Friday, 27 February 2015

Save London Music Campaign - Official Launch Today

Today (Friday 27th February) we launch our Save London Music Campaign.

This is a serious campaign and we are looking for some serious backing from everyone who is interested in preserving the musical cultural heritage of London. 

We've had expressions of support from Bally Studios, Station Studios, the London Rehearsal Studios site, Alasdair Hill - Lib Dem Candidate for Hendon, Gr8MusicVenues, Live4Ever Ezine. The BBC have been in touch about the campaign and we 've had expressions of support from dozens of individual musicians. That is not bad considering we've only officially launched the campaign today. The trailer on our facebook page had 59 likes and 22 shares which is a great response, compared to our usual posts.

Here's what we want you to do to help

Twitter
 We have launched the Hashtag #SaveLondonMusic and we are asking all interested parties and organisatons to tweet every Friday and Saturday using the #SaveLondonMusic tag and highlight any gigs, events, threatened closures, campaigns to reopen venues etc. We also ask all musicians etc to retweet any tweets with this #Tag. Please do everything you can to support the launch on twitter.
Facebook
Post details of the campaign on your facebook site. Urge your followers etc to get involved. Link to this blog post, if you can't think of anything else to say.
Email
Write to your local MP and ask them to get involved in supporting the campaign. Ask them to visit your studios, venue or other music organisation. There is an election in May, so contact opposition parties as well and ask for their support. Use Twitter and Facebook to publicise positive and negative responses.
Email local press and other media, to notify them that you are supporting the campaign. 
Get in Touch
If you want more details contact Roger Tichborne at Mill Hill Music Complex via enquiries@millhillmusic.co.uk

Why are we campaigning
I will be organising an event in March to get interested parties together to discuss how we can take this on to the next level.
So why are we doing this and why is it important?
It has become clear to us that the London Music Scene is undergoing a period of severe danger. Everyone associated with Music in London is aware of venue and studio closures. Through my work with Mill Hill Music Complex, which is North West Londons largest independent studio complex, I meet hundreds of musicians every week and we hear more and more stories. Many of our new customers are driving from the four corners of London, because their local studios have shut. They also tell of losing regular gigs down to pub and club closurrs.
Locally we are seeing the devastating effects of this. We sponsor the bi-annual Mill Hill Music Festival. This will take place this June this year. Organising this years festival, we observed that in Mil Hill alone, we’ve lost six major venues where we held events over the last six years.
The Mill Pub,
The Angel & Crown Pub,
Holcombe House,
St Josephs College,
The Mill Hill Sports Club
The Bell at Mill Hill
Four have been lost for luxury flat development, one has been knocked down to accommodate a new school and one has been converted into an Italian restaurant chain. This is all in one tiny corner of London. If you then look across London as a whole, you see the pattern repeated time and time again. Nothing is being spared in the rush to build flats and cash in on property portfolios. The most recent of a long line of iconic venues to close has been The 12 Bar club in Denmark Street. Just around the corner, the Astoria was lost as part of Crossrail.
Even more worrying is the loss of recording and rehearsal studio space in London. Typically rehearsal and recording studios are in industrial/workshop areas which are being gobbled up and redeveloped. In North West London, we’ve seen a whole host of well respected studios close, not because there was no demand, but because their buildings were more valuable as “development assets” recently we ‘ve lost Downs Sound in http://downssounds.co.uk/  and Station Studios, both in Southgate. This has caused a huge gap in provision in North West London. This is repeated all across London.
You may wonder, what does this all matter? Well the value of creative industries to the UK is immense. This government report details the huge contribution to the UK economy, £8 Million an hour.
Any sane local, regional and national administration would be taking firm action to preserve this sector and to allow it to thrive. What we have seen is the exact opposite. This article by Jimmy Mulvihill of Bally Studios details just how difficult it is to open a new space http://freshonthenet.co.uk/2015/01/deathlondon2/
When Mill Hill Music Complex redeveloped our studios, thousands were spent on acoustic surveys to pacify planners, despite the studios being ¼ a mile away from nearest residential housing and being next to the M1 and Midland Mainline that generate and average background ambient noise of  74db. It didn’t occur to the planners that a studio requires soundproofing to do its job. If there was none, no band could rehearse due to bleed.

