This week on of our best know Councillors has been in the news. He's made openly sexist comments in the media and given advice about fire safety which contradicts the policy of the fire authority of which he is chairman. He has admitted this was done purely for political advantage, as the comments were aimed at a respected female MP from another party.
I got a phonecall from one of my many Barnet moles who said "Did you hear about the Council censuring one of our best councillors at the council meeting (on Tuesday)". Having been up at my sons school, providing a sound system for the Christmas concert, I hadn't. I replied "It's about time the Tories had the guts to put Brian Coleman in his place. He has had that coming for ages, since his comments about the Olympic team having blood on their hands"
"No Rog, you've got it all wrong, they censured Jeremy Davies". I was dumbstruck. I know Jeremy quite well and he's a great councillor. He is diligent, hard working and well respected in Mill Hill. My mole continued "When he asked for the right to defend himself, the Mayor wouldn't let him".
Now I don't know the ins and outs of what happened, but I know this. Many local Tories vote for Lib Dem Jeremy at Council elections, as they trust him. He's been at the forefront of all sorts of local campaigns. Like his Mill Hill Tory counterpart, John Hart, he's Mill Hill through and through. I respect and like both men.
This is an act of political bullying by the ruling Tory group. They may have had some fun at the council meeting, but in denying Jeremy Davies the right of reply they have diminished themselves. The British hate bullies. This will backfire on them. Deputy Leader Matthew Offord is standing in Hendon. If he's prepared to stand for this and condone it, then he too is diminished. I'm not a Lib Dem, but I believe fair play and the right to defend yourself.
The Barnet Tories under Mike Freer have become playground bullies. They are rapidly gaining a reputation for being deeply unpleasant. They clearly found the whole thing a real hoot. My advice to all of you. If you like bullies and you believe that good honest, hard working councillors should be slurred without the right to reply, vote for Mike Freer. If you find this sort of thing disgraceful, tell Mr Freer you will vote for someone else. Tell all your friends what he's making the Barnet Tories become. 99.99% of the Conservatives I know are honest, decent people. Only they can deal with the .01% that have taken over the Barnet party. Do rank and file Tories really condone this disgraceful behaviour (arrogance, sexism, bullying)? Not from what they tell me. Wake up and smell the coffee.