Thursday, 24 July 2014

Why the Barnet Rotary Club should ask Brian Coleman to step down as President

I thought I'd leave it a while before writing this blog. I thought I'd see what happened and whether the Barnet Rotary Club would actually do anything following the furore surrounding Brian Colemans comments to me about my cancer issue. I thought I'd try and explain in a calm way to Barnet Rotary why they should quietly ask Brian to consider his position.

I actually happen to have (until now) had a high opinion of Rotary. My father was a member for many years and would extoll the virtues of the organisation. He felt businessmen with talent and a biyt of spare cash should work for the benefit of the community. He believed that those of us who are better off have a moral duty to help those at the other end of the scale. He was proud of his membership and believed that his fellow rotaraians were an example how things can be achieved when talented people work together for good causes.

Locally in Mill Hill, the rotary claub have for many years used a retired milk float at Xmas to collect money for charity, dressing the float as Thomas the Tank engine to delight small children. For a few years our family allowed them free parking of the float at our site.

So I have hitherto only had good things to say about Rotary. When they appointed Mr Coleman, I was shocked. I heard about it through twitter. Mr Coleman was convicted of assaulting Helen Michael last year. Not only that, but despite pleading guilty, he has gone on to make statements in the press which show no remorse at all for a violent attack on a small woman. This story made national and local news, so it is clear Rotary knew of the conviction. I believe everyone deserves a second chance in life, but only once they have faced up to what they've done and shown some remorse. Coleman has shown none. By appointing him, Rotary are in effect saying that attacking women is OK.

When I posted my disgust on Twitter, Coleman spat back an insult trying to use the cancer in my body against me. This is not behaviour I associate with the Rotary Club or in line with their own standards and ethics.  The role of president is one which sets the tone of the organisation. The President is the figurehead and should provide an inspiration to members. What message does this send. If Coleman had responded to my tweet by saying "I am sorry and I am trying to make amends by working for Charity", then that would have been the end of the matter. Sadly he said

with your constant attacks on the Mayor and me and others it must be the hate in you rather than the cancer which is eating you

Which shows no remorse at all and shows no compassion at all. Colemans twitter profile says 
"Political Consultant and Commentator. Local Government Expert, Some time Politician , Rotarian, Methodist and True Conservative."

His comments cast shame on the Rotary Club. Whilst it pains me to criticise an organisation that does great good, I cannot in all conscience say nothing. By condoning his actions and giving him such a role, Rotary are making themselves a rather toxic organisation. If Coleman really cared about Rotary, he'd have resigned by now. Clearly it is still all about Brian

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Carry On At The Council - Hugh Rayner must stay

There has been a concerted campaign against Hale Ward Councillor Hugh Rayner. The Labour Party has been vocierously calling for his resignation as both Mayor of Barnet and as a HAle ward Councillor. The Barnet Eye is disgusted with this partisan behaviour by the local Labour Party, which everyone knows has nothing at all to do with the behaviour of Hugh Rayner and everything to do with trying to force a by-election in the marginal Hale Ward where they stuffed up their campaign in May. There is no earthly reason why Hugh Rayner should stand down, when he exemplifies all of the qualities and talents of the local Conservative Party. None of the rest of them are going to stand down for behaviour far worse than Mr Rayner, so why should Labour pick on him?

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out Brian Coleman when he committed numerous standards breaches, becoming the only Mayor to have a standards complaint upheld against him when in office.

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out Brian Coleman when he was arrested and charged with assaulting Helen Michael outside her business in September 2012 (the National Party eventually stepped in to spare their blushes).

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out Tom Davey for putting numerous obnoxious messages on facebook belittling the disabled and people on benefits.

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out Brian Gordon for blacking up in a highly patronising attempt to impersonate Nelson Mandela.

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out Mike Freer for gambling with Council funds in Icelandic banks, despite credit ageny warnings. They actually made him an MP as reward.

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out Leader Richard Cornelius for signing a contract with Capita worth a billion pounds and not even reading it.

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out Matthew Offord for mismanaging the Aerodrome Road Bridge project to such an extent that an  £12 million budget overspent by another £11 million.  He was also made an MP.

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out Rueben Thompstone for misleading the people of Barnet about the finances of Mapledown Special School in comments to the press, pretending they had huge reserves that could be spent on after school schemes.

The local Barnet Tories did not kick out John Hart for racially mimicing a local woman of Sri Lankan heritage whilst chairing the Hendon & District residents forum.

We could go on, but we think you get the idea. The Tories all voted to waive the need for Hugh Rayner to declare financial interests when voting on matters concerning housing issues at the Council, so they clearly all think his behaviour is absolutely fine.

So the Barnet Eye thinks that the Labour Party is totally wrong to pick on Hugh, when all he is doing is simply displaying the values to which all his colleagues subscribe. I want him to carry on as Mayor so that between now and the Election, he can remind us exactly what sort of a character you need to be a successful politician if you are a Barnet Tory. We say Carry On Hugh..... We need you to keep reminding us. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Barnet Homes Performance - Spin and deception

Barnet Council have released a report detailing how well Barnet Homes are doing. 