What can be done

There are a few things that could make a huge difference.
1)      Give tax breaks for companies investing in soundproofing for live music, rehearsal and recording.
2)      Designate established music related sites (venues, studios, etc) as protected sites with stringent planning rules around change of use planning applications.
3)      Require local authorities to ensure that provision of spaces for music are integral parts of all large scale planning applictions.
4)      Offer music related venues & establishments statutory protection from noise related complaints from neighbouring new build developments.
5)      Require local authorities to ensure that music venues are not left empty to rot by developers seeking to get around planning laws.
Please support this campaign 
Roger Tichborne Save London Music Campaign coordinator. 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

One Barnet - It's all starting to smell




Former Barnet Council employees Bill Murphy ,Richard Grice, and  Craig Cooper have now joined Capita!


All three involved in the procurement process on the two contracts that Capita won. Watch Mr Cooper in 2012 replying to Mr Reasonable about the contract. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Tricky Dicky Cornelius - The dodgy answers of Dr Evil, Leader of Barnet Council


The Leader of Barnet Council has a bit of a reputation for rather odd answers (as the video above demonstrates).He's been at it again at the last full council meeting. I was just reviewing his answers in the latest minutes. Tell me what you think - http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s20425/Minutes%20of%20the%20meeting%20held%20on%2016%20December%202014.pdf 

Here are a selecion, displaying the talents of "Dr Evil"

38. Councillor Barry Rawlings

Can the Leader explain his groups decision to support Cllr. Thompstone's amendment that mean's in the options for Libraries, rather than 540 square feet being a minimum it is now a minimum 'on average' i.e. could be smaller?

 Answer by the Leader
The words ‘on average’ were not an addition made by the amendment, but were already part of the report. However, 540 square feet is small and it is difficult to imagine one smaller.

Well if you think that is an odd answer, try this one:-

141. Councillor Arjun Mittra In answer to a previous written question of mine, it was indicated action was taken on only 10% or so of planning enforcement requests made. Does the leader feel residents should be confident that complaints will be dealt with when they report breaches in planning rules?

Answer by the Leader
Yes.

Or how about this one?

36. Councillor Devra Kay

We have all experienced Capita's appalling standard of services that they are contracted to provide to Barnet, including call centre, IT, payroll and highways . If we received service like this in our personal lives we would blow the company out of the water. In the light of Capita's failures, what is the Council doing and intending to do about Capita?

Answer by the Leader
Overall, Capita is delivering a good service.

Supplementary Question
When I was in a recent meeting with Capita it was dropped into the conversation that the Call Centre is soon to be automated and that only 30% of staff would be retained and that this was in the original contract. So knowing this, the council encouraged council employees to move to Coventry in order to keep their jobs and some did so. Does the Leader believe that he has behaved ethically? And does he have more consideration for Capita which is indicated by his written answer than for the people of Barnet, the employees of the council and their future s and the futures of their families?

Supplementary Answer
Yes and no. 

It seems like Richard Cornelius is relishing the "Dr Evil" role. I wonder what those employees of Barnet Council, who moved to Coventry, only to find they are facing redundancy are feeling right now.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Rog T's Dyslexia Blog - Who says that your school years are the best years of your life - part 2

For those of you who haven't read my dyslexia blogs before, here is a little preamble and introduction, so you know who I am and what I do and why I write this stuff. For those of you who know the story, skip to the end of the paragraph for todays installment. Let me give you a bit of Background so you know who I am and what I do. I was born in 1962. I didn't start talking until I was 4 years old (at all, not a single word). My parents thought I was deaf. My reading age at eleven was 5. When I was fifteen I started a rock and roll band called the False Dots, the band is still going strong. When I was 16 I started a business called Mill Hill Music Complex (although then it was simply called the studio), a rehearsal studio, as we had nowhere to rehearse. The business has grown into a very successful enterprise, one of Londons biggest and most well respected independent studios. We now have 16 studios and a music shop and also have a photography/video studio and a dance studio. I also have done IT work, mostly on a freelance basis since 1983. In 2012 I also moved into film production, producing two highly acclaimed documentary films, both of which had screenings at the House of Commons. When I was 31, a friend suggested I had a dyslexia test. To my surprise I was told I was moderately dyslexic. This made me interested in the subject. To my amazement, what I have learned over the years is that my lack of educational aptitude, my feelings of anger and injustice and the core of my personality have been formed by the fact I cannot read words in a linear fashion. In 2013, I have set one of my objectives to use this blog to let dyslexics know they are not alone, to suggest that people who think they may be dyslexic to get an assessment and toget people who have dyslexic children or siblings to understand the issues that they face.

