Saturday, 31 October 2009

Rog T's Top Ten gigs

Here's my top ten gigs. Dates are guesstimates.


1 - 1977 - The Roundhouse - The Ramones, Talking heads, The Saints
2 - 1977 - The Roundhouse - The Vibrators, 999, The Radiators from Space 
3 - 1978 - The Marquee -  The Dickies
4 - 1978 - The Hope and Anchor - Crass
5 - 1978 - The Moonlight club - The Doomed (The Damned's post Brian James reunion)
6 - 1990 - The Subterrania - Big Audio Dynamite
7 - 2009 - The Roundhouse  - Smokey Robinson
8 - 1978 - Stonebridge Park Festival - The Vibrators, Misty in Roots, The Ruts
9 - 1977 - The Marquee - Wire
10 - 1982 - Dingwalls - Country Joe McDonald

It was a rather hard choice as I've been to plenty. Most of the Ramones gigs could have made it in there, as could most of the Vibrators gigs. There are a few notable other gigs I'd like to mention. We put on a show for Edgware General hospital Campaign in Montrose Park in 1997, with The Sway and The shrinking Violets, which was superb. For my band, The False Dots, my two favourite gigs was 1982 at Pub Bastun in Aland, Finland and 1984 at Dingwalls. I really enjoyed The Steve Miller Band and Joe Cocker last year at The Concorde Plaza in California. A few years ago I thought the Polecats at Oakwood Golf club was a great show. Recently I've really enjoyed the annual Pogues gigs at Brixton Academy. X-Ray specs were good at the Roundhouse and the Pisols were great at Brixton.

My Top 5 venues

1 - The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm
2 - The Marquee (in Wardour St)
3 - The Moonlight Club (West Hampstead)
4 - Dingwalls, Camden Town
5 - The Music Machine, Camden Town (Became the Camden Palace)

And my big bugbear of the week. In the BBC coverage of the Electric Proms, the trailer featured pictures of Camden Town tube station, in relation to the Roundhouse. Everyone knows that Chalk Farm is the station for the Roundhouse.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Brian Coleman vs Travellers - The true story - The Totteridge Invasion

I've been puzzled for some time by the rabid remarks made by Brian Coleman regarding travellers. It's no surprise that a loudmouth bully like Coleman chooses to shoot his mouth off, but why pick a row with his boss & patron Boris Johnson? Boris will have enough trouble pushing through his plans for 22 new traveller/gypsie camp in Barnet without Coleman making trouble. Given that Coleman owes a huge chunk of his wages to Boris, I thought to myself "Why choose this particular spat?".

Anyway one of my "sources" at the town hall explained all over a few pints of my fave "sauces" (if you know what I mean. It all makes perfect sense. Where in Barnet could you put the 22 gypsie/traveller camps? Have a look on Google Earth? How about Burnt Oak (Labours Heartland?), nope that's pretty densely populated. Nowhere to slip in the odd 5 or 6 camps, is there?








Not too many spaces around Childs Hill are there (that Lib Dem Stronghold)?








Where are there a few nice, big green open spaces? I know - Totteridge? Home of Councillor Brian Coleman. It's a Tory stronghold, so no fear of losing marginal seats. It's got plenty of nice spaces to tuck away.

No wonder Brian Coleman is worried, I'm afraid that as a senior member of the council and a senior oppo of Boris Johnson, he's going to take a lot of flack from his friends.

I think it's quite poetic justice really. All of those folk who elected Boris Johnson and elected Brian Coleman will be getting a few new neighbours. Brian Coleman will bleat "I protested as loud as I could" - Not true really. Boris has lost too many trusted sidekicks. If Coleman really was serious in his opposition, he'd threaten Boris with resignation. He'd call the bluff of Boris. Sadly he doesn't really care enough to actually put his big fat allowances on the line. You see Coleman is quite happy to huff, he's quite happy to puff, but he knows that he isn't going to blow the house down.

If you don't believe me, just check out the maps. You can't put camps where there ain't no space for them. Coleman has made a career out of demonising people. Lets just hope that when he has to represent them in his ward, he realises that there are good and bad in all communities and racism is not the way for one to conduct their business.

NAZI BOYS


For no other reason than to draw your attention to the fact that I'm doing a gig for Barnet UNISON on the 13th November at the Claddagh Ring in Barnet, with my band, the False Dots, I thought I'd reprint the Lyrics to a song I wrote in 1979 called NAZI boys.


It shouldn't concern me but I've got to speak
about a bunch of killers growing old and weak
they are so respectable they'd have you believe 
but I don't want those guys to share a world with me


Those Nazi Boys
Those Nazi Boys
Those Nazi Boys


Lift up a stone your sure to find slugs
From Belsen to auschwitz operations and drugs
Killing babies just ain't my scene
but maybe thats because I'm a human being


Unlike those NAZI BOYS
Those NAZI BOYS
Those NAZI BOYS


Why don't you kill yourself and do the world a favour
but what would you say when you meet your maker?
I don't want to share a world with you 
and all your crimes that you just can't undo

Those Nazi Boys
Those Nazi Boys
Those Nazi Boys

Look at the world now and what do you see?
But think how much worse now it could be
If the merchants of death had had their way
Would you even want to be alive today?


Those Nazi Boys
Those Nazi Boys
Those Nazi Boys

Would you be alive today?
Would I be alive today?
What would be the price to pay?
In your gas chamber

Copyright - Roger Tichborne 1979

Thursday, 29 October 2009

While you're in a sacking mood Boris?

Boris Johnson sacked one of his closest henchmen for using foul racist language. Well done Boris. I's suggest that whilst he's in the mood he sack another foul mouthed henchman. Basically Boris, you have a choice and it's a stark one - either clean up you act or spend a small fortune on a firm like this to salvage your reputation.

What exactly does Brian Coleman bring to the table? Seems to me that every time he opens his mouth these days he drops you in it. Is he really the best possible guy to run the Fire Service that you could find. If he is then that is a sad indictment on you !

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Stuck in a lift with Brian Coleman ? Colemanomics at it's worst


As reported in this blog a couple of days ago, the Mayor of Barnet Brian Coleman is Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. Now there are many things Brian Coleman does in this job, eat lots of expensive dinners and run up huge taxi bills being among his favourite. One thing he seems totally incapable of doing is formulating sensible cost saving policies. Whilst he kicks brave firemen where it hurts, by planning to remove beds from stations, where they can keep fresh and relax after stressfull rescues, he treats his mates in the business and property world totally different.

The Evening Standard reports today that there 14,000 calls a year to the fire service to rescue people from lifts. On average, each of these calls costs the taxpayer (you and I) £300. 122 Properties were visited 10 or more times - that is £366,000 of public money being spent to bale out dodgy landlords and shoddy businesses that can't be bothered to keep their lifts in good order.

Never fear, Brian Coleman has a plan. He clearly formulated it after a rather good lunch, (probably at the expense of a shoddy Landlord ????) given the complete stupidty of what he's saying. What is Mayor Coleman's masterplan to save London from all this waste - I quote here from the Standard :-

Mr Coleman said: "Each call takes up the time of a fire engine and crew, and the knock on effect is a reduction in capacity to attend emergency incidents, carry out community safety work and provide essential training for firefighters." He said a charge of £260 would now be made on the 10th lift release at the same building within a 12 month period and for all subsequent non-emergency lift releases.
So lets get this right, he waits until the 10th time a building has had someone trapped and then charges £40 less than the cost of the callout? This is total madness. Why should the public subsidise these shoddy Landlords and businesses? If, as Coleman says, it diverts the Firemen from essential work, then the charge should be punitive. I'd say that it should be "Three strikes and you're out". Basically let them off the first time. The second time charge £600 for the two visits and the third time charge them £600 and condemn the lift until an independent engineers report is produced, confirming that the lift is in full working order.

That will save a fortune for Londoners. With all the savings, Coleman could retain a few beds in stations. It is interesting to note that Barnet Council plans to go down the EasyCouncil route, with services being charged for. If Barnet apply Colemanomics to the project where you make a loss of 17.5% on all transactions, then the Council's finances will be in even worse shape than they are now.




