuck off, Martin.

  7. Maggie Thatcher

    RT @hangbitch: Rotheram council staff who don't like the idea of being sacked are terrorists http://bit.ly/9jvW0n. Yeah – fuck off, Martin.

  8. Lady Muck

    RT @politic_animal RT @hangbitch Rotheram council staff who don't like idea of being sacked are terrorists http://bit.ly/9jvW0n >>dreadful

  9. Steve Chambers

    Rotheram council staff called 'terrorists' by boss. http://bit.ly/9jvW0n < That word has lost any power it ever had. (via @politic_animal)

  10. Emma Coften

    RT @Natcast: Chief executive of Rotherham council, Martin Kimber, called members of his staff who resisted cuts “terrorists”: http://bit.ly/cF5Drs

  11. StarSparkle

    RT @hangbitch: Rotheram council staff who don't like the idea of being sacked are terrorists http://bit.ly/9jvW0n. Yeah – fuck off, Martin.

  12. sunny hundal

    Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon

  13. Linda Spurdle

    RT @sunny_hundal: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon

  14. Phil Chamberlain

    RT @sunny_hundal: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon http://myloc.me/ayUiZ

  15. Sophie Cussen

    RT @sunny_hundal: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon

  16. Geoff Coleman

    RT @sunny_hundal: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon

  17. vcgriffin

    RT @sunny_hundal: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon

  18. Fr Paul Butler

    Description of Resistance to cuts. RT @sunny_hundal: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon

  19. Richard Bradley

    RT @sunny_hundal: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon

  20. SMS PolicyWatch

    RT @libcon: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: 'terrorists' http://bit.ly/cF5Drs

  21. ambir

    Council chief: staff who resist cuts are terrorists http://ff.im/-pfkpz

  22. Andy Sutherland

    RT @sunny_hundal: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: ‘terrorists’ http://t.co/UcUxu78 via @libcon

  23. Rotherham_Festival

    http://rothfest.tk RT @Natcast Rotherham Council Chief Exec Martin Kimber called staff terrorists http://bit.ly/cF5Drs Book Now 07593414662

  24. Robert Thompson

    “@libcon: Council chief calls staff who resist cuts: 'terrorists' http://bit.ly/cF5Drs”

  25. Trevor Nunn

    Council chief: staff who resist cuts are terrorists! Where do they get these knob-head Councl Chief Executives from? -http://is.gd/eiHAF

  26. Trevor Nunn

    Council chief: "staff who resist cuts are terrorists"! Where do they get these knob-head Council Chief Executives from?http://is.gd/eiHAF

  27. caebrwyn

    Rotherham Council chief: staff who resist cuts are terrorists; http://t.co/SxAFU9h @libcon – he would get on well with Carms CC Mark James!

  28. Paul Barasi

    RT @Natcast: Chief executive of Rotherham council, Martin Kimber, called members of his staff who resisted cuts “terrorists”: http://bit.ly/cF5Drs

  29. el jeffe

    RT @Natcast: Chief executive of Rotherham council, Martin Kimber, called members of his staff who resisted cuts “terrorists”: http://bit.ly/cF5Drs

  30. John Ruddy

    Council chief: staff who resist cuts are terrorists | http://t.co/fNQmxwB via @libcon < after our council leader told us to "get real" too





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