 So in Part One of this series I talked about my experiences at Primary School in the late 1960's and early 1970s as a dyslexic. In part 2, I am discussing the period aged 10 to 14, where I applied for and attended Finchley Catholic High School and before I discovered Punk Rock music. This was in many ways the most miserable time of my life. It all started so well. My elder brother Frank had attended Finchley Grammar School, which had morphed into Finchley Catholic High School four years before I started. My parents were always fairly relaxed about my education. Strangely the teachers had advised them that I'd be far better applying for St James Catholic school as I was too thick for Finchley. Despite now being open to all as a comprehensive (my brother had to sit an exam to get in), it still had a good reputation. The boys who were doing O levels at the time were still the Grammar intake. FCHS was an amalgamation of Finchley Grammar School and Challoner School. Challoner was a private school for well off Catholics who failed the Eleven Plus. More about that later.

Anyway, unlike my elder brother, no exam for me. I just had an interview with the headmaster "Pop" Groves. Now for me this was a big deal. I assumed that if I said the wrong thing, that would be me done for. Anyway, off I went for the interview. Pop Groves was a kindly old Priest, who had dedicated his life to education. He seemed like a friendly chap. He remembered my brother, who had been a bit of a star, gone to University and obtained a degree. He asked me to spell Arctic, which miraculously I managed. He complimented me saying "many boys spell it ARTIC". I said "Do you mean like an articulated lorry?".  He was even more impressed. The odd thing about my form of dyslexia is that there are certain words I have never had any trouble with. My brain clearly felt the need to distinguish between the North Pole and juggernauts. With that the interview ended, doubtless with Pop Groves thinking that he'd found another budding rocket scientist (my brother designed bits for Space shuttles for a while). Now as I said, my parents were relaxed as to where I would go. We had a whole load of glossy brochures from local schools. I liked the one for Finchley. The reason was quite simple, they said they did Drum lessons and I fancied being a drummer.

Anyway, on the 4th September 1973, I turned up for my first day. I'd earlier mentioned Challoner School. When the two schools amalgamated, Pop Groves, the kindly head of FCHS had been appointed headmaster. Unfortunately, there was another headmaster to accomodate. The former head of Challoner was Mr Daniel Coughlan (AKA Danny).  Now he was most certainly not kindly. He was a complete nutcase. He was what one might refer to as Old School. For him, running a school was about maintaining discipline in a climate of fear. Stories abounded about the beatings he'd dished out to various pupils old and new. He used to address all new parents en mass and talk to them like idiots. My father was not well disposed towards Danny Coughlin. He had a ritual when he caned boys. H'ed put his mortarboard and cape on. Then he'd call in his sidekick, Mr Keough, the deputy head to witness the beating. 

He was also the RE teacher. He would simply dictate what he wanted us to write and test us on it the following week. Our form teacher for our form - 1B was Mr O'Connell, a slightly deranged geography teacher, who  couldn't deal with our class. He quickly acquired the name "Gimpy". Class 1B soon got the reputation as being full of troublemakers. We were not bullies, we were just a class that had no respect for authority and used every opportunity to try and put one over on the system. Wheras other classes had 3-4 troublemakers, we had 3-4 diligent pupils. For some bizarre reason, for our year and our year alone, FCHS decided to allocate the classes alphabetically. Being predominantly Irish Catholic, this resulted in rather a lot of Mick Walsh's and John Ryans in our class, to our endless amusement and the teachers complete consternation.

The first disappointment on joining was to find out that the drum lessons, the only reason I'd chosen the school were a figment of the brochure writers imagination. There was no such thing. When I drew attention to the fact that this was why I'd chosen the school, the Music teacher sarcastically laughed and said "well thats a bit of a shame, isn't it". I've hated him ever since.

