I’m a one handed blogger!

Update – my shoulder is actually shattered .. So going to be out of action for a while.

This evening I slipped whilst running for the bus outside totteridge and whetstone station! I’m currently sat in Barnet A and E with a fractured shoulder and thankfully the pain killers have kicked in!

Not the best move I have made but hope to be back to full fitness soon!

The staff have been brilliant. Just waiting to go and be checked out before going home … But a massive thanks to everyone who has helped out tonight.


Interim library is launched as new community library opens its doors

Below is a Press Release sent out this afternoon by the Council’s Press Team

Barnet Council’s new interim library service is set to launch in North Finchley next week   .

Based in the artsdepot building at Tally Ho Corner, the library is being opened in response to public demand for a service while plans are developed for a permanent Landmark Library.

The interim service is set to open on Tuesday 24 April and will be open Tuesdays and Fridays, 2pm – 5pm and Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am – 1pm. The council hopes to extend the activities beyond these core hours over the summer with new services supported volunteers, particularly focussing on activities for children.

A book loan service, containing approximately 10,000 items will be available as well as magazines and newspapers and also a study space. This will be shortly followed by a programme of activities for children and young people.

The new Landmark Library will merge Friern Barnet and North Finchley libraries, specialising in arts and culture as well as activities for children.

Quotations are now currently being sought from architects to complete a feasibility study for the redevelopment of the artsdepot to create a landmark library. This is estimated to be completed by the end of June this year.

Following the withdrawal of a library service from Hampstead Garden Suburb as part of the council’s wider library strategy, the council has been supporting the local Residents Association to re-introduce a service run from the same premises.

The new community led library will be run and self managed completely by volunteers and will sit independently from the council.

The council is now supporting the Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association to buy a suitable IT system, stock and manage the building to ensure the library’s long-term success.

Jeremy Clynes, from the Residents Association said:

“Everyone who has come into the library over the last few days has been absolutely delighted – without exception. People have commented on how glad they are that we’re open again and the work we are doing.  Although we’ve only been open three days, its going extremely well and the volunteers are enjoying themselves which is nice to see. We have more than 70 volunteers so far and more people are coming in daily asking to help and offering their expertise. Although we have big plans for the library we’re aware it’s still early days and we’re taking things slowly but we’ve plans to continue working with local children, adults and reading groups.”


Yom Hashoah – I Remember

Today is Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day.

A day to ponder on one of the greatest evils of human history, when Hitler tried to exterminate the Jewish people. A day to keep alive the memory of those who perished for no greater reason than an innate element of their identity.  A day for me to be grateful that – thanks to the resoluteness and immense community spirit of the wartime British (the ultimate example of the big society?) – my grandparents and the grandparents of many of my Jewish friends were not amongst those who are now, for so many, just part of that fearful number – 6,000,000. But Yom Hashoah is also a day of resoluteness. It is a day to reinforce the message encapsulated in the two words “never again”. It is a day to look, for example, to the appalling crimes against humanity being committed in Syria and to ask why so many parts of the international community are happy to sit idly by and let it happen.

Rabbi Lord Sacks has a thought provoking piece today in the Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chief-rabbi-lord-sacks/yom-hashoah-remember-from-the-depths-of-the-jewish-soul_b_1431889.html

If you do nothing else to commemorate today, take two minutes to read that.

Lord Sacks touches on the importance of youth and remembrance. Sadly, as he points out, inevitably the survivors of the Holocaust becomes fewer and fewer. If you have never heard a survivor speak I urge you to go out of your way to do so before it is too late.  It is an experience that you will never forget and will imbibe you with an account that you can pass on to future generations.

I know that this blog is read by people from all parts of the political spectrum, but I hope on Holocaust Remembrance Day we can find common cause and can find a couple of minutes to pause, to reflect, to remember, and to hope.

Saddened and Bamboozled by the end of Ceefax

I worry that writing this blogpost runs the risk of making me sound old, but Ceefax was part of my youth. Coming home from school, clicking to 302 for football news, 341 to update on the test score, 101 for the latest news, 324 for the premier table (or 1st division table in old language) etc etc.

