Saturday 31 December 2016

Wishing everyone an excellent New Year 2017

So it's nearly here. The end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. I cannot remember a year which so many have faced with such trepidation. There are always worries in the world,But that is for another day.

All that is left for this year is to put the champagne on ice, get to the party and forget about our blues for a little while. As is the tradition at The Barnet Eye, I always post a video to mark the new year and get you in the mood. I chose this song, "Heal Me", which is a love song I wrote in 1984 and Allen Ashley wrote a new chorus, and changed added verses. It is one of my favourite False Dots songs.  We've probably played this number with more different line ups of the Dots than any other song!

I chose it as  I think we all need love and healing in our life. Our planet needs healing and the souls of our leaders need healing. The video has some footage of Mill Hill that I rather like spliced in. I knocked this up simply to learn how to use a video editor so it's some live footage with  few cuts. Hope you enjoy it, have a great New Year and if you have someone who loves you, make sure they know you love them to and if you don't, then I hope you find someone who does in 2017 or even tonight. I'm off to see Lee Thompson with the Silencerz tonight at The Dublin Castle in Camden Town.

Friday 30 December 2016

Review of 2016 - An awesome year, full of surprsies

When I was at St Vincents RC Primary school, bad things happened. We had an old Irish spinster teaching us called Miss O'Donovan, who was a legend. Any conversation about anyone who remembers St Vincents will always reference Miss O'Donovan at some point. My fellow Barnet blogger Mrs Angry still has nightmares about her. What has all this got to do with the year in review? Simples. Whenever bad things happen, Miss O'Donovan would say "it's all part of Gods plan and as far as I'm aware God doesn't make mistakes".

As a child in a Catholic family, this seemed to be the start and end of how you look at any problem. When my mum was diagnosed with what we thought was terminal cancer in 1970, Miss O'Donovan sought me out to reassure me and remind me that "it was all part of Gods plan".

High hopes last January
God doesn't make mistakes. But what about the electorate? My sister lives in the USA. I commented to her that I really didn't think I could visit her living in a country that elected Donald Trump. Her response "They didn't, Hillary decisively won the popular vote". And then there is Brexit. Six months on we are faced with a situation where we don't know what Brexit means. We have an unelected prime minister who has no plan, and despite having not been elected, doesn't want to share her ideas with Parliament. But it wasn't all doom and gloom. There have been a fewpolitical  high spots, mostly provided by Zac Goldsmith. Am I the only one who feels like Sadiq Khan has been mayor for years? He seems to have stepped up and hasn't put a foot wrong.

It is pretty clear that Gods plan for 2016 involved having all the best musicians turn up in heaven for the 2017 New Years party. I certainly can't fault him for his taste in selecting this years line up. Looked at purely from a celebrity death perspective, I guess 2016 was a terrible year, however if we look at the good rather than the bad, there has been some great stuff out there.

As ever, our review is looked at through the microcosm of Barnet blogs. So here we go.

We had disgraced, convicted criminal, Conservative ex Councillor Brian Coleman claim that the Barnet bloggers had "shot their load" and were no longer relevant (I guess the truth of that was soon exposed in the Freedom pass scandal).

For me personally it was a difficult month. I ended it with a cathater in following HiFu treatment for prostate cancer. In hindsight, it was a rather difficult period and far more difficult and draining than I'd ever expected. I did however take some time out to write some music and make some videos. My band the False Dots had planned to release an album in 2016, but this didn't happen, mainly due to a technical issue that meant we lost most of our mixes. Oh well, means we'll have to release two in 2017!

On the Barnet Council front we exposed some shoddy road markings. Anyone hazard a guess as to whether they've fixed them? (answers on a postcard please!). We also had the Kafkaesque scenario where Barnet Council denied that they kept a file on Barnet Bloggers, but revealed an email asking for her blog to "be kept with the other stuff".

On a personal note, I had a bit of a wallop on the head and a strange near death experience. This blog was followed by a series of friends and relatives insisting I went for an assessment at A&E. Well the good news is I am still here and it is all alright! (a small reason for the rather obtuse preamble perhaps at the top of the blog).

My highlight for March was the Saturday list of great ideas for our Borough that never made it. On the council front, we exposed how Dr Julia Hines had warned in 2011 that oustorucing planning risked a conflict of interest and this has come to pass.

On the music front, we had a major victory for the #SaveLondonMusic campaign.