2.16 The average length of time spent by households in short-term accommodation continued to increase. This indicator has been dropped for 2014/15 because
a) all ETA used is self-contained and provides appropriate accommodation suitable for the needs of those placed there;
b) the more recent placements are at a higher cost to the Council reflecting the current London housing market; and,
c) efforts are focused on preventing people going into high cost ETA as a priority and on securing additional suitable private sector longer-term lettings which are more affordable for the Council. This indicator has therefore been replaced in 2014/15 by the total number of Private Rented Sector lettings achieved which better measures the performance of Barnet Homes in addressing the pressures of rising demand for homeless accommodation. In the first two months of 14/15 Barnet Homes achieved 66 private lets, which is above target. 

Says it all really, doesn't it. If the numbers look bad, invent a new set of numbers

Monday, 21 July 2014

Some great arial shots of Mill Hill Music Complex

A friend of mine has just bought a drone and used it to take a few pictures of Mill Hill Music Complex for me. I find such pictures fascinating. As you can see, we are based in the most glamourous part of Mill Hill. The picture was taken shortly before the World Cup final kicked off. You may notice the M1 is quieter than usual ! Our reception is the nice blue building. Boys and their toys !!! In my day you'd fly a kite with your kids.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Guest Blog - Observance of Gods Laws by Fr Kevin O'Shea

We do not usually consider law as a source of wonder. Laws are regarded as boundaries we ought not transgress rather than as thresholds of wonder. However, for the people of Israel, the word 'Law' (Torah) did not have the narrow legalistic meaning that it has for us. In fact the first five books of the Bible were know as the Torah, because they reveal the story of God's loving plans for his people and what he expects of them. So 'Torah' means instruction, something that shows us the way, reveals God's will; not so much as a code of rules to be observed but as a way of life to be followed.
The psalmist knows that we can observe God's law with all our heart only if we understand its spirit, that is, the principles underpinning it.

Fr. Kevin O'Shea, C.M. (From Sunday Notes by Fr Kevin O'Shea at )

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Tweets of the week in Barnet - 19/7/2014

Without further ado !!!!

1. Security City - You need a press pass to get into the Town Hall for a meeting these days !

  1. Security at Hendon Town Hall clearly worried. One demanded I show press card in order to enter the building.

2. No cheese shop as promised for Mill Hill but our MP has single handedly cured local unemployment

Unemployment still falling in Hendon. The number of claimants is 542 lower than June 2013 and 98 lower than May 2014

3. Where Burnt Oak Leads, the country follows !!!!

  1. The Tesco in Burnt Oak was the first ever Tesco In England.

4. Well not strictly a Barnet tweet, but made me chuckle

Mar 30,1943: Aircraftman Shepherd in Morris Light Reconnaissance Car, No. 2788 Squadron at Tally Ho Corner, Tunisia.
5. Someone has big plans for Mill Hill

Following that last retweet why shouldn't we think seriously about having a cinema back in Mill Hill?

6. Erm, seems like the environment agency are illiterate !

hi, your sign is faulty and needs fixing - 'deansbrook' and 'edgware' - it's pretty easy to change, right?

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Friday Joke - 18/7/2014

Italian Secret to a Long Marriage!

At St. Peter's Catholic Church in Adelaide , they have weekly husbands marriage seminars.

At the session last week, the priest asked Giuseppe, who said he was approaching his 50th wedding anniversary, to take a few minutes and share some insight into how he had managed to stay married to the same woman all these years.

Giuseppe replied to the assembled husbands, 'Wella, I'va tried to treat her nice, spenda da money on her, but besta of all is, I tooka her to Italy for the 25th anniversary!'

The priest responded, 'Giuseppe, you are an amazing inspiration to all the husbands here! Please tell us what you are planning for your wife for your 50th anniversary?'

Giuseppe proudly replied, " I gonna go pick her up."

BAPS Post election party - all invited, great music !!!

As the election campaign is fully behind us and we are recovering from the 5 months of intensive leafleting, as we are getting ready for the battles ahead (or fighting them already), we want to invite BAPS supporters to a party to celebrate the almost win. Let's let our hair down for one night and treat ourselves for some fun for a change:

TIME TO PARTY - Saturday, 19 July from 7pm: Put on your dancing shoes...

All BAPS activists and supporters, (not only by especially those who helped distribute 26,000 information leaflets across the borough before the election), are warmly invited to celebrate the positive effect of that action.

WHERE: Safari Bar, 975 High Rd, London N12 8QR (opposite Britannia Road)
WHEN: Saturday, 19 July, from 7pm.

Live music by Mingus Elastic Band, who we fondly remember from previous benefit gigs; free entry.

Please RSVP to Barnet Alliance .