Pro-Palestinian Tory and local Jewish community


By MatthewHarris
May 22, 2012
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I have never wasted much time blogging about Barnet Council. I have wasted lots of time blogging about other things, but rarely about that. There is a band of bloggers who spend all their time blogging about the Council as if it was Parliament and they were Private Eye...One such is Mrs Angry (I know, I know). Having heard that Daniel Hope's 'online newspaper' the Barnet Bugle had run some interesting stuff about the Conservative candidate in Barnet Council's Brunswick Park by-election, I had a look, and that linked to this post of Mrs Angry's: http://wwwbrokenbarnet.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/how-to-lose-election-broke... I really do not like her suggestion that the Jewish and Greek Cypriot communities are "represented" by councillors who happen to be Jewish or Greek Cypriot, while other communities are (she says) not "represented" at all, as there are no councillors from those communities - those communities apparently including Irish Catholics and Turkish Cypriots. Jewish and other councillors are elected to represent their wards, not their "communities". I have known councillors across London who give a great service to all residents, regardless of their ethnicity and faith. Also, Mrs Angry suggests that this Tory candidate (who is apparently involved in the Conservative Muslim Forum) won't win support from Jewish and Greek residents of Brunswick Park, because of the (Muslim) candidate's possible views on Israel and Cyprus. What have Israel and Cyprus got to do with municipal politics in Barnet? Mrs Angry suggests that the Tory lady might have signed a letter opposing Israel's role in the Lebanon War of 2006. Well, so what if she did or did not? I supported Israel in that war - does that mean that Muslim residents couldn't vote for me to be their Barnet councillor? Of course not.

COMMENTS

R Logue

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 12:51

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Dear Matthew,

Have you never parked your car on one of Barnet's high streets? Surely you've noticed that the charges are high and there is little chance of paying other than by credit or debit card?

Maybe you've had your speed humps removed and pay more and more for parking permits? Or had a parking ticket slapped on your car in the middle of the night?

Maybe what goes on in Barnet Council is of little or no consequence to you but to many of us it does matter.

Mrs. Angry and the other Barnet bloggers are currently providing the effective opposition to the loony politics of Barnet Council as they milk more and more money from us hapless residents.

Your very personal attack on Mrs. Angry is not justified and to be honest I now regret having canvassed for you in the 2010 General Election. Given the small margin of votes between Matthew Offord and Andrew Dismore and your dismissal of five very effective local campaigners, I think I made the wrong choice!


MatthewHarris

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 13:20

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Thanks. I am grateful for your having canvassed for me! I didn't think that I had made a personal attack on Mrs Angry - I thought that I'd just commented on what she had written? Yes, I don't actually drive, but those of my friends who do drive tell me that the Council's parking policies are indeed dreadful.

Yes, perhaps I am wrong about Barnet bloggers? My initial impression, in 2009/10, was that such bloggers were treating the Council as if it was Parliament and writing in great detail about local politicians that nobody (apart from the interested few) had ever even heard of, in a way that could sometimes appear slightly obscure.

In the 2010 local elections, we were told that some independents (perhaps reflecting the same ideas that some of the bloggers have?) would be elected to the council - in fact, none of them came even close to being elected to the council, surely indicating that the Silent Majority is not "up in arms" in the way that the bloggers are?

I do question the number of people who really read the blogs concerned; also, I don't like it when a blogger gets angry about a councillor having refused to take up one of the blogger's issues, as councillors are allowed to decide for themselves what it is and isn't appropriate to raise as an issue, and the electors can then throw them out if they don't like it.

Having said that, a local paper called the Times used to employ a journalist called Bill Montgomery to report and comment full-time on the politics of Barnet Council - how are the bloggers doing anything different from that? In which case, I should welcome their input. And it is certainly true that the bloggers are getting more local newspaper coverage than they were getting previously.

I must not use this blog to make party political points, but - regarding your comment about bloggers now being the effective opposition to the people running Barnet Council, I would point out that there are actually three parties on the council: the Conservative Administration, the Labour Opposition and the Liberal Democrat councillors.

I would argue that those Lib Dem councillors do do a great deal to oppose the Tories on Barnet Council. Some anti-Tory bloggers in Barnet attack Labour for being ineffectual as an opposition, without saying anything about what the Lib Dems are or are not doing. What do you think?


Real Real Zionist

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 15:17

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Never mind what R Logue thinks here is what I think. I think Matthew is jealous of Mrs A because people are actually interested in what she has to say. And Matthew before you start asking questions do you not have at least one to answer yourself ?


MatthewHarris

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 16:36

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What is the question that you would like me to answer?


zaheerayin

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 16:49

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I think he meant happygoldfish's question to you:

http://www.thejc.com/blogs/matthewharris/andrew-dismore-and-ken-livingst...

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