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

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Ashes Victory - Half Way done

On the fourth day lof the last test, I checked the score, to see Australia's progress in chasing 299 to win a consolation test. I was alarmed to see it was 147-1. While I was checking the score, a second wicket went down, but I was still relatively pessimistic of England winning. Let's be honest, they've won, but hardly in style and could as well be 3-1 down as 3-0 up as they are.

But we should never forget the propensity of the Australian batting lineup to crack. For those of us scarred by years of Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martyn, Clarke, the Waugh twins, Slater and of course Gilchrist, we are not used to this. It is a wonder in our eyes, as Queen Elizabeth (the one who wasn't Queen of Australia) might have put it.

I have no sympathy, having memories of 1997, 1999/2000, 2001, 2002/3 and 2006/7.

But England must not relent, they ought to aim for 4-0, if not 3-0 at the least. England often won a test at the end, "When the Aussies were hungover from celebrating their wins" as Nasser Hussain put it. Let's not dangle that carrot. The next Ashes aren't 2 years away, they are a few months. It's vital to keep up the mental pressure in what is effectively a 10 test, two continent mega-series. We don't need to give them a boost for the next series. When England won at Sydney in 2003 after losing the preceding 4, they went on to win the next Ashes in 2005.

This has been an odd series. England have yet to reach 400 in an innings, whereas Australia have. The highest score of the series, often a barometer of performance, is held by the Aussies (thus far). Despite this, England have been consistent, which is why they are where they are. Even without too many runs from the top 4! They have won thanks to a glorious run of form for Ian Bell. Is it really the same Ian Bell of the painful and tortuous memories of 2005? Not really.

I hope they can keep it going back down under.


I have had a large number of emails regarding Fracking.

I have not heard of any applications in Barnet, and suspect that it would be unlikely to happen here, but if residents would like to be kept informed you are all welcome to email me.

The Tempest

I went to see The Tempest at the Globe Theatre last week. Sadly, this Sunday sees the last performance from this excellent cast. It was quite simply brilliant. I have never been to the Globe before, so this was a great treat and experience, to be recommended to all.

Every bit of humour was pulled out, and normally dull roles were performed the best they probably ever have been. Having not previously been much of a Shakespeare fan, I have been converted. There are some great lines there which politicians would be wise to pour over, to plagiarise if not learn from!

I understand this will be released by the Globe as a DVD next year, I think you would be mad to not get it!


I am a member of the Your Choice Barnet Task and Finish Group. We held our first meeting on Monday, getting some background from officers. If you have any input you would like to make into the process please get in touch. We have already had representation from some groups, which we are going through.

CPZ statement

Sorry for the delay, thought I would share the Labour response to the recent ruling on the CPZ rises.

Light Rail

The Labour Group have released a statement regarding recent developments on the light rail front. We have been calling for this for some time, especially given the regen projects on the western side of the borough.

Boris to close Tube ticket offices

That walking disaster Boris Johnson is up to his old tricks again. He wants to close all but a score of London tube ticket offices. This is another bonkers Boris idea. Completely unnecessary, financially and organisationally. Having increased fares by 50% already, and likely to have doubled them by 2016, TfL are already sitting on a lot of money. They would be in even better shape if they weren't blowing almost a £ billlion on the white elephant bus for London.

What is the point of having a mayor who makes things worse for the residents of the city fir no actual gain?