Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Barnet Tories ignore Anti Semitism if it suits them !

This blog has had a large number of hits on the story about Jonathan Hoffman picketing the appearance of Miriam Margolyes at the Arts Depot. Mr Hoffman is a leading Zionist campaigner and will let no criticism of Israel or the local Jewish community pass without vocally opposing it. Barnet Tory Councillors also make a big issue of support for Israel and condemnation of any instance of Anti Semitism in the Borough. In fact Mr Hoffman rallied to support Councillor Brian Coleman as a friend of Israel during his recent Standards hearing. The Barnet Eye admires people such as Mr Hoffman who stand up for their principles and put themselves in harms way to get their point across. We don't always agree with everything Mr Hoffman says or does, but it requires guts and determination to stand on the street and run the risk of abuse or even possible violence.

The Barnet Eye has less admiration for the Tories of Barnet Council such as Rams and Coleman, who are sometimes a little more equivocal with their support. It may surprise newer readers of this blog to find out that this blog was founded because of our stance AGAINST AN ANTISEMITIC VIDEO POSTED ON THE BARNET COUNCIL WEBSITE. At the time I was writing a blog on the Hendon Times website. It was (as this blog is) very well read. It also (as this blog does) ruffled the feathers of Councillors on a regular basis. The editor of the Times told me on several occasions that various Tory Councillors (including Councillor Rams) had contacted him asking for the Times to dispense with my services. Amongst other things I was told that I couldn't refer to the then Council Leader, Mike Freer. I was then told that I had to stop mentioning Brian Coleman. All of these things I complied with.

Then I was informed by one of the people who regularly commented on my blog (and who had started his own blog) that Barnet Council had posted an Anti Semitic video on their Youtube site. I was outraged and posted an extremely hard hitting blog demanding that the Council immediately removed the video and apologised for their crass action. What do you think happened next?

Well you may (or may not) be surprised to hear that Barnet Council contacted the Times and demanded that I was sacked as a blogger. The Times duly complied with this request. I set up the Barnet Eye in response to this outrageous behaviour. My return was lauded by the fellow Blogger, Don't Call Me Dave here - http://www.notthebarnettimes.co.uk/2008/10/rog-t-is-back.html - Don't call me Dave also blogged about the original video here - http://www.notthebarnettimes.co.uk/2008/10/council-refuses-to-remove-offensive_03.html - Don't Call Me Dave was shocked by the behaviour. At the Time, I believe he was still a member of the Chipping Barnet Conservative Association, which he had been an officer of. As far as I'm aware, he was the only Barnet Conservative to express any support for me in response to my sacking for opposing Anti Semitism.

It seemed that the rest of them were quite happy with me to get shafted, because it was rather convenient for them. If such a thing had happened to anyone who was a friend of the Barnet Tories, then we'd have seen more than Mr Hoffman outside the Times office.

That is why I think they are all a complete bunch of hypocrites. That is why I don't trust them an inch.


Don't Call Me Dave said...


I do believe (hope?) that all Barnet councillors understand that anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any shape or form, as indeed is any form of racial discrimination.

In this particular instance, the initial problem was with the council’s officers. I had complained to Emer Coleman - an officer who was promoted way above her capabilities (although I am sure this had absolutely nothing to do with who she was shagging at the time). The fact that neither she, nor the officer who replied to me, could see what was wrong with the video indicates a woeful lack of understanding on their part.

For all his many faults, Mike Freer did at least get the video taken down, although nobody ever apologised for posting it in the first place, which suggests that the officers wanted to keep it on-line.

jonathan hoffman said...

Thanks for the support - much appreciated.

I would obviously like to know more about this video - first I've heard about this.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Although the council said that they had removed the offending video, I am not so sure that they did. I think it may simply be hidden. If you go to the link on my blog and then click the video, you receive a message which says: “This video is private”. Normally, when a video is removed from YouTube, you get a message which says “This video is no longer available” (or something similar).