Monday 19 February 2024

A summary of the career of 'Dr' Matthew Offord's career as MP for Hendon

If you live in the Hendon Parliamentary constituency, for the last fourteen years your MP has been 'Dr' Matthew Offord ( although if you need some ointment for your lumbago, I wouldn't  visit him. He has got a perfectly valid doctorate in Geography). He has decided that the Torys are going to get booted out and has decided to stand down at the next election. I was going to compile a list of his achievements as an MP since 2010, but I can think only think of a single thing. What he didn't deliver is far more telling. Among the things he promised the residents of Mill Hill in 2010 was a cheese shop in Mill Hill Broadway, step free access at the Thameslink Station and an end to the economic failure of the Labour party, saying that the Tories would deliver sound economic management and economic growth. The only thing he delivered, as far as a I can recall, was Brent Cross West station, that I've yet to see a single person use and which has added two minutes to the journey time from Mill Hill to central London, but I am sure one day it will be a useful hub, so I will grudgingly give him that. 

As for his record voting in Parliament, he voted against equal marriage, comparing it to marrying your pet dog. Here are a few other highlights of his voting on various issues

How Matthew Offord voted on Environmental Issues #

How Matthew Offord voted on Education #

How Matthew Offord voted on Foreign Policy and Defence #

How Matthew Offord voted on Taxation and Employment #

Given that Matthew Offord has increased his majority at every election he has stood in, he must have been doing something right. He has developed a very strong support base within the conservative elements of local evangelical African, Sri Lankan,  Jewish and Nepali communities. Members of all of these communites have told me he has been very good on foreign policy and moral issues. Forty years ago, one may have expected all to line up behind the Labour party, but in the Borough of Barnet they have become the bedrock of the Tory party. Having known Mr Offord for a very long time, let me just say I find some of this support and the reasons for it mildly amusing, or I would have done if he wasn't my MP. As he is leaving and I am feeling magnanmous, all I can really say is that perhaps, as he's grown older he's put some of his former 'foolish ways' behind him. I'll just say that when I first met him and he was going out with former Battersea MP and rather Liberal Conservative Jane Ellison, who was a founder of the Mill Hill Music Festival, he didn't really strike me as a massively moraliser? 

I must say that it is a shame that he didn't deliver on any of his promises. A cheese shop in Mill Hill would be rather nice, step free access at the station would be a real blesssing for many in our community and competent government from the Tories would have saved me a fortune in tax. 

His only saving grace is that he seems marginally brighter than the bloke the Tories have picked to replace him. The new candidate Ameet Jogia, seems to me like a dim snob. He has put out a leaflet campaigning against a proposed McDonalds in Mill Hill. He wanst a derelict restaurant, that has been shut for over a year to remain closed, on the grounds that it will be "a hub for deliveroo drivers, leading to bikes and vehicles parked on our street, clogging up the road. It will make congestion worse and become a central spot for antisocial behaviour and littering in our town'. I don't know if Mr Jogia ever frequents McDonalds. I am not a fan, but to suggest that they create anti social behaviour is just bizarre. In December, I wrote a blog detailing why the opposition to McDonalds in Mill Hill is irrational. Mr Jogia has simply reinforced my view that it is also rather snobbish. His comment "Swapping Prezzo for McDonald's isn't an equal trade - it's a blow to our high street and a downgrade for our town". is also very silly. It is not a trade, Prezzo shut down as they were losing money. Mr Jogia is a Conservative, so should, at the very least, understand the principles of capitalism and a free market. He is clearly too dim to realise that MP's have no power to take planning decisions. If this was what he wanted to do, he should have stood for council in Mill Hill.

I do wonder who Mr Jogia is trying to impress with his leaflet. It is interesting that he is too embarrassed to put the Tory logo on it. He seems to trying to make out he is a local campaigner, fighting for the rights of the local snobs to deprive those of us who enjoy a burger and a cheap coffee of our fill.  I suspect he'd do far better to talk about things that do affect residents, such as crime, the state of the NHS, the state of the nations roads, the cost of train tickets, the costs of going to university and all of the other things that have gotten so much worse after 14 years of Conservative rule. If you think about it, moaning about McDonalds as your only policy is rather sensible after all.  


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