My advice to Brian Coleman, knock the free dinners on the head, buy economics for dummies and if you are going to indulge in charging people for services they get for free, charge those who deserve to be charged and can afford it - such as shoddy Landlords who can't be bothered to service their lifts properly. As to why Boris employs a man who hasn't the financial acumen to run a Whelk stall in this most important of London posts, heaven only knows.

********* Update ***********
Many thanks to Sharko, the business analyst for pointing out the following things which I missed in my all to hasty summary.

1. The move won't save the £366,000 I mention above, because this is the sum spent on the first 10 callouts.
2. A new computer system will be required to administer this system of charges. Sharko estimates that this would cost a minimum of £50,000 assuming they already have a billing system.
3. The system will require administration so you'd need a couple of extra staff to chase up payments etc - he esimates £50,000 per annum.
4. There is no incentive for Landords to improve. If the cost of getting someone out is £300 then by doing it for £250, Coleman is undercutting the private sector (especially if the first 9 visits are free). Coleman may actually get up a higher take up once Landlords do the maths.
5. Sharko being Sharko asked the question - How much would it cost of the service was outsourced to a private supplier. If Brian Coleman wishes to Email me (yes he does know my email address !) I can put him in touch with Sharko.

If I were Boris Johnson, I'd sack Coleman and employ Sharko today. Real savings and better service ! You know it makes sense !

***** Update - Thanks to Don't call me Dave for the clip

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Barnet is full of Nutters !!!!!!!

Are you a nutter? According to the Leader of Barnet Council, you are if you agree with me ! I thought I'd give all my legion of readers a chance to take the "Are You a Nutter test". It's very simple you just choose from answers A, B or C. If you answer A, then you agree with me. If you answer B, you agree with the leader of Barnet Council, Mike Freer and if you answer C, you don't know, don't care or hate the pair of us. All of the questions are based on criticisms I've made of Mike Freer.  For Every A give yourself 10 points, Every B give yourself 0 points and for every C Give yourself 5 points.

1. Do you agree with the Statement "If I had £400,000 of taxpayers money I'd rather spend it on Wardens for the Elderly in Sheltered housing, to keep them safe, than Fat Cat Allowances for Councillors".
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

2. Do you agree with statement "If a popular Leader of a Party wins a Council election, increasing his parties majority, it is completely undemocratic to get rid of him before the ink is dry on the ballot forms and replace him with a new Leader who is "ideologically sound""?
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

3. Do you a agree with the statement "If a Councillor is paid a "responsibility allowance" of several thousand pounds a year to look after the Borough's finances, it is his responsibility if the rules aren't followed and £27.4 Million pounds of Taxpayers money is lost"?
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

4. Do you agree with the following statement "At a time when many families in the Borough are suffering terrible financial hardship, do you think it is scandalous that Council officials are spending thousands of pounds on jollies to the South of France to attend "property development conferences"?
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

5. Do you agree with the following statement "At a time of extreme financial hardship for many families, raising the cost of burying dead babies in Barnet, by many times the rate of inflation is cruel, callous and heartless"?
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither


6. Do you agree with the following statement "A Councillor who keeps a Taxi waiting for five hours, running up a bill of £396.00 when attending a banquet, then claiming the money back from us Taxpayers, has shown he is not up to the job of being "Mayor of Barnet".?
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

7. Do you agree with the following statement "Council meetings should be recorded and put on the Internet unless there are overriding privacy or security issues, so that we can all find out what is going on?"
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

8. Do you agree with the following statement "It is highly inappropriate for Barnet Council to appoint a Conservative activist as it's communications supremo, a highly sensitive, non political role, at a massive salary at huge expense to the taxpayer"?
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

9. Do you agree with the following statement "Paying a taxpayer funded allowance of several thousand pounds to the chief whips of political parties in Barnet is a scandalous waste of money, and is of no benefit to the Taxpayer"
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

10. Do you agree with the Following statement "The Leader of Barnet Council, Mike Freer would be a far more credible Leader of the Council if he spent his time sorting these issues out, rather than continually trying to get his face on telly and in the papers."
A - I agree , B - I Disagree, C - Neither

Ok, add up your scores.



0-20 - You are a true Freerite and Mike would be Proud of you - You are probably a Barnet Tory Councillor or a Barnet Tory Councillors mum.

20-40 - You used to be a Freerite, but you are getting better

40-60 - You clearly think there's big room for improvement in Mike Freer's Barnet regime, but you think Rog T is a bit of a knob as well

60-80 - You are pretty sick of Barnet Council and think it's time for Freer to go.

80 - 100 - Mike Freer thinks your a nutter, but I wouldn't loose too much sleep over that.

Monday, 26 October 2009

The Brian Coleman Free Dinner register - Fire Brigade Special Edition !!!!!


*** Yet Another Barnet Eye World Exclusive ***

As regular readers will no doubt be aware, the disgraced Mayor of Barnet, the only Mayor in the history of Barnet to have been found guilty of breaching the Standards Code whilst in office, has a second job, Courtesy of Boris Johnson. He's the Head of London's fire services. Regular readers of this column will know that Brian Coleman is currently using this job to push through changes to the working conditions. These are basically mean, penny pinching measures designed to make the job more unpleasant for these brave men and women.

You'll doubtless be pleased to know that it isn't all work for Mayor Coleman at the LEFPA, he gets the opportunity to do what we all know he's best at - Yup, there's a whole swathe of dinners not covered in the GLA list of Free dinners. Here's three Bitesized chunks from the Fire Brigades hospitality register. I've got a little game for you. Count how many Free dinners Brian Coleman has whilst doing his job, then count up everyone elses. Who do you think guzzled more Posh Nosh - Big Bad Brian or the rest of them put together. And here's an even better conundrum did he nosh more before or after Boris promoted him.

Here's  tasty Bite number one :-


Yup so Far Brian Coleman 6 - The rest 2 (April to July 2009)

Now lets try Bite Number two :-



Yup it was tighter in this period July 2008 - April 2009, but Good old Mayor Coleman squeezed it through beating the rest of the world by the odd dinner 6-5.

And now for our third big tasty dollop of dinners :-


Yup, a stunning victory for Brian Coleman. Even in the pre Boris era, he trounced the rest of the world 13-7. When it comes to guzzling dinners at someone elses expense, there is no one who can touch our very own Mayor Coleman.

Now of course the Barnet Eye in no way implies that there is anything in anyway untoward about all of these dinners being scoffed. I mean if people want to treat Brian Coleman to a slap up dinner it's their business. I just wonder how many more Free Dinner registers there are with dinners we don't know about lurking around out there. And for Gods sake please, someone, give him a free Gym membership, I'm getting really worried about the state of our esteemed Mayor's arteries with all of these dinners.

Check the full document here - http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/Documents/FEP1436.pdf 

And you may like a peek at this as well - http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/Documents/brian_coleman_expenses.pdf - Mr Colemans on-line fire brigade expenses.I notice that unlike the rest of us, Mayor Coleman gets Boris to pay his congestion charge. Nice work if you can get it !!!!!

Tambourides gets touchy !!!!!!!

I heard a rather amusing little story. Don't Call Me Dave published a rather interesting blog showing a picture of Councillor Andreas Tambourides car parked illegally. Now Mr Tambourides is one of my favourate Tory Councillors. Prior to her defection to Hertsmere Council, he would always make me chuckle at Council meetings, when he'd "admire" Former Tory Councillor Caroline Margo (now known as Caroline Clapper) as she used to walk across the Council chamber (of course the Barnet Eye wishes to make clear that Caroline Margo is a very admirable person and thoroughly agrees with Councillor Tambourides in this repsect). As he looks rather like the sadly missed Sid James of  "Carry On" fame, his admiration of his fellow Councillor always reminded me of many happy days watching Carry on up at the Council.

Anyway, what you may ask is this amusing little story that I was told. Well, it seems that Tambo has taken to claiming that this picture of his car (taken from DCMD's blog) :-


has been spoofed up by Don't Call Me Dave in paintshop. It seems he's going around saying that Don't Call Me Dave is so bitter and twisted by the success of the Tambourides clan, that he will stop at nothing to discredit him. Well, as you all know, The Barnet Eye will leave no stone unturned when it comes to ensuring fair play in Barnet. I sent the photo to my good mate, Spiderpilot, who is one of the worlds leading experts in the use of Photoshop to spoof up pictures. He assures me that this picture is genuine, apart from the rather clumsy attempts to hide Tambo's number plate.