A massive story broke on this (irrelevant? Eh Brian) blog in April. The story of how Barnet Council has illegally removed freedom passes without even notifying the holders for local disabled people. This grew into a major scandal. 

In April we also had the crash of the Barnet Council IT systems, taking out the library service computer system. We also had the rather bizarre story of how Barnet Council destroyed a site containing fossilized mammoth bones in Colindale.

On the musical front, we saw the first gig of the year by The False Dots at The Midland hotel. A raucous night of fun for all! I also saw the best play of the year. The Man in womans shoes at The Tricycle theatre in Kilburn.

The big story was the election of Andrew Dismore as GLA rep and Sadiq Khan as Mayor. Many had thought Dismore doomed after his election loss in Hendon in 2015. Of course the real story wasn't the result but the huge cock up at the polling stations. The Barnet Eye broke the story. The CEO lost his job for his efforts.

I posted my Hillsborough remembered live video from The Midland Hotel. As afootball fan and hopefully a decent football fan, I've long been angry at the injustice and the coverage of the disaster by The Sun. In hindsight, I wish I'd written something more eloquent though.

The Euro Referendum
Mystic Rog. I accurately predicted the fall of Cameron and the rise of accession of Theresa May to the Tory throne before the Euro referendum. You wouldn't believe the emails I got after that. It was fun saying "told you so!".

Roy Hodgson got the sack as England manager.  Of course the tabloid journalists who made his job impossible never get the sack, do they?

A couple of nice blogs. I love the one with my top ten summer garden flowers from my garden. The False Dots played at The Chandos Arms.

We had more evidence of the crumbling council on our doorstep.

On a happier note, the sea cadets of TS Broadsword celebrated a 75th anniversary. Here's to the next 75 years.

We had one of my favourite Friday jokes. We also asked if the local suburban pub is dead? Given the appalling service I've seen at some local hostelries, I do wonder.

We saw the kick off of the Save Barnet Diving campaign. A huge community response to a heartless council closure. We also saw the start of the Save The Railway in Edgware campaignThameslink also announced that it was to close ticket offices.

As I do most years, I went to Lourdes with the HCPT 560 group as a helper.

Interesting to note that Barnet Council rejected outsourcing for Adult Services in September. Are they starting to listen?

Every week we feature the tweets of the week. I think that September had the best tweets of the week of 2016?  L
oved all of these.

Lots of news on the Save London Music front in September

In October we asked if Fred Flintstsone was moving to Edgware!
We had a fine guest blog detailing an alien invasion in Angel pond!

We also had the 100th Saturday List, which was a list of all the Saturday list!

We also started a new regular feature. The Wednesday poem.

The Barnet Eye held its 8th Birthday party in October! Here is some of the back story. Some fine music was heard!

Trump Elected (AKA Judge Cal)
In our series of Cancer blogs, we were devastated to learn that the government is not funding PSA tests. This is true folly.

I was interviewed by Barnet TV about Mill Hill Music Complex. 

A small miracle happened in Mill Hill.

I rather liked one of the Saturday lists in November!

So here we are at the end of the year.

The Barnet Eye Xmas Party
The year ends but the UNISONGATE scandal, where local Barnet Unison Branch Secretary is at war with is own union over electoral malpractice in the Union General Secretary election grinds on.

So was 2016 your worst year? It was only my 7th worst (assuming it gets no worse).

We documented the sad, slow death of the Barnet Library service.

We dished out our awards. Some great winners. And we had a great party! And a few words from the Barnet person of the year.

Thursday 29 December 2016

Did Barnet council do risk assessment for ice when laying new paving surfaces

The dangers of icy pavemenst
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I certainly did. I awoke at 7am with a spring in my step and a hunger in my belly. So I got dressed, put on my trainers and went down to Cooksleys to buy some bangers and bacon. As soon as I got out of the door, I realised my mistake. Millway was like an ice rink. The council laid new paving surfaces last year and with the hevy frost, it was extremely dangerous. I immediately turned around and swapped my trainers for heavy walking boots. Even with these, it was precarious. I settled for walking down the middle of the road.

In years gone by, the council would grit pavements in icy conditions. This clearly no longer happens. I feel extremely sorry for OAP's and people with small children. I saw a neighbour slip on the ice and then her young daughter slip and bang her head as I walked back. They turned back, little girl crying her eyes out having banged her head.

