Yesterday there was a well attended march through North Finchley to support the Barnet library service. Sadly there was also an incident of vandalism in central London of a war memorial. Now it may surprise you to know that at one point, when Brian Coleman was a key member of the Barnet Council Tory administration, there was a proposal objecting to the idea of adding names of local heroes who have fallen in conflict since WWII to local war memorials. I was absolutely disgusted. I immediately wrote this blog http://barneteye.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/barnet-council-sticks-to-fingers-up-at.html and started a successful campaign to have our war memorials updated and preserved. I sught assurances that the local Tories would reverse this disgusting policy. When the Royal British Legion backed me, the Tories panicked and gave way, releasing the funds to ensure the Council did the decent thing. Sadly loudmouth Coleman was one of the fiercest objectors to the proposal to honour brave men and women. So imagine my disgust when he posted the following tweet yesterday
What sort of people deface war memorials? sort who go on anti austerity/save the libraries/stop the evictions/defend public services marches
He clearly forgot that he was part of an administration with the most disgusting and objectionable policy to fallen soldiers that one can imagine. His administrations policy was in many ways as objectionable as the defacing of the memorial in London, as it actually sought to exclude people who had sacrificed theire lives for our freedom.
Now you may wonder why I care so much about war memorials? The answer is that my Dad was a WWII bomber pilot, flying Wellington bombers in North Africa and Italy for 40 Sqaudron of the RAF. He flew 40 operational missions, was shot down and taken POW over Bucharest on the 40th, seeing his best friend and rear gunner killed in the process. I was raised on stories of wartime bravery and I see any attack on the memory of the people who fought for Britain as a direct attack on my Father and his brave comrades. Whatever you may think of me, I can assure you that my father was the finest, bravest man it has ever been my honour to meet.
Sadly though in Barnet, some people are truly beyond the pale and say the most despicable things to score cheap political points. I thought that with the departure of Coleman, we'd seen the back of such vile loudmouths from mainstream politics. Sadly it appears I was wrong. A new pretender to the role of Barnets most unpleasant Tory has stepped up. Meet Myles Longfield, a Tory activist from Finchley and Golders Green. Following the defacing of the war memorial, Myles thought it would be funny to try and use this to insult me on Twitter. He posted this comment
I immediately replied
So we had the following DM exchange on Twitter. I think such things are best said in private. Here is the exchange. my comments are in italics
*** Start of DM session ***
*** End of DM session ***
I do not disclose private conversations without consent, as you can see, Myles has given consent to disclose.
I have emailed the address on the Finchley Conservatives website as I intend to make an official complaint. I happen to think Myles is a very silly young man. I don't want him to be thrown out of the association or have any action taken. I do however hope an old grey haired wise man in the party will take him to one side and explain that his actions were inappropriate and suggest he learn some courtesy and manners.
When I revisited the files I keep on important campaigns, I found a note detailing a conversation with Hugh Rayner after the original war memorials campaign. I'd spoken to Hugh and he'd complimented me on bringing the issue to public attention. Hugh said that he would personally ensure that preservation of war memorials was made a priority. He acknowledged that this was an issue where this blog had demonstrated its value. He assured me that the issue was one of council officers getting it wrong and councillors missing the detail. Hugh's response was a very dignified one in the circumstances and it is one of the reasons that he is one of the Tory councillors who I get on quite well with. On reflection, I when I reread Myles comments this morning after calming down, I was struck by the Colemanesque nature of them.
Here is what Myles Longfields profile on twitter says about him
Conservative ~ Luxury Hotels ~ History and Politics. Charmain
@NorthCentralCF. Views are my own.
Joined December 2011
So it is clear that he is associating his tweets with his association. Having got rid of one Brian Coleman, do they really want a "mini me" Coleman to replace him. I sincerely hope common sense prevails.