Dave Hill has a fascinating interview on his blog with Boris's Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes.
Barnes signals that contrary to Boris's statement last month, City Hall *will* in fact be entering the Stonewall Employers list in future years:
Richard Barnes: It is not a decision which is going to stand like a tablet of stone forever. We will certainly be a part of that process in the future.Dave Hill: Can you just explain a bit more about that? You have opted out of this apparently because it is a devisive thing but you say that you will be been part of it in the future? How does that work?Richard Barnes: As I say, no decision is vested in stone. We took the decision for very practical reasons both this year and last. There is no point taking the decision if you are going to be coming out on the bottom end because we were not in a position to do it.And I'm prepared to put our (equality and diversity policies) up to a test for anybody and if we're not prepared to do that then we're not setting the gold standard for London... and that we must be prepared to do.
Right, so is the Stonewall employers list divisive or not divisive? And who's running Boris's cultural policy now, his deputy or his cultural director?
Answers on a postcard for that one I think.
Next Barnes is asked about Harry Phibbs latest auto-rant on Conservative Home.
Dave Hill: I was interested to read a rather provocative article on the Conservative Home website by Harry Phibbs, a Conservative Councillor from Hammersmith and Fulham, expressing alarm that there remains in City Hall a number of diversity officers within the staff. He seemed to think that was a failure on Boris's behalf...Richard Barnes: Well I think Harry Phibbs has a lot to learn about life really hasn't he? It was drawn to my attention what he said and he also criticises the language we used that it's overly PC. Well when Harry aspires to be a little more than a councillor in Hammersmith and Fulham then I'm sure we can address and sit down and recognise the real issues.
Well I think that counts as a slap down. Anything to add?
Richard Barnes: I represent the Conservative party that David Cameron is promoting across this country and the Conservative party that will win the next general election and I'm not quite sure that Harry Phibbs attitudes will do that...
The days of walking into an organisation with a machete in one hand and a sub-machine gun in the other are long gone.
So that's no swinging machete's in City Hall any time soon. Phew. Let's just hope Phibbs doesn't decide to take matters into his own hands...