The council has spent millions on renewing the boroughs pavements. I wonder what consideration and risk assessment was given to the risk of ice. Our road has two sorts of finish. There are small concrete paving slabs that are very slippery and a smooth black asphalt that is even more slippery. The only slight advantage of the asphalt is that as it is black it catches the heat of the sun and defrosts slightly quicker.

If the council hasn't considered the safety issues of the surfaces in icy weather, then presumably anyone slipping may be liable fo compensation and we (the taxpayer) will not only be at risk, but we'll be lumbered picking up the tab. Of course we should all take care in icy conditions, but if dangerous surfaces are installed, then the council should arrange gritting. I for one found the sight of a child falling over and banging their head quite upsetting. She now has a nice big bump for Christmas, courtesy of Barnet Council.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

George Michael RIP

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but this Christmas, the good Lord took you away. I am sure that like many, I awoke to the shocking news that George Michael has passed away. As a rock and roller, George had never really been on my music radar, but as a musician I have utmost respect for his talents. He was a truly brilliant singer and an excellent songwriter. He was also brave. Following his arrest for cottaging in Los Angeles, he didn't hide. He put out a song & video in response, ridiculing the morals and laws he'd fallen fowl of. He never shirked in supporting charities and causes that he felt were deserving. His support for AIDS chairites is well documented. He even put on a free concert at the roundhouse for NHS staff who cared for his mum in her final days.

George was a North London boy. His Dad owned Mr Jacks steakhouse in Edgware. At the time WHAM! made it, I was partial to a steak.  Long before WHAM! made it various members of The False Dots (Paul Hircombe always raved about the T-Bone) would  rock up there and tuck in. He served a mean steak. He'd occasionally mentioned that his boy had a band, but everyone we knew had a band. I took an ex girlfriend in there shortly after WHAM! had their first Top of The Pops appearance. He was made up with his sons success and was keen to know if I'd seen it. "Yeah, he'll be buying you a mansion in the Bahama's soon". We got a free shot of Oozo or something at the end to celebrate. I was always pleased to see local musicians doing good, especially when their dads cooked a good steak, so I was chuffed for him. I don't really recall ever having met George there. Wasn't really the point for me!

The next contact with George was after his 'troubles' I volunteer at The Passage, a day centre for homeless people. When George was a naughty boy he got given community service and served it volunteering in the kitchen. When he came down, his first words were 'my Dad used to run a restaurant, I don't mind doing anything, washing up, peeling spuds,anything' he just got on with it, no fuss. Reading obituaries today, I saw that he supported homeless charities. He was very discreet about it though, didn't want to be plastered all over the newsletter. I respected that.

There has been a huge amount of comment about his sexual habits and drug use. As someone who played in a rock and roll band from age 15, I tend to thing "there but for the grace of God". I am not convinced that becoming a millionaire as a young man is a great thing for the soul. I am convinced that George was a decent bloke, but if you have enougn money to do exactly what you want, and you don't have to get up at 6am the next day to go to work, is it any surprise. George wrote a hell of a lot of music and then succumbed to writers block. As a songwriter, I know the feeling. You sit there and everything just sounds pants and it is extremely depressing. For me, I have to go to work, look after the kids etc. For George, he had no such commitments. I can understand what looks like pretty self destructive behaviour. One of the things that many at the Passage observed was that he seemed quite content peeling spuds for dinner for Londons homeless. It wasn't  a chore for him, it was almost like a cathatic release.

He has been a 'troubled soul' in some obits. I don't think he was. I think he was simply a highly talented guy, with a lot of money, a high sex drive and a low boredom threshold. He set himself impossibly high standards in his work. He wasn't troubled, he simply needed something, anything to keep his mind moving. It was clear that the death of his mum had a devastating effect. The tabloid press are quick to judge, but I think they are way off the mark. George was just lacking a spark of inspiration in the last few years. I am sure that if he'd found that cause, we'd have seen something brilliant.

George Michael RIP.