In the Barnet Eye's mission to help and educate the populace of Barnet in the wicked ways of our local politicians, Spiderpilot provided me with this picture of what a "Spoofed up photo" of Tambourides may look like -



CLICK HERE TO SEE THE UNEDITED ORIGINAL AT NOTTHEBARNETTIMES (You won't be disappointed).

Sadly, it seems that I've got old Tambo all wrong. You see, I thought he was a guy a with a sense of humour, but I found that he takes himself a tad seriously. Not so long ago he complained to OFCOM because a presenter on London Greek Radio dedicated a song to him !

Apparently the presenter played the song, entitled "Baby, Shhh" and had the audacity to say :- "Baby Shut up, I should dedicate this to Andreas Tambourides who, the day before yesterday, was telling me how much he likes it. Andreas, I dedicate this to you, with much love. Many Kisses to you".

Tambo's complaint to OFCOM said the following :-

You can read the whole story if you CLICK HERE (go to page 79).  Now of course, The Barnet Eye thinks it's terrible if our local politicians should have people ridicule them. I'd have thought that with Andreas and his wife claiming over £50,000 a year in allowances, he'd be laughing all the way to the bank. My advice to Councillor Tambourides. Lighten up, your looks and your charm are your biggest assett. Use them wisely !

How many Barnet Tory Councillors have dissented from implementing the warden cuts?

Here's a question for you. When Lib Dem Leader, Jack Cohen called the Warden Cuts in for review, how many local Tories voted with Labour and the Lib Dems to retain the wardens?

Not a single one.

How many have actually worked to oppose the cut behind the scenes?

This answer may surprise you a little bit more. Yup there is one. I'm not going to tell you which one, but if you are interested,  she stands in the Edgware Ward. It's a shame that she hasn't got the guts to come out into the open, but I can't criticise her too much because she has been put under tremendous pressure by the powers that be. Then again she gets paid a fair old wedge to represent us.


My advice to her is this. You know the policy is wrong and you know why. When the first old lady dies as a result of this policy, will you be able to sleep at night. We both know how you feel about the matter, what is the point of being in politics if you have the chance to make a difference and you don't. If you take a principled stand, you may be the person to make the difference. Stop listening to people like Vanessa Gearson (Mike Freer's "communications chief"), and start listening to the people who elected you to stand up for them.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

A Sunday meditation on numbers

The last blog I posted was the 666th. I'm sorry, I'm a Roman Catholic of part Irish descent and I'm just too superstitious to leave that as the last blog for too long, especially when I titled it "Sympathy for the Devil" without realising it's numerical significance. To be completely honest, it rather freaked me out when I noticed, especially since I never normally even bother checking the number of the blogs.
Anyway in deference to this numeric milestone, I thought I'd do a little blog on the significance of numbers to me.

I am probably the most superstitious person you'll ever meet. I get this from my Father, who as a wartime bomber pilot.  He was shot down on his 40th mission. He flew for 40 squadron. The night before he was shot down, his rear Gunner had a dream that they would be given a mission to bomb the Ploesti oil fields in Romania. In the dream, they got shot down and the rear gunner perished. He begged my father to cry off if Ploesti was the chosen target, my father told him not to be so superstitious. It was the last mission on the tour of duty and he wanted to get home. The target was Ploesti, they got shot down and his Rear Gunner F/O Andrew Murphy died. He used to tell us a strange story about how, shortly before the Me109 attacked them and shot them down, one of his best friends, who had been shot down a week before, Jack Schieder, appeared in the seat next to him and said "It's a killer the way these Wimpey's go down". My father was just about to answer when Scheider disappeared and the 109 attacked.

My Dad said that as he was fighting  to get out of the plane before it crashed, he said "Lord, it says in the bible a man lives for three score and ten years". He said he had a great peace then and new he'd survive. As he was a pretty indestructible sort of guy, I never really thought about this, until he died of  a Heart attack unexpectedly in his 70th year. I suppose when you are 26 years old, 70 seems a long way off. I am reminded of Jack Benny. He once said that "everyone say's that no one wants to live till they are 100, but if you ask any of my 99 year old friends, that is a lie".

I have certain numbers I don't like. For some unfathamble reason, I'm none to keen on the number 7. I am rather partial to the number 6 (spelt SEX in Sweden where I lived for a while), but only because I have a childish sense of humour. I always felt that the number 5 was a bit of a fraud. I can remember that when I was a tiny toddler, I thought that when I  became 5 I'd be a "big boy". I got to 5 and felt I'd been robbed, I was still a little kid. I can remember buying the Steve Miller Band album "Number 5". I put it on and the first few songs are great, but it totally loses the plot on side 2.Having said that there is a great song there called "Industrial Military Complex Hex" which contains the rather insightful line. (The song was written in the wake of the police killings of students at the Kent State and Jackson State Universities in 1968).
Ain't too clear to pay my income taxes
'Specially when I know it goes to kill the masses
Love to hear the President make it perfectly clear
How the donkeys and the elephants are police up here

Not being a Yank, for years the line about the the Donkeys and the Elephants intrigued me. I assumed that Steve Miller had just smoked a bit too much POT when he wrote it and is sort of made sense at the Time. When I finally found out that the Donkeys and The Elephants refer to the Democrats and the Republicans, I felt a bit cheated. Having said all of that, when I play football, I always wanted to play Centre Half for Manchester City with the Number 5. Even playing for Old Hendonian's I usually had to play No 3. The Number 5 has always treated me rather like a Harlot treats a punter ! Interestingly enough, Peter Mandelson is an old boy of Hendon School, but he never turned out for the old boys football team when I played for them. I can't imagine what number he'd play. I rather suspect that he'd be a bit of a goal hanger, he doesn't really strike me as Centre Half material.


So what is my favourite number? Since you ask, it's the number 14. Now I never, ever wanted to have the no 14 shirt in football, as traditionally it's a Sub (the worst sub), but it's always been a lucky number for me. Coming back from Sweden, I once had my last ten Krona left. I put it on the number on the Roulette table on 14 and won. I saw the Ramones when I was 14 (see poster left). The first rehearsal of my band, The False Dots, was on the 14th February 1979. There are many things I did for the first time when I was 14, but as my kids read this blog, I'm not going to list them here (especially as my daughter is 14 and I don't really want her getting any ideas about getting lucky any time soon). I was 14 when all of my favourite Punk Bands hit the music scene, I was 14 the last time Manchester City had a trophy in the cabinet.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed "The Barnet Eye" blog no 667.

Sympathy for the Devil


*** Update  at 19:27 *** How very wierd. I just went into my blog manager page and this blog is the 666th blog I've posted. I didn't realise when I named it - How spooky is that ???? Perhaps the twat  is more evil than we all thought
--------------------------------------------------------
Everyone seems to want to talk to me about Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP on Question Time (Pictured left). Many people are shocked that I've not seen it and have no interest in seeing it, given my strident criticism of him.

The truth is, I'm rather sorry for the useless Fascist numpty. Not sorry that he may have been given a hard time by the BBC, no I'm sort of sorry for him in the way I'm sorry for a sick animal. You see Nick Griffin has excluded himself, for no other reason than stupidity, from many of the best things about Great Britian.

Does he appreciate a Brick Lane curry? Does he dance to the sounds of Bob Marley? Does he listen to the poetry of Linton Kwesi Johnson, does he boogie to the sounds of Soft Cell & Malk Almond, would he go to the Roundhouse to watch Smokey Robinson? Would he let his hair down at a Pride festival? Would he sing along with the London Community Gospel Choir? Does he like a nice Chinese takeaway? Does he cheer when Rio Ferdinand scores a goal for England? Does he thank the Lord when he sees Johnson Beharry receive a VC? Does he say a prayer for all the brave Imperial troops who helped save this great Country from Fascism? Does he thank the Lord for the Polish Spitfire pilots in the Battle of Britain.

Well if he does, he keeps very quiet about it. What a sad little man.

As to his claims that he was bullied, given a hard time, the audience was unrepresentative, these deserve a bit of scrutiny and analysis.