As has been reported widely Ceefax is shutting down today in London due to the digital change over. To be honest I had not used it for a number of years and it was inevitable because of the growth of the internet and mobile devices this point would come. Why would I turn my TV on to find out the latest score when I have it on my mobile – but back in the day it was quicker to turn the TV on to get the score than turn my computer on!

Bamboozle was something that distracted me for many hours – a simple game on the channel 4 version – in which you had to get 20 questions in a row correct – but if you got one wrong you went back to the start. I now have an app on my phone to play the game.

Times move on – but Ceefax will be missed

Don’t believe everything you read in the news!

This evening the labour party put down a motion in the full council calling on Barnet to scrap all charges in car parks.

Readers will be aware that I and my other ward councillors are totally against any charges in the East Barnet Village Car Park. We are also loyal to our party and won’t vote against them. Therefore as the consultation on the car parks is still on going and we are working with the cabinet member on this .. We did not vote for the labour party motion attacking our party and did not vote against the motion as we support no charges in the village.

We are working hard for our residents, supporting them and working towards the goals we are seeking.

We hope to have an update on this soon.

Semi Final Anti Semitism?

Update – 11.09 David Baddiel, the creator of the Y Word video, just tweeted my saying that he  “agree with everything you say…”


As an Arsenal fan I took much joy in the result from Wembley yesterday and after keeping quiet for a very long time started having some ‘banter’ with all my Spurs supporting friends.

Last night, amongst the other comments I posted to my friends, after seeing all the empty seats in Wembley, I wrote,

“Spurs fans support your team .. Shows you have no class leaving early”
I was slightly surprised and not a little shocked by the reply that came back from one of my friends who was at the game,
“Lol u actually joking.. No class, spurs fans… Chelsea fans foul mouthing Jews as I walked down Wembley way, Nazi saluting in the stadium and then booing during 1 minute silence for the 96…”
A lot has been reported in the press about the behaviour of the Chelsea fans during the minute’s silence for the Hillsborough disaster. But as my friend highlights the problems were not restricted to one minute.
I was taken aback by this response and saddened to read that this is still going on today. Chelsea Football Club should take action urgently against these fans and ban them for life.
But it does open up an interesting discussion in regard to the Spurs fans who complain about this sort of behaviour. The majority of my friends who are spurs fans call themselves “Yids”. Throughout the game you could hear them using this word.
Last year I was invited to the House of Commons to see the launch of this video.


As you will see the term Yid has huge anti-Semitic connotations. As they rightly point out, it is against the law to call someone a Yid in the street – so why do Spurs fans feel that they can get away with using the word, even if they are describing themselves?

Chelsea should be ashamed of their supporters – their supporters should be banned for life from football games – but Spurs fans should also look at themselves and think carefully about whether they should use this word about themselves. Those who would argue that they are ‘reclaiming’ a previously abhorrent word should consider whether they are, in fact, creating a climate where it is more likely that a horribly offensive word will be used.

Stringfellow Shows UKIP Some Ankle

There’s worrying news from Guido that Peter Stringfellow is backing UKIP in a Westminster Council by-election and is considering transferring his support to them in the future. Worrying, that is for the many Conservative Future members across London who saw it as right of passage to attend a Conservative Future event at one of his establishments – although I never went down this path!

Abhijit Pandya has an interesting piece in the Telegraph today in which he argues that UKIP are not a serious alternative to the Conservatives.


He argues whilst being united on the issue of Europe UKIP are divided on everything else. On every other issue, their views divide across the political spectrum, from far left to far right. Abhijit also notes, of course, that voting for UKIP may have the unintended consequence of helping Labour – whether in council, assembly or general elections.

If that unintended consequence lets in the Labour Party at council level, then the it will inevitably subject constituents to a Labour administration that does what Labour administrations always do – spend all the money and leave it to subsequent Tory councils to clear up the mess – albeit this time around it was the Labour government’s scorched earth spending policy that bankrupted the country and has left councils such as Barnet without funds and having to make the hard but necessary choices.