Sunday 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas to all friends of The Barnet Eye

May we take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas. I cannot remember a more turbulent year and many of us are looking forward to 2017 with a degree of trepidation. The events of 2016 have set the world on a very uncertain course and we are in unchartered waters. But that is for next year. Today is, hopefully for you,  a day for family and close friends, a day out of our regular schedule. So lets take a moment and give a thought  to all those who can't celebrate Christmas. Those working, keeping essential services running, those who are ill in hospital, those with dementia who are not even sure what day it is, those in refugee camps, or war zones, and those on their own without friends and family, those mourning close friends and family and those who for whatever reason ae feeling depressed, down or unhappy. I just hope that whatever happens, in 2017 those leaders who have the power, use it to try and ensure that the world is a better place and by Xmas 2017, we can all feel a bit more hopeful and positive.

And a very special thanks to the blood transfusion service and those people who give blood. Without them, I'd have missed the last 54 Christmas days.

And if you have a diffrent tradition just have a great day, however you spend it.

Saturday 24 December 2016

The Saturday list #110 - 5 interesting archetectural features in Mill Hill

Not many people think of Mill Hill as a hotbed of architectural interest. There are however some fine things to behold. Here is my top ten list

Dollis brook viaduct.JPG
Dollis Brook Viaduct
1. Dollis Brook viaduct. Carries the Northern line from Finchley Central to Mill Hill East. The highest point on the London Underground and the longest viaduct.

There are some great pictures of the viaduct on the internet. It is an awesome structure, but one we all pretty much take for granted.

2. The Mill Hill Observatory. We've waxed lyrical about this on several occasions. Opened in 1929, a source of interest and fascination to many locals. Originally built with funds provided by early cinamtographic comedian Will Hay, who was a keen amatuer astronomer. Mill Hill was chosen to be "away from Londons lights".

3. The National Institute for Medical Research. Soon to be demolished and replaced with flats. Source of many medical breakthroughs and used as a location in Batman films! The Green roof is visible from all over London.

St Josephs College
4.  St Josephs College. Now a "luxury housing complex". It was a Roman Catholic Missionary Training college for 150 years, was a film set for Call The Midwife and other films, fell derelict and now is a pad for the rich.

For many in Mill Hill it is a much loved landmark. The statue of St Joe on top of the tower was illuminated for the millenium. Sadly the drop off in numbers of people training for the priesthood required a new use. The brothers moved out and rich swaankers moved in!

Image result for Mill Hill broadway bus station

5. Mill Hill Broadway Bus Station. Not entirely sure how many bus stations in London are in viaducts under motorways. I've always been fascinated by the M1 viaduact. A proper brutalist concrete structure. Many want to see it "greened" or disguised. I prefer it standing bold as a tribute to 1960's planning. I think it is a great reuse of space.

Friday 23 December 2016

The Friday Joke - 23/12/2016

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Image result for dog funnies
Feeling Ruff?

John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Georgia. After spending a great evening chatting the night away, John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking, "Are these plates clean?" His grandfather replied, "They're as clean as cold water can get them.
Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!" For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, "Are you sure these plates are clean?" Without looking up the old man said, "I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!" Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass. John yelled and said, "Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car". Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted ... "COLD WATER, GO LAY DOWN!!!!" 

Thursday 22 December 2016

Unisongate - latest report

Although work commitments mean I was unable to attend the hearing, I've been following via award winning journalist David Henke's blog. I urge you to read this

I have little to add at this stage other than to observe the extraordinary lack of coverage by mainstream media. I'm not one of life's conspiracy theorists but I cannot understand the fact that the press are ignoring the case.

Wednesday 21 December 2016

The Wednesday Poem - Xmas Special

Daily Mail Xmas Carol

It isn't his baby,
They're not from round here,
They're seeking asylum,
They fill us with fear,
They've got dodgy visitors,
What's that funny smell,
The King ain't too happy,
And we're not as well!

Copyright Roger Tichborne 2016

This is my favourite Christmas Carol - Rise by Public Image

Tuesday 20 December 2016

BreakingNews: “UNISON: Union democracy on trial.” #Unisongate

BreakingNews: “UNISON: Union democracy on trial.” #Unisongate

On Monday 19 December UNISON the Trade Union with 1.3 million members is on trial facing serious allegations about the running of the election campaign that saw Dave Prentis elected general secretary of Britain’s largest public sector union, Unison last year.

The complainants allege that Unison breached its rules and the 1992 Act in relation to the election for the position of General Secretary of UNISON in late 2015.

The Hearing begins Monday 19 December to Wednesday 21 December (10am) inclusive and it is being held at:

Employment Appeal Tribunal, Fleetbank House, LONDON, EC4Y 8JX.