1. Was the audience representative? Well the BNP got around 1% of the vote at the last general election, so if there were 200 people in the audience, then maybe 2 of them should be BNP voters. The BNP has a tiny membership, so to be representative, then if one of them was actually a member, they were overrepresented.

2. Did the audience represent London's demographic make up? Griffin conceded it did. As such his bleating was actually for an "unrepresentative" audience.

3. He complained that he was asked lots of beastly questions. Well sorry poor lickle Nicky Wicky, that's what people do on question time. Just suppose they had Gordon Brown on. Do you think he'd get asked lots of nice questions by the Tories & Lib Dems. I can't see Chris Huhne saying "Well Gordon, we'd really like you to explain to us just how lucky we are to have you here and we must give you every opportunity to tell us how you saved the world" or Baroness Warsi saying "Well Gordon, I think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread". They'd probably be far more beastly to Gordon.

4. He claims the audience were picked to give him a hostile reaction. If you picked 100 people off the street at Random in London, they'd give Griffin a far more hostile reaction than he actually got. Going back to the Gordon Brown analogy, Would he bleat afterwards that "There were lots of people in the audience who booed me when I gave evasive answers" I doubt it.

Griffin is a twat. If he'd had half a brain, he'd have claimed a great victory in the face of insurmountable odds. As it is, he's just shown that he can't take it when he has to play ball with the big boys.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Lynne Hillan - An explanation is required

Lynne Hillan is the architect and chief advocate of the Sheltered Housing warden policy, which is currently suspended due to a judicial review, triggered by a court action instigated by 78 year old David Young. Mr Young is having to spend his life savings to defend a service which he signed up for and Barnet Council has decided to change without regard to the terms it agreed with Mr Young. They did a consultation exercise and over 80% of the residents voted against the proposal. Hundreds of other elderly, vulnerable people are being put at risk by this policy. Barnet has the highest proportion of elderly Jewish people in the country, living in sheltered accomodation. These people, many of whom had terrible experiences and lost whole families to the Nazi's, are being put at risk of anti-semitic attacks, by removal of onsite wardens. A promenant Jewish ex-Barnet Tory recently talked on his blog about the rise of anti-semitism in Barnet. Having said that, it's not just Jewish residents who are being put at risk. We all know of all sorts of crimes committed by the scum of the earth, against the elderly. Sadly the papers are full of stories of conmen, rapists and murderers targeting the elderly. Whilst no one would claim that a warden can prevent all of these, it is clear that having a warden on site is a massive deterrent to such undesirable characters.

Under the new scheme, mischieviously being sold as an imnprovement, the numbers of wardens will be cut by three quarters. The on-site wardens will be replaced by roving wardens. As these will have to travel the borough by car, this means that half their time on the job will be spent driving. At the cabinet meeting where this policy was passed, I asked if a "risk assessment" had been performed. The answer was yes. I asked how large this report was. Mike Freer replied "Um, half a page". This was actually a smaller assessment than the one for my boys football team playing at the park.

For all these reasons, Lynne Hillan, who is the cabinet member responsible for the change, surely deserves to have her personal and professional judgement heavily scrutinised. Don't Call Me Dave uncovered a major scandal concerning Lynne Hillan, at the time all of these decisions were being discussed. As this was such an important issue, which showed just how flawed Lynne Hillans judgement was, he contacted the Barnet Times. They planned to run the story, until Mike Freer personally intervened. Mike Freer ran the Barnet Times and said this "I ask you, as a personal favour to me, not to run this story".  He went on to explain that Hillan was suffering from a life threatening illness and that such a story could have a terrible effect on her health and wellbeing. The Times, being a caring and responsible paper, pulled the rug on the story. Don't call me Dave was also asked to not run with the story. Again, being a caring and responsible guy, he dropped his plans. I don't know the details of the story, but I was also contacted and asked to lay off Hillan, which I did.

As it has become clear that Hillan is planning to take over from Mike Freer, a friend at Barnet Council has confirmed this, it occurred to me that if she's healthy enough to run the council, she's healthy enough to have her judgement held to account. Yesterday, Ex Barnet Tory Councillor Richard Weider, left the following comment on my blog :-

---------------------------------------------------------

Roger I disagree with your critism of Lynne, and am not completely against the policy on Sheltered Housing. However, to my former Conservative colleagues I urge someone else to stand for leader against Lynne. This is not necessarily because I don't want her to win. Rather, it is because I don't want you to suffer a similar disaster to Labour under the failed Prime Minister that is Gordon Brown. To become leader you need to show that you have the skills to persuade others, and that is best done through a leadership election. So I please urge someone to stand so that a proper debate can take place and the best leader can emerge, that can take the party forward to Conservative principles and for the residents.

23 October 2009 10:58

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whilst there are many things I disagree with Richard Weider about, I thought he was spot on with his comments about Lynne Hillan.I thought that the fact that he chose to criticise Hillan publicly on my blog was rather interesting. I happened to be calling the Barnet Times yesterday and mentioned this comment. They were rather shocked. It seems that no one had told them that Hillan was planning to take over. They had been under the impression she was still at deaths door and that they had to lay off her. I suggested that their policy should be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

The sad truth is that for nearly six months, the local press has not been giving the Sheltered Housing issue the full scrutiny it deserves, as "a personal favour to Mike Freer". I in no way criticise the Times for behaving in a humane fashion. Lynne Hillan is well enough to want to take over running of the Council, she's well enough to organise strike busting measures for Barnet Council and boast about it in the Barnet Times.

I think she's well enough to be held to account for her terrible policies towards the Boroughs elderly and have her judgement held to account. Oh and I think Mike Freer owes the people of Barnet an explanation for his behaviour. If he felt that Hillan was too ill to be on the end of bad press coverage, then he should have advised complete rest, not schemed with her to enable her coronation as "Queen of Barnet".

Friday, 23 October 2009

The BNP on the BBC - An apology

I think I owe you all an apology. The whole concept of Nick Griffin of the BNP on question time was a concept I found to horrible to contemplate, so I ignored it. I went to the pub. This morning I woke up and I was confronted with the reason that I should have said something. You see when I got up at 6.45 am, I was confronted by the scene in our front room of my son, who is 9 years old, playing on the Wii with his best mate, who was having a sleepover. You may ask what all of this has to do with Nick Griffin? Well My son's best mate is 1/2 Chinese and 1/2 Croatian. If Mr Griffin had his wicked way, my son's best mate would be deported (or worse). I suddenly felt like a shabby, cowardly, good for nothing, who just hid my head in the sand. We can't stand by and give people like Griffin a platform, any sort of platform at all.

The BBC's justification for giving Griffin a platform? He's the Leader of an organisation which quite a few people are members of. So what? I read that there are more paedophiles in Great Britain than there are BNP members, but nobody would suggest for one second they should get a slot on question time, do they? Much of what the BNP advocate is illegal, many people have suffered violence at the hands of its members.

As I didn't watch his performance (why would anybody want to?), I can't comment on it, but I will say this. If he has to be on Question Time, I'd have liked to see a panel of good, solid working class Socialist activists. I sometimes think that the BBC just doesn't realise that "normal people" can and do have brains and can and do know how to get their case across. The likes of Griffin don't do irony and they don't get sarcastic. I'd like to get a few guys from the RMT down to have sorted him out.

If you talk to the chattering classes about the BNP, they fear that the great unwashed British public will be seduced by this bunch of numpties. They won't. You see the British working man views all politicians with deep suspicion. They quite rightly see the BNP as a bunch of nasty, vicious oddbods, best to be avoided. We have a tradition of live and let live. What is the best supported Football league in the World? The Premiership. What is the fourth best supported? The Championship. Teams brim with players from around the world. When someone such as Thierry Henry signed for Arsenal or Didier Drogba signed for Chelsea, did the British working class shun the teams? Of course they didn't.

Take music. Where did Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Sade, launch their career? In Great Britain. We love Music of Black Origin.

Take food. If you tell the British working man, he can't have curry, chinese or a Kebab, he'll tell you to get stuffed.

