|Roger Tichborne and Charles Honderick promoting |
A Tale of Two Barnets on the Royal Mile
|Edinburgh Unison offices at Douglass House, where the film was screened|
A visitor from Glasgow told us that their council was a Labour Council and had plumped for the "Joint Venture model" which is now flavour of the month in Barnet. Many of the audience were flabbergasted to hear of the harrassment of Helen Michael by SO15. One visitor later told Charles that he was a former member of Special Branch and was amazed that they would get involved in such shenanigans.
There were questions about how the production was made. The thing which was most interesting to the delegates was the way such a low budget, homespun film could be so powerful. Many delegates recognised patterns within the film. Comments were made as to the arrogance in general of CEO's and also to the inadequate nature of democratic control by councillors. Another common theme raised was bullying.
After the formal debate, most members of the audience stayed for an informal debate. Charles Honderick got chatting to a local film maker, who was intrigued by the film and the support it has received. I chatted to reps from Glasgow about their Labour council. He rather chillingly said"Here Labour is the complacent incumbent power, we don't even consider the Conservatives".
After the debate, many of us adjourned to the pub. As Everton beat Manchester United, this rounded off a great night for me.
Many thanks to the people of Edinburgh for such a warm welcome. I wondered whether a film specifically about Barnet could say something to a wider audience. The answer was a resounding yes. Sadly in 2012, we are not alone and all of the problems affecting us are being repeated across the country. Not for the first time, a member of the audience said "Why isn't Ken Loach Prime Minister", having watched his introduction. Sadly we have a Prime Minister and Chancellor who seem to have no answers at all as the Economy slides further into debt and recession