None of the teachers in year 1 seemed the least bit interested in teaching us. Mr O'Donovan, the French teacher, spent the lessons telling tall stories about his wartime exploits in France. As we had no interest in French, we'd encourage him, with the end result that at the end of the year, none of us had learned a single word. Our form teacher, Mr O'Connell hated us and as our geography teacher did everything he could to avoid us. We simply used to bang our desk lids when he came in, in the hope that he'd lose the plot and go out again. One day he really lost the plot and punched Nick Walsh, who was sitting in the front row and not banging his desk, in the face. That was the last we saw of Mr O'Connell, although he taught other classes. We saw it as a victory, although Nick Walsh and his parents probably took a different view.

Then there was Mr Linane. He was the history teacher. Like many of the teachers, he took a great delight in humiliating eleven year old boys. In our first lesson, he read the register and made every boy, in turn, reveal what their middle initial was. Mine was "M" for Martin. Not too bad really. It came to one poor unfortunate, who had "R" as his middle name. Mr Linane asked what it was. "R" replied that he'd rather not say. A wicked glint entered Mr Linane's eye. "Is it Richard?" he asked. No Sir, R Replied. "Is it Roger?", he asked. R replied "No Sir". This continued for a couple of minutes, to no avail. In the end, Mr Linane said "What's the matter with you boy, just tell us, or we'll be here all night". At this, R broke down into tears and blubbed "Sir it's Rupert". At this the rest of us collapsed in laughter. Mr Linane wasn't going to let it rest. He asked "Rupert, are you a poof, why are you crying?" and spent the next five minutes taunting the poor chap. Now, those were different times and in FCHS at the time, there was a very homophobic atmosphere. Despite the fact that R was a nice bloke, this episode tarred him with a reputation that doubtless made his schooling awful. Our class used to mercilessly taunt various members. In R's case, he had his own rather derogatory, homophobic song, which got sung every time he entered the classroom, for the next few years.

What didn't help with the air of antagonism and homophobia, were a few decidedly dodgy teachers. One games teacher, who's name escapes me, used to insist on underpants inspections before we did PE. He informed us that wearing underpants under shorts, whilst doing PE was unhealthy. He'd make us all line up and pull our shorts down, to ensure no underpants were being worn. It didn't take us long to clock on to the fact that this wasn't healthy behaviour. 

By the end of year 2, several of the class had left for pastures new (although R stuck it out till the bitter end). They'd just had enough of it, although at the time we all were bemused. Our view was that everyone got stick, so they should just get on with it. We hated the teachers and they hated us. At the start of year 2B, we had a new form teacher. Mr Sweeney was a fearsome character. He'd announce his arrival by throwing his brief case through the door, onto the desk. He let it be known that he wasn't going to take any nonsense. He used to throw blackboard rubbers at us and threaten to punch our lights out. In a fair fight, one on one, he'd always win. However there were 38 boys in class 2b, all of whom were dead set on making his life miserable. We assumed that he was made of sterner stuff, but by the end of the year, he'd had enough and asked for another class. This was becoming a pattern. In year 1, our English Teacher was Miss Walsh, a humourless ex nun. She was replaced in year 2 by Mr Katz. Mr was an American hippy. He believed kids should express themselves and tried to be nice to us. He'd say things like "Hey man, what's with all the negativity". We just ran riot. Sadly, in our class, Mr Katz was not a success. Most of the other classes loved him and realised that if they went along with him, the lessons would be fun and they'd learn. For us, we just wanted to get rid of him. When you are educationally challenged with dyslexia, this doesn't make for a good education.

In class 3b, we yet again had a new form teacher. I have no idea why they inflicted us on the lovely Alison MacFarlane, a pretty redhead of Scottish extraction, who seemed far too nice for us lot. We'd moved to the "Middle School" when she took us on. She was a biology teacher and unlike the previous two, she recognised that there was a bit more to form 3b than troublemaking. The sad thing was that whatever she did to try and bring out the best in us, we'd always let her down. She was never flustered. By this time, I was probably in a state of mild depression. I'd disappear from lessons and go and hide in the bushes. She'd come and seek me out and persuade me to go back to lessons. I guess she'd twigged I was unhappy. I am sure most of the class were in some way.

