Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Why I quit blogging

 Back in January 2019, I announced that I was quitting blogging. Regular readers may well find this a rather odd statement, given that the blog is still going strong and being written on a daily basis. However, it is true as far as I am concerned. Until January 2019, for ten years, I'd spend 2-3 hours a day researching blogs, reading through council papers, attending meetings at the Town Hall, organising events around the blog. I estimated that I'd spent nearly 10,000 hours of my life writing the Barnet Eye. They say that if you spend 10,000 hours seriously practising a musical instrument, you will become a virtuoso. I feel a pang of regret that I didn't put that effort into playing the guitar, as I'd much prefer to be Jimi Hendrix than a Barnet blogger (if I manage ten mins a day I'm doing well). 

As I stated in the Jan 2019 blog, I wasn't stopping completely, I was just going to stop dedicating energy to writing blogs about Barnet Council, except when there was a compelling reason (usually that our councillors or our other bloggers were not bothering to cover something).  Much to my amusement, I find that this year, despite my 'retirement' from Barnet blogging, I've still published far more Barnet Council related blogs than the other three main  'Barnet bloggers' put together. To be fair to Mr Mustard, he concentrates on parking issues, and has been very active on a London wide basis. I've even had a victory of sorts, getting Barnet to state that they will take enforcement action against the NIMR developers, for not properly washing wheels. We also have  a new local blogger, Mr Limitless, who has written some interesting blogs. I am not having a go at the other bloggers, no one has to do anything and their efforts over the years have been creditable. I just find it sad that, having worn us all out, there is a lack of a younger generation looking to stepup (apart from Mr Limitless). Barnet Council seem to me infinitely worse than when I started the blog in 2008. I spent ten years stating why they should not make decision after decision, my warnings were ignored and we find ourselves in a wholly avoidable mess. 

Enforcement is simply not done by Barnet Council, which is we see dangerous mud on the Ridgeway on a daily basis, why the Railway Hotel has become derelict, Hendon Cemetery has gone to rack and ruin (thankfully after our campaign it has become a little bit better), we still have no step free access at Mill Hill Broadway and we've had a bodge job done at Mill Hill East, which means that wheelchair users can access the platform but not the trains without assistance. The One Barnet Capita deal has cost between 25-50% more to Barnet taxpayers than we were told it would. School budgets are stressed as never before. We've seen social care cut to the bare bones. Since I started the blog, we've seen the abolition of sheltered housing, all manner of scandals including million pound frauds, illegal cancellation of Freedom passes, Metpro etc. But despite all of these being detailed in minute detail, in 2018, the people of Barnet still re-elected a Conservative administration, to do more of the same.

I simply concluded that if the general population was so heartless, uncaring and uninterested that they would elect a bunch of councillors who were by and large lazy and only in it for allowances and perks, then if ten years of exposing it had failed to change people's minds, then it simply wasn't worth the effort ruining my social life sitting up to 3am writing blogs. By and large, the blogs I write now are blogs I enjoy writing. The Advent Calendar I am running this month, gives me the chance to hopefully raise awareness of some great local organisations. Please support them with some cash. 

But what about Barnet Council? Well I've decided to have one last go at trying to make the people of Barnet see sense and boot the Tories out of Mill Hill. There are council elections in May. I've decided to take the plunge and stand as a Lib Dem again (if they'll have me). If it doesn't work out, that will be me done. I'm not a politician, I'm a musician, but I care about Mill Hill. Once we are in the New Year, we will be kicking off our campaign. The party has no funds or resources to run a major campaign in Mill Hill, but I have vowed to give it a really strong go. I'll be asking everyone who has enjoyed this blog since 2008, to have a little faith and help me on the doorsteps or in any way they can between January and May. It will be a different campaign to previous years. I hope that we will build up a locak team that is a legacy and will carry on into the future. If I win, Mill Hill will have someone who will work their socks off and not just turn up and put their hands up. I promise I'll see what the problems are for myself and represent everyone, even those who hate my guts, if they genuinely need help. After May, if I win, you'll get a hard working local, who has experience of running businesses, working as chair of a  of local educational charity and has been on the local Parish Council and finance committee of my local church since 2009. Just look how many blogs I've put together and consider the effort put in, even since I 'retired'. I can't really say I've enjoyed my retirement thus far!

Mind you, this is what I've been missing (and what I'll be lumbered with if I win!)

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