Monday, 22 February 2016

Barnet Momentum meeting at Middlesex University in Hendon

Tonight we saw the inaugural meeting of the Barnet Momentum group at Middlesex University. I was pleasantly surprised to see a packed hall.
The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell turned up and gave a fascinating insight into the leadership campaign and the fallout from it. There was a lively Q&A session from the floor which dealt with such issues as the housing policies of Barnet Council, the EU referendum and the NHS.

It is clear to me that there is a massive upsurge in interest in politics in Barnet since the election of Jeremy Corbyn. The Euro referendum has added a whole new dimension and I expect to see all manner of new and unusual alliances forged. I have been to plenty of meetings over the years, but this was the most vibrant. It was good to see such a diverse range of ages and people.

John McDonnell addresses the masses.

I would encourage everyone to get involved iin the political process and to attend such meetings, even if you don't agree with the views being presented. I learned a lot from tonights meeting, even if I didn't agree with everything being said. I have seen John McDonnell on many occasions. I find it bizarre how the right wing (and even the left wing) press seem hell bent on making him out to be a nutcase. He is engaging and intelligent and puts reasoned arguments across. He speaks with humour and I suspect that this is often what gets him into bother. His humour is often very self deprecating. When written down and out of context, I daresay it often sounds as if he's saying the complete opposite of what he was implying. I find the sheer dishonesty of the press in this regards pretty revolting.

John made one excellent point. The press may not support Corbyn and the BBC may have been neutered by the Tory govt, but we have social media and face to face meetings. Will this be enough? Like most things in life, the argument is yes, but only with supremely hard work. I hope that is the message people took home tonight.
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