I just found the stress of continually being ridiculed by teachers to be rather tiresome. There was no real happy medium. They were either sadistic bastards who didn't teach you anything or they were too nice so we ran them ragged. By the end of the third year, the whole class was underperforming. Luckily for us, a degree of redemption was on its way. We made our O level and CSE choices and so for all lessons, apart from RE, PE and Games, we were split up as a group.  For most of us, this probably saved our education. I chose science subjects, mainly because I liked the science teachers. I also chose building studies, as it meant a day a week out of school, at an external centre, where you didn't have to wear uniform. Miss MacFarlane taught biology and her eventual husband, Mr Shuttler, who was probably the best teacher I ever had, taught me physics. I didn't realise it at the time, but I am sure she put in a good word for me with him.

By the end of the 4th year, my grades had improved, to the point where O level passes seemed a reality. This was the summer of 1977. Little did I know it, but soon my life was to change. As we broke up for the summer of 1977, I was feeling very lonely and isolated. I had mates at school, but few were really close friends. We were like passengers on a trip, stuck together making the best of it.  The only thing I really enjoyed was playing and watching football. I wasn't a good player. I've subsequently learned that dyslexics generally have bad co-ordination. Things such as ball skills and dancing are generally very poor. As I was starting to grow, I did however find that size and weight could to some degree compensate, so I decided I was going to concentrate my efforts on being a defender of the hack em down school of thought. My dad had an old set of dumbells, so I also decided to get fit and strong.

Throughout all of this, no one had noticed how bad my use of English was. No one had picked up on the classic dyslexic traits. I now realise that the troublemaking was a classic defence mechanism. I was so alienated to the school establishment that I wanted to fail, just to escape their clutches. What changed me, was the fact that the few good teachers at FCHS, such as Mr Shuttler, would take time and explain things in a manner that was interesting. All of a sudden, I had a degree of clarity. I can remember him talking to me about English. He asked me why I wasn't interested. I said "Because I find it boring". He replied that surely I enjoyed watching films and listening to rock music. I said "Yeah, but whats that got to do with English". He replied that good songs have good lyrics and good films have good stories. He then said that if I wanted to do well at physics, I'd need to get an English O Level. He asked me if I thought I was too thick to get one. I replied that I thought I could if I tried. He then asked me why I wouldn't want to try? I couldn't answer that question. He asked me if I liked my English teacher. I said "No, actually I can't stand her".  He laughed and said "She can't stand you either. Who has won if you fail your English O Level?" From that moment, I had no doubt in my mind I'd pass it, no matter what it took (dyslexic or not). When it came down to it, I realised English language was just about trying to learn the rules.

What was interesting was the fact that I realised he'd not lied about my English teacher hating me. As my grades improved, she became more obnoxious. I guess this was what I needed. I probably worked harder for English than any other subject. I even started reading the books we were set. I'd force myself to read them, and studied hard. I soon found that I could analyse them and answer the questions. Lessons became like a battlefield, but I also found that if you do your homework, you will win. A valuable lesson for blogging. The trouble with being dyslexic in the 1970's was that there was never enough time in exams. I'd always run out. The clock would just tick faster for me than everyone else. I've since found that I read at 2/3rds the speed of someone with a normal brain.I could never figure out how all my class mates would finish and I'd still have 2 questions left, regardless of how well I knew the subject. I've heard people saying that it is unfair on "normal" pupils that dyslexics get extra time. To me exams are testing intelligence, not timekeeping. Did it matter how long it took Alan Turing to break Enigma codes? Of course not.

So as we broke up for that heady summer I was in a strange place. I felt cautiously optimisitic about school. Mr Shuttler had convinced me that I could do OK On a personal level I felt a bit cut adrift. I hadn't got into music. I was always the last pick at football. I hadn't discovered girls properly, but I had deep longings, mostly for mate sisters. Sadly I had zero confidence to do anything about it. At that point the school had done a pretty good job of convincing me I was useless. Why would any girl, let alone a pretty one be that interested. As FCHS was a boys school, the opportunities for girls was not exactly great to start with. Despite the efforts of Mr Wynne, the biology teacher to give us some sensible sex education, I think that we were completely clueless compared to todays 14 year olds. Being a Catholic school, even bringing in a Condom was an act of extreme terrorism. I can remember when there was a spate of people bringing in condoms and blowing them up. Mr Coughlan, head of the lower school, informed us it was a mortal sin to possess one. I was a bit naive and so hadn't got a clue what he was on about. I thought the idea of putting a balloon on your willy to catch sperms was absurd and couldn't imagine anyone doing such a thing. That was the great thing about FCHS. They were telling us all these things and none of us had a clue what they were on about half of the time. By drawing attention to it, they simply made us interested and we found the "real story" from boys with older brothers, who were a bit more worldly wise.

