Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Barnet Bugle - One Rocket short of a firework display?

My attention was drawn to a rather odd blog on The Barnet Bugle, a blog run by embittered former Barnet Tory Councillor Daniel Hope. A couple of regular readers of the Barnet Eye got in touch to draw my attention to this blog by Mr Daniel Hope, where he makes some rather silly accusations - http://www.barnetbugle.com/northgate/northgate-mill-hill-blogger-rattles-the-bucket-for-hendon-co.html - claiming that the Barnet Eye is in the habit of paying Tory Councillors back for leaks about the council in return for free publicity for fundraising events. Mr Hope (who bizarrely refers to himself in the third person as "Northgate")  states
Northgate understands that it is regarded as working assumption by many in the Conservative Group that one or more of the Councillors in The Barnet Eye's area 'leak like a sieve' to Mr Tichborne providing him with a rich source of gossip.
So is this huge favour of an prominent advert payback for many old favours?
Which rather made me laugh. Let me explain the truth, which is actually far more mundane. I am a member of the Mill Hill Neighbourhood Forum. At an event last week, Val Dushinsky, who is a Mill Hill councillor, a member of the forum and a very pleasant person, struck up a conversation with me. She told me that the Hendon Conservatives were holding a 60's night and had a brilliant band playing. For those of you who don't know too much about me, I run a local music studio and I actually know the band, who are as Val states rather good. Val said she'd send me all the details. As one of my missions in life, even more than politics, is to promote local music, especially live music in Mill Hill, I put up a blog publicising the event. I wasn't paid and I can assure Mr Hope and everyone else that Val Dushinsky has never leaked anything to me. She is, to the best of my knowledge, very well respected and is the chair of the Hendon Conservatives. I suggest any of these Tories who he claims suspect her of leaking say that to her face and see what sort of response they get. It is sad that Tory fundamentalists such as Mr Hope can't see that people can have normal conversations.

Now normally I don't bother responding to Mr Hope's stupid allegations, but there are two reasons I made an exception. Firstly there were plenty of people who witnessed my conversation with Val and I feel it would be really unfair if any of them thought she "leaked" information like a sieve to me as Daniel Hope alleges. If I was Val I would be extremely cross at Mr Hope for even suggesting such a thing. The second reason is, I think it is quite hilarious that Mr Hope can't see that I am far more interested in music than politics.

I don't write my blog for socialists or for any other group. It is there for the people of Barnet to try and make their lives a tiny bit better. If this means alerting a few Tory supporters to a gig, then I really don't see that as anything more than a public service. I've promoted dozens of gigs for all manner of causes here and will continue to do so. The main criteria is whether the band is any good.

I would also promote any meeting I knew about, organised by any party locally, if it had open admission to the public (apart from parties which incite racial hatred). I believe that a strong and healthy local political scene is a vital part of the equation. If you ask my honest opinion, I don't think Dr Matthew Offord has a snowball in hells chance of beating Andrew Dismore next May and I think that the only effect of the gig Val has organised is that a few Hendon Tories will have a jolly good night out. And lets face it, we all need a good night out occasionally. 

I just wish that the local Labour Party and the local Lib Dems would get off their backsides and employ a few decent local musicians as well. This is one initiative I think that the Tories in Mill Hill are leading the way on.

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