The timing was a coincidence, but this evening I helped to organise a Save Middlesex Philosophy protest outside the Middlesex University Hendon campus on the same night as Barnet council AGM at Hendon Town Hall. We took our banners along there as well.
Middlesex University management, who have taken the short-sighted decision to close the university's very successful philosophy department, are part of the Local Strategic Partnership with Barnet council. There are some tensions with Middlesex University expanding its operations at Hendon; these can only increase if the university follows through on its plans to close the Trent Park campus (chasing those property speculation bucks) and move all courses to Hendon.
Does Barnet want to host a university that is solely focused on business and management students, packed in and taught as cheaply as possible, or can we see some value in having a balanced university that is as famed for its arts subjects as business, economics, etc? We are lucky to have a university in Barnet. Let's have one we can all be proud of. The Save Middlesex Philosophy campaign website is here - find out more and lend your support.
Last year, at this time, we were organising a Save Sheltered Housing Wardens demonstration outside Hendon Town Hall. I think, on balance, that protest caused the police more headaches than this evening's! Barnet sheltered housing features in tonight's (rescheduled) Panorama programme. (I'll have to watch it tomorrow on the internet as I'm finishing some work now.)
Pics from tonight's protest above. The man in the second picture is Middlesex University Vice-Chancellor Michael Driscoll. In the third picture, you can just see Barnet's chief exec Nick Walkley, coming out to check that we aren't about to storm the Town Hall and upset the mayor's canapes!