As he sometimes did, my Dad gave me some sensible advice. Over a bacon sandwich, one morning when my Mum and sisters were away, he gave me told me. "If you want to get a girlfriend, get a job. Girls are far more interested if you've got a few quid". So I got a job. In fact I got three. I got a paper round, I got a Saturday job at the butchers and I started washing cars for my Dad at his business. As I didn't really have any hobbies at that time, I opened up a post office account and watched the cash build up. So I was in a bit of a strange place. Improving grades, spare cash and at a loose end. and completely miserable. It could only really spell one thing. Trouble.  To Be Continued........

Monday, 23 February 2015

Why Racists are not football fans

Pele with Bobby Moore in 1970
Last week we saw a rather sad little incident in Paris, where a bunch of morons, who clamed to support Chelsea FC, took great pride in acting like a bunch of complete idiots, bullying a Frenchman in his own city, for simply being black and then chanting about how wonderful they thought being racist morons was. The general gist of the press coverage was "Racist thugs shame football".

I am sorry, I don't buy into this. Why? Because such morons have no interest in football, no love of the game and no understanding of what good football is. I love football. I spent this morning driving to a park in Kenton to watch a bunch of 14 year olds kick a ball around. My sons team has a black coach, black, white and Asian players and a supportive group of parents representing the four corners of the earth, all of who end up sharing the joy of the game every Sunday. Yesterday, a group of boys, parents and coaches associated with the club went to watch Barnet play Grimsby. Why? Because we love football.

I first became aware of football when I was five or six years old. At the time, all British league players were white and England held the World Cup. I was three when England won the world cup, so I have no memories of it. I do remember eagerly anticipating the 1970 World Cup. England were world Champion and had Gordon Banks the Worlds greatest keeper. It was a given that we'd win it again in Mexico. Then we played Brazil in the group stages. It was inconceivable that this would result in anything other than an England victory. We gathered around our new colour telly to watch "the game of the round". Brazil won 1-0. It would have been 2-0 had England not had Gordon Banks. All of a sudden, my eyes were opened. England were great, but Brazil were sublime. Their greatest player was Pele. Now I defy anyone, anywhere on the planet, who saw that game not to simply feel honoured to have seen it unfold. Even my Dad who was an Aussie cricket nut, with no great love of football was engrossed. In the St Vincents playground kickabout after the game, all of a sudden everyone wanted to be Pele and everyone wanted to be Brazil. When the Brazilians beat Italy 4-1 in the final, we knew the world had changed forever.

It never occured to me that Pele was a different colour to me. Brazil had a multiracial team and they were magnificent. That world cup seared a love of football into my soul. Much as I love the tribalisitic joy of supporting Manchester City FC and watching them win, I also love great players, whatever their colour, class or creed. At present Manchester City have Yaya Toure, who I believe to be the third greatest player in the world currently, behind Messi and Ronaldo. One has to suppose that a racist would not wnt such a great man in their team. Anyone who would make that choice is and idiot and not a lover of football. What about Chelsea? Didier Drogba won the Chapions League for the club. Do the racist fools who pledge allegiance to Chelsea not recognise the monumental presence of the man and his contribution. Chelsea FC have an excellent record on the pitch in regards to giving Black players opportunities. They also had an excellent black manager in Ruud Gullit, winning the FA Cup with them in 1997, their first trophy for 27 years.

So the racist thugs who support Chelsea would strip out two of the most influential figures in the clubs history and presumably hand back the trophies? Is that a love of football? Every time you insult a man for his race, you equally insult every person of that race. So in their treatment of the Parisian black man on the Metro, they have equally disrespected Gullit, Drogba and every other black Chelsea player past, present and future. Not only that, they've insulted their parents and their children. So I ask what sort of a person insults someone in such a way, who has done so much for the club they support.