I once listened to a BNP councillor saying that Muslims had contributed nothing useful in the history of the planet. This was sadly not corrected by the presenter. I was amazed that nobody saw fit to point out that Arab scholars invented mathematics and the numbering system we use. Without it, there would be no science, engineering or anything else. Of course I wouldn't expect a BNP numpty to understand that.

I see from the press that Nick Griffin is going to complain to the BBC that he was bullied. Let me tell you what bullying is. In the heyday of the National Front, which Nick Griffin was a member of, I arranged to meet a mate of mine in Ladbroke Grove for a pint. He never turned up. In those days we didn't have mobile phones. The reason? He'd been severely beaten up by a bunch of National Front supporting skinheads, for having the audacity to wait for a bus. He spent the night in casualty and the incident completely changed his personality.He ceased to be a happy go lucky, carefree soul. He became sullen, withdrawn and started smoking far too much ganja. All because some numpties didn't like the colour of his skin. That is why I hate the BNP.

So what should I have written in my blog. Well it seems that 8 million people watched the vile circus. I'd have urged everyone to :-

a) Lobby the BBC to ban Griffin.
b) Urge everyone you know to not watch the show
c) Protest outside television Centre so they get the idea that it just ain't worth it

I'm sorry.

Barnet Mayor Brian Coleman in yet another embarrassing outburst

This Youtube clip is taken from a GLA meeting yesterday. You may recall that Brian Coleman, less than two months ago was found guilty of breaching the Standards code, by not treating people with respect.

For the full context, watch the whole clip, if you just want the edited highlights, forward to 57 seconds.


Do you think he suffers from a form of tourettes syndrome. He really doesn't seem able to behave himself does he? Hat tip to COLEMANSGOTOGO blog

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Councillor Lynne Hillan - The most loathesome woman in Barnet


Councillor Lynne Hillan is the architect of the Council's policy of abolishing the wardens in the Barnet Council Sheltered housing schemes. What does she really think of the idea to cut the number of wardens by 75% and make them have to travel from scheme to scheme in busy traffic?

Well her mum used to be in a Sheltered housing scheme, with a warden. Shortly before the cuts were publicly announced, Hillan moved her mother to another scheme, where the wardens are being retained.

Her Barnet Tory Cabinet Colleague refused to visit one such scheme to discuss the cuts, announcing that it would be "too upsetting".

Now when I thought about describing Lynne Hillan in such harsh terms, I thought to myself. Could I be accused of being too harsh? Could there be a more loathesome woman in Barnet? Well let me explain why I handed her this rather unpleasant title.

1. She is clearly aware of the effect that the change would have, otherwise she'd have left her mum where she was.

2. There are hundreds of old and vulnerable people in Barnet, who currently have wardens. They are contemplating the future with trepidation, stress and fear.  This is all Lynne Hillans fault as it's her scheme.

3. Stress is one of the primary causes of premature death. Lynne Hillan is subjecting hundreds of elderly Barnet residents to high stress levels. This will inevitably lead to some deaths. Again Lynne Hillan is responsible.

4. She is responsible for 78 year old David Young to have to engage in a costly and stressful court battle against Barnet Council. This will eat up thousands of pounds of his money. Is this any way to treat a man in the twighlight of his life? Lynne Hillan thinks so.

5. We all love our Mums, Dads, Grandpas and Grandpas. Lynne Hillan has made sure her mum was Ok, but she doesn't give a stuff about anyone elses. If she did she'd have killed this awful cut long ago.

6. As the Jewish Chronicle has pointed out, there are more elderly Jewish people in Sheltered accomodation in Barnet than anywhere else in the country. Many of these people survived horrors and some lost whole families during the war. Hate crimes are on the increase in Barnet, yet Lynne Hillan seeks to remove the security and safety of an on-site warden.

For all these reasons, I cannot think of anyone else who could possibly qualify for the title.Lynne Hillan could have stopped all of this months ago. I sincerely hope that in the Council elections next May, the people of Barnet stand up and show Lynne Hillan what they  think of her.

Oh and before anyone says "we need to save money", here's a chart showing how the Council could save twice what they are saving through cutting wardens, without affecting a single front line service or hurting a single old lady (Thanks to Don't Call Me Dave for the info).



Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Brian Coleman and his sleazy crew, hellbent on ruining the Fire Service


The depths to which Brian Coleman will sink to have his wicked way never cease to amaze me. Boris Johnson appointed Coleman as chair of the London Emergency Fire Planning Authority as one of his first acts as Mayor. Coleman is hellbent on imposing a whole new structure of penny pinching cuts on the brave men and women who keep us safe in our beds at night. Measures such as removing beds from Firestations, so officers on nightshift can't sleep are typical of this disgusting Tory attack on the bravest public servants of all (would you enter a building which was on fire and may collapse?).

There are 17 members of this panel. To push through the measures, Coleman needs a majority. There are currently 9 Tories on it. That means he has just enough. The only problem is that two of those members are currently serving bans from office as Councillors. Normally this would preclude their membership of such a panel, but we all know what Coleman thinks of the rules. It is truly amazing that Boris Johnson has picked a panel of Tories, who three out of 9 have been found guilty of breaches of the the stanndards code in the last couple of months. What does this tell you about the Clean Administration" Boris wanted to run.

It even appears that one of this motley crew tendered her resignation in shame, only for Brian Coleman to refuse it, because he needs her. Brian Coleman thinks the rules don't apply to him. He thinks the rules don't apply to his Tory mates on the committee. As to the rest of us? Well it appears that he thinks they apply to other Barnet Councillors, as he's the only Councillor to report a Councillor from another party.


Are there any decent Tories left in the Barnet Conservative party? Are there any decent Conservatives left in London? Surely, no one can think this sleazy crew are the right people to be running something as important as the Fire Service. I urge ALL Conservatives, for their own good and the good of all London, to contact Boris Johnson and David Cameron to get them to remove this bunch of chancers. This whole episode is a stain on Boris, a stain on Cameron and a stain on London. Our brave Firemen deserve better.

Click here to read the FULL STORY in the Evening Standard :-

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23758989-boris-banks-on-axed-councillors-in-bid-to-control-fire-authority.do

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The encylcopedia for (Conservative) idiots


Imagine my deep joy. I've found an encycolpedia full of information that is, shall we say, rather different to that which more mainstream encyclopedia's contain.


Want to know why Evolution is wrong?

Want to know why the Universe wasn't created in a Big Bang?


Want to know why Creationism is right?


Want to know why Global Warming doesn't exist or if it does it's a marvellous thing?

Yup, well if you do WWW.CONSERVAPEDIA.COM is the place for you. Don't Call Me Dave has been saying for a while that Barnet Council's Tories have lost touch with Conservative values. I thought that maybe they should check this "Bible of Conservatism" out. Anyway I thought I'd give you a little tour of the highlights.

There are some fascinating "Facts" which I learned on Conservapedia, as Conservapedia claims to be the Trustworthy encylopedia, I'm sure y'all be fascinated :-
Noah lived 350 more years before dying at the age of 950. All people alive today must be descendants of Noah and his family
In relation to homosexuality and smoking, the recent medical literature states the homosexual men and lesbians in the United States have significantly higher rates of cigarette smoking than heterosexual
The abstract for this study indicated that "lesbians are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality linked to overweight and obesity.
Sadly for such a useful resource, there are a few facts that this Encylopedia For Conservatives doesn't contain. For example :-

The entry for ICELAND doesn't tell you that Conservative Barnet Council lost the family silver investing in dodgy banks there

Having said that, the section on how to be a Conservative  is rather interesting. I'd recommend that the likes of Mike Freer and Brian Coleman read it, they may find this brand of Conservatism rather. I do wonder if David Cameron considers himself a Conservative if these are the criteria.

Interestingly (assuming it's true) there is a rather fascinating entry about David Cameron. There is a cracking quote from Norman Tebbit :-
Tebbit said: "Is he the party's Chairman Mao or Pol Pot, intent on purging even the memory and name of Thatcherism before building a new modern compassionate green globally aware party somewhere on the left side of the middle?"

There are many things about this site which are hilarious, but for a site which professes to promote Free Speech and truth, rule 7 is the best :-

 The senseless changing of American to British spellings may result in blocking.

So there you go. If you want to find out how to be a proper Conservative, you know where to look. 

The End of Political Tribalism?

