Friday, 26 May 2017

The Friday Joke - 26/05/2017 - The Wisdom of Will Rogers

Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash in Alaska with bush pilot, Wiley Post, was one of the greatest political/country/cowboy sages ever known.

Here is one of his most famous sayings. As we approach the general election, I think there is some wisdom we can all take from this particular saying

"There are three kinds of men:  
The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves."

Have a great weekend

Guest Blog - Mill Hill Synagogue Election Hustings by Richard Logue

The highlight of any election campaign in Hendon has to be the Mill Hill Synagogue hustings; a packed house, a skillful chairman and a lot of challenging questions from the audience.

It's fair to say that going on the results of the last election Matthew Offord, above all candidates, could have expected a friendly reception tonight. Over the last few weeks much attention has been paid to the Labour Party and their problems over anti-semitism. Indeed many believe, myself included, that Theresa May called the election because she and her party colleagues believed that Labour were doomed to defeat. Perhaps Matthew Offord hoped that with his arch-rival Andrew Dismore not running that he would romp home to victory with little or no serious opposition. In any case Matthew appeared relaxed and friendly tonight at the beginning of the meeting.

Each candidate opened with their intial speech - Carmen Legarda from the Greens emphasised her belief in an equal society. Labour's Mike Katz referred to his deep involvement with the Jewish Labour Movement and his clear unequivocal commitment to Israel and his own Hendon connections. Matthew Offord's opening speech was certainly strong and confident and referred to the awful tragedy in Manchester at the start of this week. Liberal Democrat Alasdair Hill's speech also referenced Manchester at the start and his own military family background.
Alasdair attacked the use of EU nationals as bargaining chips in the Brexit divorce talks and attacked Conservative school cutbacks.
Sabriye Warsame from the UKIPs spoke last and urged voters to support UKIP.

The Candidates
Each candidate was given, in addition to the general questioning from the floor, their own dedicated question. Rabbi Schochet opened with a tough question to Labour's Mike Katz; Do you support Jeremy Corbyn and what is your view on anti-semites in the Labour Party? Mike was unequivocally against both Corbyn and the anti-semites. The Greens were asked specifically about their own support for BDS and was Israel an aparteid state? Carmen Legarda stated that she wasn't in agreement with either statementbut that sanctions were more preferable to war.
Alasdair Hill was asked did he think the Liberal Democrats were relevant? Alasdair said that the Liberal Democrats were more relevant now than ever, given their clear opposition to hard Brexit and the need for a moderate opposition voice. Sabriye Warsame was asked about former UKIP funder Aaron Bank's departure from the UKIP amd if UKIP could survive. Sabriye believed they could.

Answering questions
Matthew Offord was read out an email sent by a synagogue member, known only as "Alan" who was terminally ill when he wrote to Matthew Offord on the 24th February this year to raise the issue of changes to the Widowed Parent's Allowance which were to be drastically cut back as and from April 6th. "Alan" wrote again on March 10th as he had no reply from Matthew Offord. According to "Alan"'s widow who was present, they never had a reply from Matthew Offord. Offord appeared rattled by this; he stated he always replied to emails. Offord called out from the stage to Hilary Smith, his agent; "we've replied to this haven't we?". In business circles blaming someone else for your own faults is known as "throwing someone under the bus". Matthew Offord strongly reiterated that HE "always responds to emails"

"Alan" passed away at the beginning of May, nearly a month after the changes to the Widowed Parents Allowance came into effect.

After this initial round of directed questions, Rabbi Schochet directed the candidates to presubmitted questions which he either read out or took from the floor. These queries ranged from probing the candidates’ views on using Trident funds to increase the country’s anti-terrorist measures (all supported, with Hill, Katz and Offord saying it is a case of both) to whether the candidates would vote against their party and for Hendon in a Brexit decision (Katz would vote with Hendon, Hill believes that the LibDems and Hendon are aligned so the question is moot, Offord that he would vote with his party and that MPs need to contradict their constituents sometimes). 

Other issues raised:
  • Whether candidates would support the closure of existing free schools (no one would with Katz and Hill wanting more control by local authorities)
  • The level of smoking in the underpass at Mill Hill Broadway (all candidates apart from Warsame highlighted the extreme level of pollution in the area being a key issue)
  • What would the candidates bring to the area as a local MP (Offord highlighted his relationships with the police, Katz his links to the area, Hill his work with the Save Barnet Libraries campaign)

At the end of the debate Rabbi Schochet asked the audience if any of them had changed their minds as to who to vote for in the election as a result of the hustings. In 2015 very few people put their hands up.
This year there were several hands up!

At the end the general view around the room was that it was a toss-up between Alasdair Hill and Mike Katz as to who was the strongest performer on the night.

Many thanks to Mill Hill Shul for putting on yet another busy and well-run hustings. Special thanks to Rabbi Schochet who chaired the meeting well, and to Lucy Jackson who organised the evening. It was good to chat with Jon Klaff, Adam Dawson and James Ansher who were also involved with the evening along with many others including the CST who kept everyone safe.
Richard Logue is a Mill Hill Resident. He was formerly chair of The Mill Hill Residents Association and is currently the election agent for Alasdair Hill. Guest blogs are always welcome at The Barnet Eye. Have you attended a local election event? Give us your review/.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

RIP Roger Moore

Image result for roger moore
Roger Moore
Just a quick few words about Roger Moore. He was always my faveourite James Bond. Unlike the rest of them, he played the role for laughs and didn't take himself too seriously. He did it with a smile and you always knew that he would come through. Wheras the rest of them were riddled with angst, he was "on her Majesties Secret Service" and would come through. You knew that he'd get the girl, kill the baddie and still look impeccable. His tenure in the Bond role coincided with the time in my life when I liked such things. I believed that that was how secret agents were. Swashbuckling risk takers who were handsome and witty. My Dad would take me along, he was a lover of gadgets, an ex RAF airman and a bit of a maverick. In his post war work in the Middle East he knew what he called "a few funnies". He told me that their jobs were far more mundane than James Bond. He said that usually their biggest challenge was to fiddle their expenses to ensure enough brandy and cigarrettes could be bought to alleviate the extraordinary tedium of the job. For me though, Roger Moore was the reality. I especially liked the sketches with the dopey american cop.