If these thugs got their way and established Chelsea as a racist club, there would be a mass exodus of players. Black players would righty shun the club. The club would no longer be competing for the Chapions league, Premiership or anything else. What real football fan would want to see that?

The picture at the top of this picture was taken after the England v Brazil match in 1970. This is a picture of mutual respect. This is a picture of how men should treat each other. As an England fan, I take great pride in the fact that Bobby Moore and Pele could play on the same pitch, play a great game of football and at the end, show each other such mutual respect. As a football fan I want to see the best players, dazzling us with their sublime skills. That is what being a football fan is all about. If you don't want to watch Yaya, Pele and Drogba play the game, you clearly are not a football fan. End of.

So when we talk about racist morons, lets call them racist morons. They have nothing to offer football and no association with the game. These morons have only caused damage and shame to Chelsea FC and its supporters. They have damaged the image of the club and those who follow it. One has to suspect that the idiots haven't thought through their actions. I hope that they are identified and banned for life from every football ground in the country. The game of Association Football has so much to offer. Sadly thugs such as these put decent people off the game. They stop people taking their children and this damages the long term health of the game.

There is only one place for racism in football. That is in the dustbin of  history, something that we look back on as a sad episode involving a few idiots. Nothing else.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Tweets of the week in the London Borough of Barnet - 22/2/2014

There has been all manner of tweets in Barnet that I'd like to feature. However rules are rules, so we only feature one per subject and we like to mix up politics, sports, social, community, historical and funny tweets. We hope you like this weeks choice.

1. There were hundreds of tweets about Sweets Way. It is the big story in Barnet this week and dozens retweeting this appalling video. We've chosen Sue Lukes Tweet as it sums up what any reasonable person would feel


SWEETS WAY EVICTIONS 16-17/2/2015: heartbreaking kids stories of eviction from Barnet estate.Anger +| resistance too


2.  Barnet Tory Councillor Gabriel Rozenberg however thinks everything is marvellous in the Borough.  Nothing wrong with talking up the good things, wonder if he's actually read Mrs Angry's blog to see why she's got the hump. This tweet started a quite tasty spat between the two.

. err totes serious. You think Barnet’s ‘broken’. I think Barnet’s terrific. If it’s so awful why is it set to be #1 in London?


3. Maybe you want to keep up with the Lib Dems view of what is going on in Hendon, if you do then Alasdair Hill is the man! Good to see him making the effort. He's only just launched the site, so a bit early to tell, but I think he should be a bit more hyperlocal in his coverage. People love to learn about their community.

NEW: Sign up to my weekly newsletter to get the latest news from Visit >>


4.  Our  favourite Labour Councillor, Dr Devra Kay has something to say as well. She's a keen blogger to boot.

Barnet tenants have 1 take-it-or-leave-it choice of move from home don't want 2 leave & if rejected they're homeless




Barnet is still investing our tax £ in arms makers Protest this! 2 March 6pm Hendon Town Hall when committee meets

6. And that's quite enough of the political stuff. There is far more to our neck of the woods! Danielle Benson is chuffed to discover one of Mill Hills gems. We agree with you Danielle!

Great discovery of the Mill Hill Jazz Club at Mill Hill Golf Club

7. Altogether Better BO are pleased to see the community coming together in Burnt Oak


Nice to see the local community come and engage with Altogether Better Burnt Oak with some tea and biscuits .




 
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OTD in 1958 a record Kingfield crowd of 7,020 saw beat Finchley 3-2 in the F.A Amateur Cup 4th Rd 
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 9. Perhaps the funniest spoof tweet of the week. 

Reliable sources confirming that Rihanna spent the Valentines night at Wengers Totteridge house in London
10. Some good news hopefully regarding sports facilities for local residents in the Borough

Committee unanimously backs proposals for rebuilding of Copthall and Church Farm Leisure Centres.
.... Normally we only feature ten tweets, but hey ho, rules are made to be broken. 
11. And finally. A Mill Hill Music Complex are starting a campaign everyone who loves music in Barnet Should care about

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Save London Music - Campaign Launch Friday 27th February



Let me give you a little background to the campaign launch. 