I had a fascinating conversation with a friend at the weekend. He's what I'd describe as a Blue/Green. He's a Natural Tory and an Environmentalist. Over a cup of tea, he explained to me how excited he was to finally get the opportunity to get rid of "Gordon Brown's awful Government". He was most pleased that Cameron certainly seems to be committed to Green issues in a way that no other Tory leader has been. As he's always voted Tory, this didn't surprise me. I then asked, mischeiviously I thought, what about the Council elections? He replied "Well I read your blog. I couldn't possibly vote for Freer or Coleman." He explained that the regeneration schemes will destroy the face of Barnet and they must be stopped at all costs. So I asked "Who will you vote for?" He lives in Barnet and replied "The Lib Dems of course. On a local level they are the only party with any credibility at all". I wasn't that surprised about this. Many local Tories have told me they'll be abandoning Freer's mob, many as a direct result of the Sheltered Warden changes. This is a poisonous policy and I think that the chickens are coming home to roost. The conversation progressed "What about Boris?". He rolled his eyes and said "If he stands, it has to be Ken Livingstone". Now this was a shock (believe me, there are many reasons that this was a shock). I enquired "Boris is useless, completely clueless, he's an embarrassment to London and Great Britain, we can't possibly afford to have him in for the Olympics. Livingstone is the only one who could beat him, at least he has some credibility. Anyone else will be a wasted vote". I had to ask "Euro elections?". He replied "UKIP of course, the rest of them go native when they step off the Eurostar".

I suspect that many people could follow this pattern of voting. I'd certainly not vote for Cameron or UKIP, but I must confess that his comments have given me food for thought. One thing he said certainly struck me as being true "Tribalism should be confined to the Football terraces. We seem to think that changing party is like shifting from being a Gooner to being a Spurs fan, it's not, it's called making a sensible grown up decision". He then said "You yourself said that Cameron should make Vince Cable Chancellor and Frank Field in charge of benefit reform" (I didn't actually say that). He went on to say "If you ask me, that would be the strongest team he could have, but tribalism completely precludes that. How can that possibly be in anyone's interest?".

I asked him who should be the leader of Barnet Council. He jokingly replied "I'd like to see you in charge with Don't Call me Dave as your deputy and the bloke who does Colemansgottogo.blogspot.com as Mayor, at least then Council Tax would go down and that awful newsletter would be vaguely readable". Sadly, the bloggers of Barnet are not a political party, so that's one choice that you won't have on the ballot form. I do suspect that at the next Council Elections, many people will be following our advice and voting for the candidates most likely to reverse such inhuman policies as cutting Sheltered Housing Wardens.

There's Nothing British About the BNP

Hat Tip to Dr Rachel Joyce, The Tory PPC for Harrow West for the link to this.



This video says many of the things that I feel about the BNP. These guys have made a whole series of videos like this. All high quality and all well worth watching.

Heartfelt Thanks to Brian Coleman for raising awareness of Barnet Councils Cruel Sheltered Housing Policy

I was half way through writing a blog when I got an alert to say that a blog had just been posted about Sheltered Housing Warden Cuts in Barnet. Don't Call Me Dave, a lifelong Conservative supporter has just posted this blog - http://www.notthebarnettimes.co.uk/2009/10/save-our-wardens.html  -  I couldn't possibly hope to write anything anywhere near as moving, so I'm not going to try.

For those of you who don't know David, he's a life long Conservative, from a stalwart Conservative family. He doesn't criticise the Conservative Party lightly. His blog today is not in his usual style. It evoked the same outrage and disgust I felt when I attended the Cabinet meeting where Mike Freer's Barnet Conservatives passed the policy to abolish the wardens. At that meeting I saw elderly Barnet residents, many of whom had been natural Conservatives shaking with fear and impotence. I saw old ladies crying when the decision was announced. Afterwards I talked to many of the residents who were affected. Many of them had heard that "The Barnet Eye" was fighting to save the wardens and so told me all manner of stories. David Young, who is organising the legal challenge, explained how his Lawyer Yvonne Hossacks would be challenging the decision in the High Court.

Decent people like David Young, people who are well into their retirement, people who should be seeing out their twighlight years in peace and security, should not have to be spending their savings fighting a Council which has a duty of care to look after them.

I have a special message for the Mayor of Barnet, Brian Coleman. Thank You. As a result of the poisonous lies you've told about me, many people have visited my blog and performed word searches using the term "Jewish". Many of them have hit this blog.

http://barneteye.blogspot.com/2009/06/time-for-barnets-jewish-community-to.html

Several of these new readers have contacted me to say that they had no idea of the terrible suffering Coleman/Freer/Hillan's policy is causing to the Elderly Jewish population in Barnet. Many of these people support the Conservative Party, but want nothing at all to do with this policy and WILL NOT be voting for the Conservatives locally whilst the current administration is in place. So thank you Mayor Coleman for helping me raise awareness of this most important of issues. We all value our parents, I wish the good Lord had spared mine for a few more years. If anyone in the Conservative administration thinks that this issue will go away, they have completely lost touch with reality. These are Mum's & Dad's, Grannies and Grandad's you are terrorising. Whole extended families are affected and trust me, none of them will be giving you their votes come next May.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Where have all the Tories gone?

I suppose I should be pleased. Whilst the rest of the Country is developing methods of dealing with the recession suitable for 2009, the Barnet Tories have decided to go for a solution based on 1970's Socialist thinking. The Barnet Tory cabinet have put together a paper called "Dealing with the recession in Barnet"


http://committeepapers.barnet.gov.uk/democracy/reports/reportdetail.asp?ReportID=8578

So why aren't I jumping up and down and saying, "Wayhay, Mike Freer has seen the light", because if you read the report, that's what you'd expect.

Well, you see, there's just one problem with this report. It's complete b*ll*cks. There are plenty of platitudes in there which sound fantastic, but when you compare them to what the policies and objectives of the council are, you realise that it's a complete whitewash. An attempt to pretend they are doing something and they care. You see, at the moment they are pushing through a scheme called Future Shape. They are trying to dress it up to be something else, but it is really all about cost cutting, job cuts, outsourcing and money saving. A prime example of this stupid scheme is the plan to remove wardens from Sheltered housing schemes. This means that many people who currently live independently with the odd warden visit, will have their warden removed. Without this security they will have to move into homes, often at the Council (ie you and me) expense, with full residential care.
As for the wardens, the council plan to sack them and throw them on the dole, in the middle of a recession. In Mike Freer's report he states that one of the goals is as follows :-
Local Employment Partnerships: The Council are working with JobCentrePlus on local employment partnerships (LEP) where vacancies are advertised through the job centres to maximise employment opportunities with the Council for local unemployed residents.
So lets get this right. You chuck wardens on the dole, then get the job centre to try and find them something else?

Another classic line in the report :-
Continuing to work closely with private sector landlords to ensure that there is adequate supply of housing in the private rented sector (given that theprivate rented sector now provides more homes for homeless people than the council and housing associations sectors combined). To date, there has only been a very small increase in homelessness in the borough.
Let me translate "Because we've been so useless at providing decent, affordable housing, we now have to pay over the top rates to private Landlords on a humungous scale". As to the sentence about a small increase in homelessness. This is Great Britain in 2009. We are one of the worlds richest economies. Any rise in homelessness is abject political failure.

Another classic :-
Signposting/Publicity for recession support - A webpage, ‘Bright Ideas’ (http://www.barnet.gov.uk/bright-ideas.htm), has been set up on the council website to offer businesses and residents practical tips, for example on managing cashflow and advice on debt and borrowing money, and help to mitigate the worst effects of the recession. It is being redesigned to specifically respond to the results of the Citizens Panel survey and focus more sharply on the information that residents have said they would find useful in assisting them to adjust to a fall in income, including advice on saving money, reducing energy consumption and on free activities.
This is rather rich coming from a Council administration which has increased borrowing by 8 times since they took over from the Lib/Lab's in 2002. I was quite interested in how to manage my cashflow better, so I followed the link on the Bright ideas website and it took me here :-

http://www.creditmanagement.org.uk/berrguides.htm

If you click on this link, you'll see that Mike Freer's advice for anyone with cashflow management problems is to ASK PETER MANDLESON !!!!!

