Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Tweets of the week in Barnet 31/5/2014

So here it is, I know you've all been waiting for it! It's the Barnet Tweets of the week, so without further ado.

1. The Deputy Leader of the Barnet Tories joins in the whinging about BBC UKIP coverage. Perhaps hard to disagree with his point though

Brazen BBC anti-Tory coverage of local elections. UKIPs 157 Cllrs vs Conservative 1259 is no 'earthquake'.

2. Hampstead Garden Suburb Tory Danny 'Imber' Seal ;^) sums up the feelings of just about everyone about Stephen Suttons incredible efforts for the Teenage Cancer Trust. As a fellow sufferer of the Big C, happily not in the same situation as Stephen, all I can say is Stephen showed that not everyone with Cancer is a "Cancer victim"

One big to celebrate Stephen Sutton's incredible achievements and positivity!

3. Mrs Angry takes a few minutes out from handbagging Tories to have a pop at her fave lefty armchair champagne socialist rag (Heh Heh)

4. Donald Lyven admires Mrs A from afar at the Finchley Lit Fest

Enthusiastic applause as ends her entertaining illustrated talk on Charles Dickens at

5. Hendon MP Matthew Offord preparing for a new career in a call centre after the next election "Yes Madame, would you like an extra portion of Wedges with the Pizza". Do love the rather startled look of his colleague, who clearly hadn't seen the photographer. Was she really so surprised Matthew was actually doing something? Interesting to note that all the other members of the team had headsets. Could this imply Matthew wasn't reallya  fully engaged member of the team?

Calling on behalf of local Conservative candidates in Hendon constituency 

 6. New Labour Councillor Adam Langleben clearly is pleased that First Capital Connect has gone the way of so many Barnet Tory ex Councillors !

I doubt new operator will be able to sort out Thameslink problems. Good decision to strip of the franchise though.

7. Councillor Adam Langleben again with pictures of perhaps the most miserable looking celebration party in history !

 8. Another new Labour councillor encourages us to tell of TFL about Stirling Corner

Deadline 31 May (tomorrow!) to let TfL know whether you think Stirling Corner traffic lights should stay permanently

9. Our local Premiership Rugby team about to take the field in the climax to the Season !

The teams are out! What and atmosphere. Here we go, 80 minutes to go!

10. And finally - our fave local Music studio asks you to choose your fave album cover of all time !

Join the debate on our facebook page What's your fave album cover of all time

 That's all folks! Hope you enjoyed them

The Saturday List #61 - The Ten Mistakes of the Barnet Labour Party in the 2014 Election

Barnet Council is still run by the Conservatives. The local Labour Party, like an Ostrich on Tamazipam have decided that this result is a great victory. So we thought we'd list the ten mistakes that lead to this cock up.

1. Putting resources into a campaign in Childs Hill Ward, purely to spite the Lib Dems, who are their natural allies in Barnet Politics. This split the anti Tory vote and allowed 2 Tories in.

2.  Lack of campaigning in Hale ward, which is eminently winnable (due to the Childs Hill Campaign).

3. Failure to coordinate and work with hard working and active allies on the left such as BAPS to ensure that the campaign  was as effective as possible in leafletting and canvassing. Given that this alliance had worked so well in the GLA campaign, it is baffling why Labour chose not to build on this.

4. Failure to work with bloggers to engage with the thousands of readers of the Barnet blogs. When a meeting was set up between the Labour leadership and bloggers to see how bloggers could assist Labour Campaign, Labour leadership replied "help at polling stations on election day". This wasted a superb opportunity to raise the profile of policies and candidates.

5. Failure to address issues in specific target wards and raise these in the press. Many locals have stated that Labour were completely "anonymous". Let me give an example. I particpated in a Mill Hill Churches homeless night shelter at John Keeble Church in Hale Ward. There was no mention of the rise of homelessness in Barnet under the Tory administration. As hundreds of people in the Borough have supported the scheme directly and thousands indirectly, this should have been a core message.

6. Failure to get activists to bother to leave comments on the local press websites giving responses to a swathe of planted pro Tory stories. This completely baffled me. It is free and it takes two minutes to leave a comment. We have to assume that local Labour actually read the papers.

7. Failure to get stories into papers showcasing new candidates in marginal wards and the stirling work they are doing in the community (we of course assume they are working their butts off for the local community, don't we?).

8. Failure to stand up and expose failed and bankrupt Conservative policies and intiatives. The classic example of this was when Your Choice Barnet Ltd (a private company set up by Barnet Council to manage adult social care at "arms length" ie outside of democratic control) failed and needed a council bale out. This was an open goal for Labour, anyone with an ounce of common sense would have used this failure to expose the myth of Conservatives competence and management strategy for Barnet. Instead they meekly signed up to the whitewash and agreed the report which said "returning the service to an in house service is not an option".

