Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Here's for the Luddites and the Whingers

I will never forget my one and only Labour Party conference, Brighton 2009. It was surreal that we were all enjoying ourselves on the ground and having a great time, while the press headlines were so bad. But I will always remember an amazing video that was made by a university friend who now works for the Party. It was a nostalgic look back on our achievements in our century, with all the campaigns we have been part of and our leadersaetc. Still brings a tear to my eye. It was called Fighters and Believers, and went down so well that there was a successful campaign to use it as our conference PPB.

I thought about it because I had heard that the leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Cornelius calls us "Luddites and whingers" for opposing One Barnet.

As a budding historian, I would point out that the Luddites were workers losing their jobs to new machinery, whereas we are residents losing our services to incompetence.

And as for whingers, well what else is the role of scrutiny? It wasn't whinging earlier this year that got other Tory mistakes over the last year repealed, like pasty tax or sports funding. When a train is hurtling at top speed to the buffers, one doesn't call the passengers whingers for telling the driver he is headed for oblivion.

Richard is a very nice and decent man, and his comments were out of character. But I think it shows that he hears the opposition, which is stage one of any successful political campaign. Stage two is that he needs to understand the complaints and be convinced by them, and this is what I want to talk about next.

I have prattled on before about the Better Barnet campaign, and am pleased that they are responding positively, with their "Don't get mad, get organised" approach.

Please visit the site, download the campaign tools and get cracking. We haven't much time left to fight One Barnet, so please start ASAP.