The complaints were registered by UNISON members after a whistle-blower provided an audio-tape of paid officials plotting to campaign for Dave Prentis.

The complainants allege:

“The breach occurred at a meeting organised and attended by UNISON officials in the Greater London Region which took place at the UNISON premises known as Congress House and where UNISON staff received a briefing on how to campaign for the re-election of David Prentis.”

The plot thickened when an article regarding campaign “Team Dave” emails were published by Private Eye in February 2016.

“Team Dave; Update No 20 sent at 09.44 on Friday 23 October 2015. States ‘It may be that in some circumstances you may be able to “circumvent” hostile branches by covertly working with sympathetic employer contacts. ….”

Full details of all of the complaints can be found on the Certification Office website here:

If the Assistant Certification Officer were to find against UNISON and make an Enforcement Order to order a re-run of the election then (with the recent announcement that Len McClusky, Unite General Secretary has called an early election next year) there could be two general secretary elections taking place in 2017 affecting more than 3 million trade union members.

Notes to Editors.

Contact details: John Burgess 07835116441 or email:
Background #Unisongate complaints:
1. #Unisongate makes BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
2. “UNISON: Union democracy on trial.”

4. Whistleblowing tape – 21 October 2015
A damning audio-tape emerged in early December 2015 providing evidence that senior officials of Britain’s biggest public service union, UNISON, had allegedly acted in blatant breach of the union’s own rules to secure the incumbent General Secretary’s re-election. The 23-minute tape appeared on an Anonymous Blog here: 
The audio file can be downloaded online here:  
The audio recording largely features the voice of UNISON’s London Regional Secretary, repeatedly thanking paid union officials under her management for their work in securing branch nominations for the three-term incumbent UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis.
“We have done very well and I want to thank everybody and congratulate them on getting the nominations that they have got. This is a list of the Greater London branch nominations for Dave Prentis the deadline closed last Friday, I do not have a list of the other candidates, and that will appear in due course but I haven’t got it. But we have done very well, we’ve got almost 50 nominations here so that is excellent and thanks very much, er Dave is very very pleased and he has related that to me personally er it is very important because obviously this is going to be a hard fought election.”
(UNISON London Regional Secretary to UNISON London Region paid officials on 21 October 2015).  
The recording includes derogatory references to Mr Prentis’ three election opponents (Roger Bannister, John Burgess and Heather Wakefield) and their supporters along with a detailed discussion of what London regional staff can do to bolster the Prentis campaign in the days running up to the start of the postal ballot on 9 November. There is also an explicit warning not to get “caught out”, while mention of the union’s election rules provokes widespread laughter.
5. Team Dave campaign emails
The public were first made aware of the Team Dave campaign emails when an article appeared in Private Eye in early February.
You can read the Private Eye article here
Here are some extracts from the above Private Eye article:
“Leaked emails reach the Eye providing more evidence that full-time staff of Unison mobilised to get general secretary Dave Prentis re-elected in December making the union’s claim to be a “member-led” look increasingly questionable.”
“The emails passed to the Eye from within the Prentis campaign indicate that Unison officials were in fact the backbone of “Team Dave”. The emails were sent by assistant general secretary Cliff Williams in October and November. The bulk of the recipients were other Unison officials – a rough count shows 45 of 50 addresses are regional secretaries, head office staff and other unison staff.”
 “One striking “Team Dave” note says: “it may be in some circumstance you may be able to ‘circumvent’ hostile branches by working with sympathetic employer contacts. I acknowledge that some colleagues may feel this is ethically inappropriate but it doesn’t breach campaign rules; it will have to be done with caution.”
It may not break campaign rules, but it still doesn’t look good. Similarly, having Unison officials lead the Prentis campaign doesn’t match the spirit of the union being “member led”.
The third extract above is in our view one of the most damming, especially for those grassroots reps and members who have been fighting employers who are sacking, privatising or cutting the Terms and Conditions of our members. The idea that union paid unelected officials would go behind the backs of locally elected branch officials is appalling and has no place in a trade union. To date there has been no condemnation of these remarks or any investigation.
 Repeated calls for an independent investigation were turned down.
The “Team Dave” emails provide a context to the content of the audio tape of the meeting in London on 21 October 2015. 
Read Three earlier Private Eye articles here
1.    Unison on tape
2.    A family affair
3.    A greasy poll

Monday 19 December 2016

A few words from Calvin Casino - Barnet Eye Barnet Person of the year!