So there you have it. If you want to beat the recession and you think Mike Freer is the man to help you, then you'll end up being lectured by Peter Mandleson on how to run your business. Now I'm sure that all of the guides Peter recommends are full of the finest advice that Taxpayers money can buy, but I do wonder - in Barnet, where have all the Tories gone?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Mike Freer Effect

Since Mike Freer took over at Barnet Council, the Borough's finances have, shall we say, not exactly been carefully husbanded. Borrowing has increased at an exponential rate, much of it to partake in highly dubious investments in Icelandic banks, which went bust, leaving a huge hole in the council finances. Major projects such as Aerodrome Road have also gone wrong, lumbering the hard pressed taxpayer with an extra, unforeseen bill of £11 Million.

I thought I'd see how Freerite economics have affected the Finchley and Golders Green Conservative Party. Mike Freer has had his hands on the tillers of power there for a couple of years. Has the party of financial prudence prospered financially under his regime in Finchley?

Well here is what it says in their accounts. See what happened to spending and expenses as Mike's feet got under the desk. Click on this for a full size, readable illustration. This is taken from The Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives accounts.


What would worry me if I was a Tory is that in a non council/ general election year, when the party should be building up it's resources, they've turned a £24,575 surplus into a £28,484 loss. The money raised by appeals fell from £41,575 to £2,090. Salaries have risen by approx 30%, but printing, stationary and photocopying have remained almost identical. This would indicate to me that they are paying 30% more money to do the same amount of work, although this is purely supposition. It also seems rather odd that it costs £9,478 instead of £2,859 to send the same amount of stationary and photocopying out?

I'm sure that there are perfectly good explanations for all of these facts, but at the end of the day, any organisation which runs it's finances on a deficit amounting to over 25% of it's income is in trouble. I'm not a Tory so it doesn't really bother me that they can't keep their house in good order. What does bother me is that they are proposing that a guy with a track record of financial ineptitude is being put forward as a candidate. I suspect that if they had selected someone who had a modicum of financial acumen and a track record of keeping tight control of the finances, then the income wouldn't have fallen by over 25%.

I guess that Mike Freer isn't too worried, because as his seat is a top target, his association will get bailed out by Central office. It all goes to show that far from being a Thatcherite as he claims, he's actually far closer to Gordon Brown with his view of what prudent finances are.

I suppose that if anyone asks him about the finances of the Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives, he'll say "I'm only the candidate, it's not my job to keep an eye on them". Well Mike, the sad truth is that you are the Captain of the ship. Just how many Iceburgs do you think you can hit, before you get found out?

Just a quick question. Are there actually any Tories in the Finchley and Golders Green Conservative Party, because these accounts do not appear the least bit "Conservative" to an ignorant pleb like me?

The Sun backs Matthew Offord - Hendon's new Reggie Blair !


Exciting news from The Hendon  Conservatives website. The site has claimed that the political editor of The Sun has given his personal endorsement to The Hendon Conservative Candidate Matthew Offord. I'd love to put the nice picture of Matthew Offord and The Sun's Political Editor George Pascoe Watson on here, but unfortunately the Hendon Conservatives don't let me use their pictures. so you'll have to make do with the old Captain Useless one instead.Now clearly this political endorsement is a defining moment in Matthew Offords campaign, so I thought I'd Google "The Sun backs Matthew Offord". Erm, actually no endorsement popped up (except on the Hendon Tories website). It appears that the Sun has endorsed Matthew Offord rather like Lemmy from Motorhead once endorsed my guitar playing. I stood next to him at the bar at Dingwalls during a Vibrators gig. He's a friendly chap and we had a brief chat where I said I liked his music and I played in a band. Lemmy said "Great".

Interestingly enough, the little story on the Hendon Tories website doesn't actually have a quote from Mr Pascoe Watson. Maybe he reads this blog and he knows that Matthew Offord is the guy responsible for organising the contractors at Aerodrome Road, and so was a bit reticent. Here's how Matthew boasted about setting up the Aerodrome Road contracts on the Hendon Conservatives website, before it went Titanic. Sadly, under Matthews leadership, it all went wrong and ended up costing £11 million more than expected. Shortly before the full extent of the overrun was announced, Offord changed jobs and has gone round blaming the new guy in the job, Councillor Andrew Harper.

Another exciting story on the website is about Matthew Offords trip to Old Trafford. Now as a City fan, I find the whole concept of Old Trafford repellent enough without Matthew Offord being there. Thankfully Matthew spared us any of his pearls of wisdom about football, other than than to say that the entire voting populace of Hendon Constituency could fit in the ground. Interestingly enough, should Matthew win the Hendon seat, he'll be the first Conservative holder of this seat since 1935 when Reggie Blair was the MP. Now clearly Reggie Blair was well before my time, but I must confess that the name conjoured up an interesting image. A cross between Reggie Kray and Tony Blair. Can you imagine it "Basically, I'm a straight sort of guy, and if you say any different you'll be sleeping with the fishes"

Lastly on our little tour of Matthew Offord's website, we hear that he's put himself at the forefront of Barnet's campaign to "beat the burglars". Is it any coincidence that there's been a spate of burglaries locally? One of them was at the house of a friend of mine, who lives 2 doors from former Mayor Maureen Braun. Let me tell you a little story about how effective our local anti burglar initiative is. When my friend's house was robbed, we did  a quick search of the fields out the back. of his house We found a B and O TV, worth over £5,000 stashed for collection later, hidded under a coat behind a tree. We also found that 16 homes backing on to the field had been robbed in a 2 week period. We reported the find to the police and suggested that they stake out the area. They responded that we should bring the TV and they'd get someone round to test it for fingerprints. It seems that it was "not practical" to stake out the area. I hope that his plan to stake out the A5 for burglars is a stunning success. From my friends experience, it is not a nice thing to happen. I'd suggest that anyone who is concerned about community safety and burglary contact Matthew. He's a very nice pleasant amenable chap. He's always pleased to talk to constituents, especially the younger members of the community. You can get in touch with any of of your Barnet Councillors through this page. Just click on their name. They are elected to help you and to make the borough a better place and they are all keen to do a good job to justify the allowances they receive.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The basic dishonesty of the Brent Cross / Cricklewood redevelopment



The picture shown above is one that forms part of the artists illustration of the Brent Cross /Cricklewood redevelopment scheme.  It was the one which they've been punting to the papers such as the Hendon Times.Now take a look at this picture taken from google earth of how it looks today. I've added a nice pink arrow to show which angle the artists impression is looking from.



As you may notice, the way it is represented by the artist, it looks like there's a lovely green area that is part of the development, however this is a bit of the land adjacent to the plan and unaffected by it.

Now look at this picture.

On this picture I've helpfully put a border around the part of the artists picture which actually shows the development. Now if I was an architect and I was proud of my designs, would I give greater promennance to the sky, the allotements and the playing fields than my lovely buildings. Well, yes I would, if I was trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. If I was trying to pretend the plan was a fantastic, green, innovative design, when really it was a high rise hell, comprising rabbit hutch flats.

The evidence is there. How can they possibly think this is a great plan, if they hide it like this. You'll note that the high rise element is in the far distance. I saw the picture and thought "that looks quite nice" until I analysed it. Then I though "cheeky B*******s".

What disturbs me is that when Councillor Maureen Braun chairs the planning committee, people might fall for this ruse. Her political master, Councillor Mike Freer is speaking in favour of the proposal. Of course, I'm sure this won't put her under any pressure at all. Interestingly enough, even Councillor Brian Coleman thinks it's a rotten plan and has come out against it. What is the difference between Coleman and Freer? Well Mike Freer doesn't come from Barnet and he's hoping to move to Westminster some time soon. Brian Coleman has lived in Barnet all his life and plans to hang around.
What does this tell you?

A strange, lonely and troubling death?

