Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Porky Season

It's officially Porkie season ! There is a Council  election in three weeks. This is the time when all of those councillors who you haven't seen for the last four years suddenly come out and suddenly want to meet the plebs (that's you and me my friend). This time four years ago, I was running for the council myself. In hindsight, failing to get elected was the best thing ever happened to me. I was standing for the Lib Dems in Mill Hill ward. I had been a Labour member until 2009, but resigned in disgust at Alan Johnsons comments about the closure of the Sangatte refugee camp by French riot police. In hindsight after all the Porkies of the Blair era, it is a bit strange that the thing which tipped me over the edge was something that didn't even register with 99.9% of the electorate.  I jumped ship. If I'd not lost, I'd be representing the coalition in Mill Hill.

I was outraged at a big Porkie told by the Tories in Mill Hill. They put out a leaflet claiming the Mill Hill Lib Dems were planning a massive football stadium for Kentish Town FC at Copthall. Given that Kentish Town FC play in a minor league and get 30 fans per game it was bizarre, but the Porkie did the trick. I was outraged and it spurred me on to try and knock on every door I could. In hindsight I thought it was quite funny. This time the Tories have got even worse. We've had letters in the press from Tory Councillor Reuben Thompstone telling porkies about a disabled school and Richard Cornelius telling Porkies about Friern Barnet library.

Wheras at the last election I really got upset about these porkies, this time around, I can't really be anything other than amused. Last time I was living the campaign, this time I'm sitting on the sidelines. I have still not decided who I will vote for. I like Sury Khatri, our local Tory candidate who is a very decent and honest man. I like Jeremy Davies, the local Lib Dem Candidate who served 12 on the Council until 2014. I like Alisdair Hill, the other Lib Dem candidate I've met. Sian John, the Labour cndidate who appeared at the Mill Hill hustings seemed like a very decent person. In the local elections you get three votes.  Then there are the Euro's. I haven't even seen a leaflet through the door.

The sad thing is that elections have become a  festival of porkies. Manifestos are not really statement of intentions, they are sales ploys designed to dupe unsophisticated voters. The Blair administration perfected the art of designing a manifesto to say what the public wanted. My cynicism knows no bounds these days. In Barnet the Tories completely duped the electorate in 2010. They didn't mention One Barnet Outsourcing in their manifesto, they didn't mention the huge hike in pay they awarded themselves. They didn't mention the illegal hike in CPZ parking charges. They didn't mention the abolition of Pay and display parking in Barnet High Streets. They didn't mention the huge cuts to services for the disabled. They didn't mention a huge Rugby stadium for Saracens RFC. All of these things have caused huge resentment locally. This time around, the Tories thus far haven't even bothered to release a manifesto. This doesn't surprise me. As far as I can see, you could write the Tory Manifesto on the back of a fag packet.  It would say

"We will keep Council Tax down, we will try and get as many poor people to leave Barnet as possible, we'll shaft those who rely on council services and we'll be alright Jack"

The strategy is simple. Make sure that they drive out enough poor pople to always have a Tory majority in Council and get rid of anyone who costs the council tax payers money. That way, those of us who live in Ivory Towers, can keep the unwashed hordes at arms length.

Sadly there will be collateral damage. Things like the Green Belt are under threat. Streets fill up with rubbish, cemeteries go untended, roads have potholes in summer and are ungritted in Winter. But so what, you get a 3p day tax cut. The Barnet Eye does not tell you how to vote, if you think 3p a day is worth potholes, dirty streets, disabled people left distraught and untended, huge hikes in Parking fees then you should vote Tory. If you think telling a few porkies is all part of the game, then I'd suggest you join up and get in on the act. If you have half a brain and are a bit ambitious, you'll do very well in the Tory Party. If you join up today and help out, in four years time you'll get the chance to be a councillor. Then you can earn over £10,000 a year simply by turning up for 2 short council meetings a year. You will also get a few half decent jollies. They are quite a sociable bunch, as revelaed by this tweet by the a council cabinet member out with the  deputy council leader campaigning this week.

May 1
Having a good pint in the Griffin in Whetstone with - discussing our excellent campaign

What is interesting is just how many of these previously invisible candidates suddenly are being very active. Tory Bloggers have also got a lot more active. We've also seen the same patter in activity of Tory Bloggers. Have a look at this list of the number of blogs posted by Tory Blogger "The Barnet Bugle" since the last election in May 2010. As you will see April 2014 had the most blogs since April 2010 (just before the last election). In our sidebar you'll see no such pattern.

That is the way the local Tories work. They go into "Election Mode". The rest of the Barnet bloggers are here come rain or shine, year in, year out

Barnet Eye yearly blog totals

Blog Archive

          ►  2008 (90)

You see the difference between this blog and an "aligned" blog is that we report on what we care about, we don't think that "Oh, there's an election, we'd better get off our butts and write blogs" 

Anyway, lets cut to the chase. Mr Daniel Hope, who writes the Barnet Bugle, left the following comment on Mrs Angry's website, in response to the blogs posted by Mrs A on her website and myself here, concerning our posts about the state of Hendon Cemetery.

Daniel Hope said...
Mrs A is there really so little you can think of trumpeting about your party's election campaign that you - in a coordinated attack with your pro-Labour blogger buddies - sink down into the gutter to play politics with the dead?

You and Roger writing the desperate articles and the increasingly preposterous Mr Reasonable tweeting the story at national media figures and broadcasters.

Spinning and twisting a mundane story about managing benches into accusation of 'selling the dead' for a few Labour votes is the surely the worst type of negative campaigning?

 Mr Hope accuses us of "playing politics with the dead" because we are upset about what Capita are doing to the cemetery where we both have parents buried. I have no idea whether Mr Hope's parents are still alive, or whether he got/gets on with them. I loved mine to bits. I miss them with all my heart and I will not stand by why Capita desecrate their final resting place. If Mr Hope wishes to piss on their grave by making cheap comments, so be it. He may think he's being clever or funny, he may think he's doing his Tory mates a favour, but I find Hope's comment to display a total lack of empathy with his fellow man. There is no desperation in the articles, just an extreme sense of disgust at what has happened. 

Anyone who knows myself will know that I don't do desperate, I just say things as I see them. In the case of the issue of Hendon Cemetery, I think what is happening is wrong, full stop. That Mr Hope simply sees it as a bit of knockabout politics shows his moral turpitude. I visited my parents grave on Sunday. The cemetery was in acomplete state. The bench issue is just the cherry on the top for crassness. 

As I told the local press (, my parents, grandparents, godmother, business partner and in laws are buried in Hendon Cemetery. On Thursday I go to a good friends funeral at Hendon. If anyone thinks I don't care about this issue, then they clearly don't know me. I don't belong to any party. I don't get paid to write a blog. I simply do it because I've lived in Mill Hill all of my life, my kids go to school here and my mum and dad are buried here. There will be a lot of Porkies told in Barnet over the nexr few weeks There will be lots of spin and distortion. There won't be any here.

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