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I have been contacted by Mike Freer MP, who wished to explain that he feels websites and twitter are not appropriate places for private expressions of grief. He stated that Lynne was a dear friend and he did not wish for his personal grief to be put on the web. As he bothered to get in touch, I believe his comments to be genuine.
Please read the comments below with this in mind
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I get more and more disillusioned with our politicians every day. It seems that the party machines take decent people, put them through the sausage machine, strip them of any semblence of humanity and churn out emotionless zombies focussed only on the holy grail of making sure the bunch of porkies their party tells is more credible than the bunch of porkies the other lot are peddling. Somewhere in the mix, all human decency is disposed with. Perhaps the starkest example of this shredding of human decency in Barnet can be seen in the reaction of two of our local MP's to the death of Councillor Lynne Hillan on the 5th April. Councillor Hillan was the leader of Barnet Council for two years, before stepping down due to ill health last year. She delivered a stunning victory for the Conservatives in Barnet in 2010, when many other North West London authorities fell to Labour. She was a member of the Barnet Council cabinet, when Finchley MP Mike Freer was Leader of the Council and Hendon MP Matthew Offord was deputy Leader. Over the weekend I wrote a short obituary for Councillor Hillan. As a fellow Cancer sufferer, I felt moved to comment on the bravery with which she faced her struggle. As someone who implacably opposed her policies, I wanted to get a few quotes from her high profile colleagues. As they generally don't even bother replying to emails from the Barnet Eye, I thought I'd just check in their websites.
To my horror, both Offord and Freer hadn't bothered to mention the sad news. Between the two of them, they hadn't even bothered to put a message on Twitter. Here's Offords site - http://www.matthewofford.co.uk/news.aspx?id=4 - whilst he thinks we are interested in his action man antics on the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS), he couldn't be bothered to get a message up about Lynne Hillan. How will the many local Conservatives feel about this appalling snub. Then there is Mike Freer. In may way Hillans mentor. Freer engineered her leadership bid and fully supported her. Again Freer hasn't bothered to comment - http://www.mikefreer.com/ - shocking really.
If you want to read any sort of tribute from a local Conservative politician, the only one I can find is from Councillor Robert Rams. Although generally I am not a fan of Rams, it seems that he does have basic human decency. His tribute is warm honest and touching - http://robertrams.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/cllr-lynne-hillan-today-i-have-lost-a-wonderful-friend/ and clearly is written from the heart. Now I daresay that we'll have some whining bleat from Freer and Offord in response claiming they were too busy. They all have blackberrys, they all have twitter accounts and if it mattered to them they would have said something by now. They are not even mentioned in the Barnet Times report, although the third Barnet MP, Theresa Villiers gave a moving quote - http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/9634721.Tributes_paid_to_former_Leader_of_Barnet_Council/ -
What sort of commentary does this radio silence from the two most important men in Barnet politics tell us about the Conservative Party?