Last night, myself and millions of other people watched the England team qualify for the finals of the world cup. Football is our national sport and last nights match was the most important fixture since the last world cup. For many of us, football is a massive part of our lives. It was also the night when Barnet Council chose to stage a "Leaders Event" where Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council chose to meet the public in a PR event.
It is well known that local Tories despise football. They drove the last major team, Barnet FC from the Borough, having already seen to Hendon FC. The number of playing fields has dramatically diminished since they came to power in 2002. In 2010, they made opposition to Kentish Town FC (ave crowds 30) playing at Chase Lodge playing fields in Mill Hill, whilst planning a 10,000 seat stadium for Saracens Rugby club.
When planning PR events, it is a given that you check the calendar. If you want as many people as possible to turn up, you avoid clashes with major events. Barnet broke this rule for the Leaders event. Whilst not everyone cares about football, excluding a whole swathe of people from such an event shows either a deliberate attempt to show that there is a low level of interest in local politics or an attempt to exlude the predominantly working class audience that take football seriously. It also ensured that only a highly committed political audience would attend. I followed from afar via Mrs Angrys twitter feed and my opinions were confirmed by the car crash that ensued
It is clear to me that Barnet hate consultation. They will pull any trick in the book to ensure that they avoid any serious engagement. This latest event is only the latest in a long list of attempts to manipulate the agenda. They always fail Shame on Leader, Richard Cornelius for such a stupid and obvious gambit.