Friday, 15 February 2013

Focus on Chipping Barnet Conservatives

The London Borough of Barnet is divided up into three constituencies, Hendon, Finchley + Golders Green, Chipping Barnet. Whilst Hendon is in a state of meltdown following the various shenanigans of MP Matthew Offord and Finchley and Golders Green has become a focal point for protest coordinated by Occupy London as a result of the anti squatter stance of MP Mike Freer, Chipping is what it always has been. A sleepy backwater where nothing much happens.

So much so that the MP, Theresa Villiers was made Northern Ireland minister. Perhaps it is ironic that whilst Barnet is outsourcing its services to the rest of the country, Northern Ireland has outsourced its management to Chipping Barnet!

Of the three constituencies, Chipping is far and away the most middle class, the least diverse and the most Tory. Until 2010, it was the only Barnet constituency with a Tory MP. In 2012, the association made an attempt to make the represenation more diverse, by selecting a female Muslim candidate for the Chipping ward council by election. This was a disaster. The plan failed miserably, with Labour romping away with a previously safe seat.

The local association is now controlled by the chair Fiona Bulmar. Ms Bulmar was a member of the Council cabinet until 2009. She stood for leadership and lost narrowly to Lynne Hillan. In a fit of pique, she walked out of the cabinet and stood down as a councillor. She subsequently made up with Ms Hillan and took up the reigns of running the association.

Like many such clubs, the association has been torn apart by many such rifts and squabbles over the years. Resting anti Council blogger, David Miller was the association chairman for a while. He quit in disgust at the endless shenanigans. Another anti council blogger was an ex Barnet Councillor. Daniel Hope was actually a Chipping ward councillor, until he fell out with fellow Councillor Andreas Tambourides. As a result of the rift, Mr Hope was deselected from the ward. He started writing occasional blogs under the name "The Barnet Bugle". Reports reach the Barnet Eye that Mr Hope has been seeking to rejoin the association as he has decided that gatecrashing lefty love ins after council meetings is not for him. Rather amusingly we hear that Conservative leader Richard Cornelius is less than thrilled at the concept. Having, rather fortuitously, been given the opportunity to get rid of another rather problematic member in Brian Coleman, word reaches the Barnet Eye that Richard is not exactly chuffed at the prospect of having the challenge of the rather easily upset Mr Hope in his ranks. The Barnet Eye wonders if Mr Cornelius is ever secretly jealous of Joseph Stalin, who had a very effective way of dealing with such problems. All Mr Cornelius can do is ask such members to sit on the "general functions committee".

Like many such sleepy backwaters, nothing much happens. A quick look at the association news reaffirms this. It appears that so far this year, nothing at all has happened!

The association has a whole stack of rather elegant social events lined up. Here are a few examples

Coppetts Brunch Come and join us for some Bucks Fizz and brunch. 32 The Ridgeway, N11 3LJ

CWCC Theresa's Birthday Party 46 Kings Rd EN5 4EG. £15. Time: 7pm. 

Old Fold Branch Easter Tea 163 High Street. £12.50/head Time: 3.30pm

CWCC Coronation Dinner (60 years celebration) 163 High Street. £17.50/head  Time: 7pm

If this floats your boat, then check here for more details.

I suspect that Chipping would be the last place with a London postcode to still elect a Tory MP in the event of a total collapse of the party. That is unless it goes UKIP !

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