The Daily Mail was at it's stupid, uncaring, crass worst yesterday. Jan Moir, that well known, high profile, top reporter, who I'd never heard of until yesterday, and hope I never hear of again, wrote this article about the death of Stephen Gately. Let me quote a couple of paragraphs.
Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael. Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately's last night raise troubling questions about what happened.
Moir draws attention to his "sad, lonely death on the sofa" whilst his partner was elsewhere engaged with a young man they'd met whilst out at a club. This really offends me. In Moir's terms, my own dear Dad had a "sad lonely death". He got up in the night, aged 69, after 43 years of happy marriage. He went downstairs, sat on the sofa and had a heart attack. Mum was up in bed. Gately was no more sad or lonely when he died than my Dad. He probably, rather like my Dad, felt unwell and thought he'd sit on the couch. Like my Dad his heart packed up. In my Dad's case, the post mortem said that in all probability a lifetime of smoking and drinking had weakened his heart. When I read the comments about Gately - he may have smoked a joint -I thought " what right has this woman got to stick the knife in, in a national newspaper". Sure it's a free country, but you have to ask why a paper such as the Daily Mail publishes such tripe. What is there agenda?

About 16 years ago, I had a split with my partner (now my wife) for a while. A friend of mine also went through a split. He found himself homeless. I had a spare room and he lodged with me for a period of 6 months whilst he got himself on his feet. Our lifestyle was one where we'd go to the pub every night, drink ourselves silly, then quite often come home and drink lots more beer. Often we'd meet friends up the pub who would come back for an extended drinking session. There was no sexual element to our friendship, but I couldn't help thinking what Jan Moir would have said if one of us had conked out on the couch after a heavy session. There would probably be all sorts of innuendo, supposition and rumour. What would our friends and family have thought if we'd read this? That's what upsets me about the comments about Gately. Sure Gately and his partner were gay, sure they met a guy and he came back. That much is public record. What else happened? I don't know and I don't care. For all I know, they drunk a load more beer and conked out, completely comatose, then woke to find Gately dead. The point is that it is there business.

As to the effect of Gately's lifestyle. Like my fathers years of smoking and drinking, it was his business. He brought happiness to many people. By all accounts, he was a nice guy. We all have demons. Unlike the pompous, self righteous Moir, I try not to judge people. She ends here article with this comment :-
For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see.

Oil City Confidential

Just got back from the premier of Oil City Confidential. This is Julian Temple's film about Dr Feelgood. If you like Rock and Roll and you like good music, this is something you really should see. Wilko was sitting three rows in front of us. The Feelgoods are a much overlooked band in Rock and Roll history. Hopefully this film will redress that. Here's a clip of them in action doing Route 66


Enjoy - and try and get out to see the film. You won't get the Q&A session with Julian Temple like we did, as it's not the premier, but you'll see a great film!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Roundhouse

Of all the places in London to have a night out, my favourite is the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm. This may have something to do with the fact that the very first Punk Rock I ever saw happened there on 6th June 1977 (The Ramones, Talking Heads and The Saints). Then again maybe it doesn't. Tonight I was there to watch Echo and the Bunnymen. I thoroughly enjoyed the gig, they are a truly awesome band, but I kept turning over the question in my head "Why is an industrial shed built 150 years ago my favourite venue in the world".  I put this question to my friend Derek who is an award winning designer. He said that he thought that maybe constraining designers was actually beneficial. I really don't know. All of the buildings I like most in London The Roundhouse, St Pancras, etc, blend old & new. The most successful venue in the world is the 02 (formerly the Dome). I don't actually believe it works as a venue. It's too big and you are too detached from the band.

Sadly the economics of music mean that the O2 dwarfs the Roundhouse in financial terms. That is why the top bands play there. I'm off later this month to see Smokey Robinson at the Roundhouse as part of the BBC electric proms. I doubt there'll be a more enjoyable gig at the O2 in the next 10 years.

First Capital Connect and the Oyster Pay as You Go daylight robbery scam

On Wednesday 30th September I posted this blog about the awful experience my daughter had at the hands of an aggressive bully of a ticket inspector at Mill Hill Broadway Station. She didn't realise that you can't use Pay as You Go Oyster Cards at Mill Hill and got a £20 penalty fare, even though she'd touched in at St Pancras, where there are no warning signs. As she couldn't touch out she was also deducted a fare higher than the one she should have paid.

I got quite a response from the story. People told me many tales of rude and surly inspectors. What I didn't expect was the email I got today. This was from someone who has used a Pay as You Go Oyster card at Mill Hill. This is an extract from his statement

22/09/09
21:28 Mill Hill Broadway Exit £1.70 £9.40
21:00 Farringdon Entry - £4.00 £7.70

He explained that on the 22/09/09, the Oyster PAYG readers at Mill Hill were working. he touched out with them and as his statement clearly shows, he was deducted the fare.

What does this mean. It means that all of those people like my daughter, who suffered abuse and humiliation have been scammed. The system is there, it works, they just don't want to use it.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I saw a team of inspectors again fining people for using PAYG Oyster cards. I'd suggest that anyone receiving a penalty fare from these people informs them that the system is working and that they are extorting money under false pretences. I don't know when the system became usable, but usable it is.Point this out to them.

YOU HAVE A TICKET, THEY HAVE A MACHINE THAT CAN READ IT, IF THEY CHOOSE TO NOT USE THAT MACHINE, THEY CANNOT JUSTIFY CHARGING YOU A PENALTY CHARGE.

I have proof that the system works, so there is no longer any justification for this scam and the humiliation of law abiding customers to continue. As before, urge Boris Johnson, James Cleverly and Brian Coleman to bang some heads together to stop this scam.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

More classic stupidity from Richard Barnbrook, London's BNP Numpty no 1

London faces many major problems and issues at the moment. Families struggle to make ends meet, commuters struggle to get to work through traffic chaos, Boris Johnson struggles to balance his budget. Today was the day when the members of the GLA had an opportunity to grill our Mayor and get him to answer the important questions which matter to London. You may wonder what the best question Richard Barnbrook, the GLA's only BNP member could come up with would be - well here it is.



Just how stupid is Richard Barnbrook. Does he really think eating Christmas pudding would help people to understand Christianity? Does he think that one mouthful of figgy pudding leads to enlightenment, if accompanied by a bit of Silent night?

Generally I don't do religious lectures on the Barnet Eye, but as Richard Barnbrook seeks to lecture Muslims about Christmas (Jesus is recognised in Islam as a major prophet so they probably don't need  a lecture), I thought I'd remind Mr Barnbrook of a few facts about Jesus, as stated in the Holy Bible.

Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi. Had he decided to have staged his second coming in Germany in 1944, Mr Barnbrook's political allies, The Nazi's would have gassed him under the racial purity laws.

Jesus was an asylum seeker (as were his parents, Mary and Joseph). They emigrated to Nazareth to escape persecution. We all know what the BNP thinks of Asylum seekers.

Jesus liked foreigners. He even had three wise men turn up from the Orient baring gifts at his birth. The BNP are not so welcoming.

Jesus was a pacifist. He advised his followers to "turn the other cheek" when confronted with violence. Sadly we've seen quite the opposite from the BNP and their bedfellows "The English Defence League".

Jesus was welcoming of foreigners. He told the parable of  "The Good Samaratan" to expose the attitudes of his fellow countrymen to Samaritans (who were disliked). The point of the story was that "foreigners can be as good as anyone else" its how they behave, not where they are from. Let's just remind ourselves of the BNP's attitude to Johnson Beharry, a VC winner in the British Army, who the BNP say cannot be British because he was black.

Which brings us nicely on to what colour was the skin of Jesus. Given where he was living and that he was of pure Jewish ancestry (his birthline to Adam and Eve is listed in the new testament), he was quite clearly not blond hair and blue eye'd. He was probably olive skinned or black. He most certainly looked and dressed more like a Mullah than Richard Barnbrook or anyone else in the BNP. Most representations are of a swarthy looking man with a beard and long hair. Now for all any of us know, he may have looked like Arnie Shwarzennegar, but it seems to be pretty unlikely.

Finally lets remind us what Jesus used to tell his followers "Love Your Neighbour". He didn't qualify that with "Unless they are ******* (complete as appropriate)".

When I see people like Richard Barnbrook, I fail miserably to love my neighbour. That's why generally I don't go around giving religious lectures. The good Lord loves to see a sinner repenteth. I hope Barnbrook reads this, realises he's a twat and repents. I hope he dedicates the rest of his life to making up for the mistakes he's made and the misery he's caused.