There were several reasons I liked him. When he was The Saint, he used to live up our road (Millway in Mill Hill). It was handy for filming at Elstree. He moved when he got sick of fans appearing on his doorstep, to Denham I believe. He also had a very cool name. In my experience, anyone called Roger is by definition a good guy. Once his acting roles dried up, he became a UNICEF ambassador. He famously used to say we have two hands, one for taking and one for giving.A philosophy we could all benefit from.

Wherever Roger is now, I hope he's enjoying his Martini, shaken, not stirred.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Wednesday Poem #20 - Friends and Enemies

Friends and Enemies

I'm proud of my friends
but I'm prouder of my enemies
having friends is easy
enemies, you have to work at
friends pull you up when you are down
enemies grind you into the ground
friends make you comfy
but your enemies make you strong
it's easy to have friends
but you can measure a man by his enemies

Copyright 2017 Roger Tichborne

Guest poems are always welcome at the Barnet Eye, even from my enemies ;)

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Manchester Attack - Straight to Hell

Sometimes it is hard to know what to say. An attack on a bunch of young girls and their parents attending a concert, of an artist who appeals to young children. What could be more vile and sick? I've got family in Manchester, 2 nephews and their families and I am worried sick for them, their family and friends. As a musician and concert organiser, it feels a very personal attack. As a father of two beautiful daughters, I can only cry at the thought of anyone wishing to harm any child. I find it impossible to comprehend how someone could do such an atrocity in persuit of a religious aim. Whatever perversion of faith leads to this in incomprehensible to me. It seems that the killer is now dead. One assumes he believes in heaven and hell. It is time for religious leaders of all persuasions to stand up and say, unequivably that anyone who harms an innocent child, who is no threat to anyone is simply on a one way ticket straight to hell. That's really all I can say about this appalling attack right now.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Barnet Eye exclusive - Jeremy Corbyn refuses to condemn earwigs

The Barnet Eye can this morning exclusively reveal that hard left, communist, vegetarian, beardy, allotment owning Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been exposed as an earwig sympathiser. Corbyn clearly has no compassion for the millions of people injured, damaged and killed by the nocturnal activities of earwigs. Speaking exclusively to his former science teacher, Mrs Jessica Beans, we were told 'yes, it's true, in his science project, Jeremy said that earwigs are much misunderstood and maligned, and are actually a fascinating member of the insect family'. We immediately called Mr Corbyn for confirmation, his disgusting reply was 'I equally condemn all acts of terror perpetrated by insects, whether woodlice or earwigs'.

A spokesman for Theresa May stated that this proved Mr Corbyn was soft on the Earwig issue and had no compassion for victims of nocturnal attacks on poor defenceless children. Furthermore they stated that the dementia tax would free up resources to tackle the earwig threat, although they couldn't say how this would actually be funded.

Of course, we've made all this rubbish up. Unlike the nonsensical tosh being fed to the Mail and the Telegraph by The Conservative election machine, we at least have the decency to tell you it's cobblers. It may be inconvenient for the Tories, but the troubles are over, the political wing of the IRA are in government, Martin McGuinness shook hands with the Queen and we've all grown up. Corbyn was right to engage with bad people, because it ended violence. Many world leaders started out as terrorists and many of these have been welcomed by Conservative Prime Ministers. I'd love it if all bad men were locked up, but in the real world we have to talk and grandstanding and condemning people achieves nothing except getting a nice editorial in the Daily Mail. Corbyn may not be a great Labour leader, but he is a decent man and he deserves better from the press. Kick him for his policies, but this vilification is disgusting and I hope it backfires. For the record, I'm a Lib Dem and won't be voting Labour, but honesty and fairness is far more important than tribal politics. The Tory campaign stinks.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Tweets of The week in The London Borough of Barnet - North Finchley Festival Special

Today is a Tweets of the Week with a difference! Our ten top tweets are all from day one of The North Finchley Festival, which has been a cracking success!

1. The N12 Community Choir kicked off the day at The Bohemia. A hugely populare start!

2.Down the road, The Elephant Inn was having fun with Kid Wondr was the first act!

3. Julia Hines rather liked The Rocking Bones at The Bohemia! All the excitement was too much, so she then needed to chill with some lovely piano from Lola Parrin!

4.Angie A was Awesome at Cafe Buzz!

5. Alan Evans enjoyed Rolling Exile and Rangoon at The Elephant Inn!

6. John Keogh rather enjoyed The False Dots at The Bohemia!

7.We had a Blast with San Blas at the Bohemia!

8. Alan Schneiderman was enjoying the food and the music in North Finchley!

9. Mr Reasonable was enjoying Tim Leffman at Cafe Buzz!

10.And Yours Truly got around a bit as well!

Thats all folks, but see you later today for day two!