Wednesday, 3 November 2010
A sparkling protest at Hendon Town Hall
We had a good lobby of Barnet council last night. Reflecting the times we are living in, there was even a police van parked nearby in case things got out of hand and we stormed Hendon Town Hall. I think those days are a little way off. Barnet chief exec Nick Walkley did his usual walkabout to check the size of the crowd - he always tries to do it surreptitiously. He is a queer cove. On this occasion he strode to the police van, to discuss operational tactics with them, I suppose, and then strode back, to cries of "We don't agree with Nick!" from local Labour Party activists.
I will reflect at more length soon on the relationship between anti-cuts campaigners, Barnet trades unions and the Labour Party. It's a complex and, alas, somewhat vexed one. However, it was good to see activists on the lobby last night, the leader of Barnet council Labour group Alison Moore ready to mount the step ladder and shout encouragement through the loud-hailer, and former Hendon MP Andrew Dismore speaking as well.
There were more than a hundred people, I would say, reflecting trade unions and residents. Speakers included a representative of the FBU from Finchley fire station. By agreement, they made off with the Brian Coleman guy at the end of the lobby. I expect he will be appearing on their picket line on Friday-Saturday. We rounded off with a display of sparklers. The next town hall protest is on 14 December, when the council discusses its cuts budget. The theme will probably be seasonal though hardly festive.
You can see some pictures of last night's protest on my Flickr site.