Wow I cannot believe it. I am the Barnet person of the year 2016.

Thank you Roger, the False Dots & the Barnet Eye. Ladies & Gentlemen. I accept the award "Barnet person of the person". I wanted to go to the Midlands Hotel Pub in Hendon but I didn't have the chance because I had to stayed at home to be there for my mum as she is not feeling well. Maybe next time I'll come to the pub in Hendon. Anyway I am very grateful that I am the winner of the Barnet annual awards 2016. Barnet person of the year.

Originally I wanted Roger & Theresa to win the award but they nominated me as they insisted. That was kind of them. Without help from Theresa & Roger, I wouldn't had my freedom pass back. God bless them for their incredible work of digging the true information of how disabled freedom passes was stopped by Barnet council & their bureaucrat partner Capita. I guess you know who am I now. I cannot give my actual name (because of safety reasons) but you can now know my other name. My name is Calvin Casino (it's my nickname & I only use when I write & perform music). I am the one who wrote to Roger back in March this year when my freedom pass was stopped unexpectedly. Go read the article if you don't know my story.

 I you know the whole story. I am behind of this. I am the reason why freedom pass fiasco was started with me. Followed by Jenny & the others. You see, we live in the world when things happened unexpectedly. For instance, the UK voted to leave the European Union & Donald Trump winning the US presidential election. We live in this ever-changing world. When it comes to the rejected freedom pass scandal in Barnet. It was not reported nationally & internationally. It was reported locally & London-wide. Since I got my freedom pass restored back in May. I still hear nothing from the council even I told Sam & Christine back in October at Burnt Oak who works in Barnet council that I would like compensation & perhaps apology. But that's okay because I had already the refund from TFL as I spent 8 weeks of traveling on the bus & train & I had to top up the Oyster card every-time when the balance runs out & adding the money into Oyster card. My refund from TFL was £34.10. I remembered using discount bus & tram pass photo card. At the time without using my freedom pass between March & May, I didn't want to go public (I did not want to speak any press) because I don't want to be subject to abuses even if I am speaking the truth. It's not like I made it up.

Since I got my freedom pass back from Barnet council & Capita, I started to write to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan back in September as I wrote at my college. I had finally made him aware (as I know Mr Khan was not aware that Barnet were rejecting disabled freedom pass with no reason whatsoever) even he didn't write back to me (someone reply to me in his behalf). After-all I voted for him because he did included the protection of freedom passes (even he forgot to include disabled person freedom pass as he wants older freedom pass to be protected). None of other London mayoral candidates got my vote. Not even Zac Goldsmith. I glad the freedom pass fiasco is over so I am going to make sure it doesn't ever happen again. Especially when freedom pass ends in 2020 with expiry date 31st March.

I thank my mum, Roger & Mrs Angry for helping me to get my free travel pass reinstated once & for all. Once again I thank Roger & Theresa (Mrs A) for the digging the truth that Barnet & Capita were purposefully & wrongly rejecting everyone's freedom passes. The number was 230. That includes me & Jenny. That information was released by London Councils (who issued the freedom pass cards). I am grateful that I am the Barnet person of the year 2016. Thank you so much. God bless. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.
Calvin Casino is a Barnet resident. As a person with special needs he is legally entitled to a freedom pass. This was illegally withdrawn without notice earlier this year. He found out when the pass did not work at Finchley Central Tune station. Due to his condition this was an extremely stressful experience for him. Calvin contacted the Barnet Eye for help. We published the story. Immediately we were attacked by a right wing blog close to the Conservative administration in Barnet, who accused us of making the story up and claiming we were an unreliable source of information. To my amazement, it turned out that Calvin was not alone, hundreds of other people had the same experience. Fellow Barnet Blogger Mrs Angry had even seen a young disabled person have the same problem on a bus, but hadn't realised what was happening until she saw my blog.  Mrs Angry did  a huge amount of digging and uncovered the whole story, with some legal input from Julia Hines from Age UK Barnet.

We chose Calvin as person of the year because without his input, Barnet Council would have got away with an action that was shown to be illegal. The only way to combat tyranny is for good people to speak up. In Barnet, we have active bloggers and campaigners who know how to ensure that the council is held to account. Calvin is an example to us all. If we just sit back and hope someone else  pipes up, then bad things come to pass.That is why  Calvin is such a great choice.