9. Failure to stand up for local jobs and their natural supporters in the public sector. Local elections are largely about getting your core vote out. The local Labour leadership treated the leaders of local Unions like lepers (not the cash that they provided though). They made no case for workers threatened with redundancy by the Capita One Barnet program and have never once said that they would abandon the scheme. If Barnet Labour had bothered to care about these hard pressed workers, then they would have had a ready made pool of energised activists to do the work in marginal wards like Hale.

10. Failure to put new and exciting candidates into the public eye. For instance new East Barnet Councillor Rebecca Challice is the youngest Councillor in England. Such a candidate should have been used to talk to and engage with young voters. The fact that there were no press stories capitalising on this, putting her in the spotlight and showing the difference between the "tired Tories" and the dynamic Labour party was yet another spectacular missing of an open goal. Labour had some great assets, heaven alone knows why they chose not to deploy them.

Barnet Labour is a mix of New Labour and Old Labour. Sadly they have chosen to cherrypick the worst aspects of both. They have the policy free vacuum of the New Labour ideology, where nothing is ever said that they think may in any way upset anyone or appeal to any core Labour value. They have mixed that with the chaotic 70's style campaigning of Old Labour, failing to take into account new technologies, changing demographics and the diversity of Barnet. Click here to have a look at all of the new Barnet Councillors -  tell me, do these faces represent the faces you see on the streets in your High Street?

Now maybe I'm missing something, but to me all of these things seem obvious. Sadly the most obvious thing of all is that the existing Leadership in the Barnet Labour Party have made all of these schoolboy errors. They have failed to exploit all manner of advantages and have wasted numerous opportunities to make a difference. Nothing could be more crystal clear than the fact that Alison Moore is past her sell by date as Labour Party Leader.  I'm not a member of the Labour Party so I have no influence over what will happen, beyond the fact that thousands of Labour members read this blog every month (we had over 35,000 hits last month). Many people in Labour desperately want the party to do well, but have been demoralised by the current leadership and their strategies over the last four years.

I suspect that this blog will be very unpopular in Labour circles at the moment. Rather like the vet is very unpopular with my dog when he needs an enema because he's not well. Every Labour member who sits there with their fingers in their ears shouting "La La La" and "Didn't we do well in Barnet" is simply another "useful idiot" as far as the Tories are concerned. Tory Leader Richard Cornelius must sink to his knees and thnak the lord for making Alison Moore the leader of Labour every single day. It means that he can get away with murder in the council chamber and know that no one will hold him to account. I for one will not shut up until Richard has a new opponent and needs to take a spare pair of undies to every council meeting. At the moment Richards biggest concern prior to any Council meeting is whether to finish it off with a good glass of red or white wine. If that is not abject failure, I don't know what is.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Joey Barton puts Barnet council to shame!

Last night on Question Time, QPR footballer Joey Barton made a sexist remark. His comment that voting UKIP was like going to a bar, seeing four really ugly girls and thinking she's not the worst. When challenged by a member of the audience Mr Barton apologised and said that he had no experience of this sort of debate. In short he realised he'd made a mistake, apologised and gave an explanation.

Those of us who follow Barnet Council will remember the sexist remarks made by a certain ex councillor, referring to members of the public gallery as "Two old hags". As a representative of the Council, paid an allowance by the taxpayer, this was outragous. The public passed judgement on the Councillor in question, sending him back to anonimity. What is disgusting is that the Council has never issued an apology as an organisation to the people offended. If Joey Barton can see its wrong, why can't Barnet Council. As we have a new Council in office, why not turn over a new leaf and correct this mistake.

The Friday Joke - 30/5/2014 - Fr O'Malley gets some good news from the Inland Revenue

Fr O'Malley is in the parish office with the parish accountant doing the books when the phone rings. Fr O'Malley chats to the caller for a minute and then puts the phone down with a massive smile on his face. Mr Braithwaite the accountant says "Good News Father?" Father O'Malley replies "Oh yes, excellent news". Mr Braithwaite says "What is it?" Fr O'Malley replies "That was the Inland Revenue. They asked of Donnie O'Shea, the local property developer is a member of the congregation and whether he'd donated £50,000 to the Church development fund". Mr Braithwaite looked perplexed and said "But we've received no £50,000 donation from Donnie O'Shea". Father O'Malley smiled and said "Oh no, but I am sure we will now!"