It has become clear to us that the London Music Scene is undergoing a period of severe danger. Everyone associated with Music in London is aware of venue and studio closures. Through my work with Mill Hill Music Complex, which is North West Londons largest independent studio complex, I meet hundreds of musicians every week and we hear more and more stories. Many of our new customers are driving from the four corners of London, because their local studios have shut. They also tell of losing regular gigs down to pub and club closurrs.

Locally we are seeing the devastating effects of this. We sponsor the bi-annual Mill Hill Music Festival. This will take place this June this year. Organising this years festival, we observed that in Mil Hill alone, we’ve lost six major venues where we held events over the last six years.

The Mill Pub,
The Angel & Crown Pub,
Holcome House,
St Josephs College,
The Mill Hill Sports Club
The Bell at Mill Hill

Four have been lost for luxury flat development, one has been knocked down to accommodate a new school and one has been converted into an Italian restaurant chain. This is all in one tiny corner of London. If you then look across London as a whole, you see the pattern repeated time and time again. Nothing is being spared in the rush to build flats and cash in on property portfolios. The most recent of a long line of iconic venues to close has been The 12 Bar club in Denmark Street. Just around the corner, the Astoria was lost as part of Crossrail.

Even more worrying is the loss of recording and rehearsal studio space in London. Typically rehearsal and recording studios are in industrial/workshop areas which are being gobbled up and redeveloped. In North West London, we’ve seen a whole host of well respected studios close, not because there was no demand, but because their buildings were more valuable as “development assets” recently we ‘ve lost Downs Sound in http://downssounds.co.uk/  and Station Studios, both in Southgate. This has caused a huge gap in provision in North West London. This is repeated all across London.

You may wonder, what does this all matter? Well the value of creative industries to the UK is immense. This government report details the huge contribution to the UK economy, £8 Million an hour.


Any sane local, regional and national administration would be taking firm action to preserve this sector and to allow it to thrive. What we have seen is the exact opposite. This article by Jimmy Mulvihill of Bally Studios details just how difficult it is to open a new space http://freshonthenet.co.uk/2015/01/deathlondon2/

When Mill Hill Music Complex redeveloped our studios, thousands were spent on acoustic surveys to pacify planners, despite the studios being ¼ a mile away from nearest residential housing and being next to the M1 and Midland Mainline that generate and average background ambient noise of  74db. It didn’t occur to the planners that a studio requires soundproofing to do its job. If there was none, no band could rehearse due to bleed.

So what can be done? Well  there are a few things that could make a huge difference.

1)      Give tax breaks for companies investing in soundproofing for live music, rehearsal and recording.
2)      Designate established music related sites (venues, studios, etc) as protected sites with stringent planning rules around change of use planning applications.
3)      Require local authorities to ensure that provision of spaces for music are integral parts of all large scale planning applictions.
4)      Offer music related venues & establishments statutory protection from noise related complaints from neighbouring new build developments.
5)      Require local authorities to ensure that music venues are not left empty to rot by developers seeking to get around planning laws.

So what can we do?

Twitter.
We are in the process of launching the campaign and are currently contacting various organisations such as Bandspace, London Rehearsal Studios, London Venues, London Bands to agree a common platform and  a coordinated campaign. We have launched the Hashtag #SaveLondonMusic and we are asking all interested parties and organisatons to tweet every Friday and Saturday using the #SaveLondonMusic tag and highlight any gigs, events, threatened closures, campaigns to reopen venues etc. We also ask all musicians etc to retweet any tweets with this #Tag. Please do everything you can to support the launch on twitter.

Facebook.

Post details of the campaign on your facebook site. Urge your followers etc to get involved.

Email

Write to your local MP and ask them to get involved in supporting the campaign. Ask them to visit your studios, venue or other music organisation. There is an election in May, so contact opposition parties as well and ask for their support. Use Twitter and Facebook to publicise positive and negative responses.

Email local press and other media, to notify them that you are supporting the campaign.

Anyone interested in joining the campaign, we are officially launching it on Twitter next Friday 27th February.

Please support this cmpaign 

Roger Tichborne Save London Music Campaign coordinator. 

If you want more details contact Roger Tichborne at Mill Hill Music Complex via enquiries@millhillmusic.co.uk