This is all a bit odd really. When I started writing the Barnet Eye, I certainly didn't expect it to be a recipe for universal popularity, but some of the things which have mysteriously happened, seem unbelievable. I'm not talking about the odd nasty comment which the blog attracts, or the fact that a couple of councillors have deleted me from their Xmas card list (or would have if I'd been on it). Nope, that is all part of the package of benefits.
What I'm talking about is the rather strange things which happen to the computers I use. I have a friend who is a very useful source of information. He usually visits me at work on a Saturday. Once he has got a coffee, he'll say "have a look at this website". What happens next beggars belief. Usually I spend all day on the computer, but as soon as my friend enters the shop and asks me to look at something, no matter how innocent, the internet connection freezes. He long ago stopped emailing me information. He is convinced that all of my emails have been hacked and intercepted. Is he paranoid? I've no idea but the more I see him, the more that strange things happen.
Yesterday, as we sat discussing Barnet Council, he said something very strange. What was it? He said "I think it's time for you to back off on your blog now". This warning came out of the blue. What did he mean "Let's just say that people you've been having a go at are expendable, but they are buffers for people who you really don't want to upset". I asked what he could possibly mean. "I'm not going to say any more".
I am intrigued. I've reviewed my blog over the last few weeks. What on earth has brought about this comment? Was it the leaked FoI report into the state of Barnet Council datacentres? Who are the people that the likes of Brian Coleman, Robert Rams and Dan Thomas are buffers for? Is there something in the FoI I submitted this week, which has uncovered something big? Is it the fact that the likes of Eric Pickles have taken an interest in the blog.
Is my friend (who I've known for over 30 years) being overly paranoid?
I suppose I'll only know when the car runs me over in the middle of the night and speeds off, or I fall off a ladder and break my neck, when no one is around. After his comment, I went and trawled through my blog stats. There are all sorts of strange visitors, but then there always have been. I checked my security software. There are hundreds of attempts to access my computer which have been blocked, but there always are. One of these says "Intrusion prevention is monitoring 1705 signatures" whatever that means. I've no idea whether this is good, bad or indifferent.
One thing is 100% clear to me though. The OneBarnet contracts are worth £750,000,000. People have found themselves at the bottom of a lake for far less money that that. Am I paranoid? As my friend said, if I'm not, I certainly should be. Have a lovely Sunday lunch