The other thing that really got my goat at the Barnet council meeting on 1 March was when Barnet Tories cynically turned the whole Big Society idea inside out in order to justify their planned closure of Barnet Museum.
Robert Rams repeated the slander (that's what I think it is) that Barnet Museum doesn't deserve to remain in its current building (or exist at all, in effect) because it has only temporary opening hours.
When I heard him saying this I leapt to my feet and let rip. What is the whole Big Society mantra about? People providing services for themselves, and, even better, the whole society for free! How has Barnet Museum managed to survive and grow over the past however many decades? Through voluntary labour!
How many hours a day should "volunteers" be expected to provide a service?
In any case, Rams et al also know full well, because Dr Gear of the museum explained it to them at the cabinet meeting on 14 February (in front of a hundred witnesses), that as well as the open "drop-in" hours the musuem is available to other visitors by appointment.
Plus, without question, the volunteers are doing other administrative and research work on the collection in their own time when the museum is not open.
Robert Rams reassured his audience on 1 March that once they have booted Barnet Museum out of the building that was given to it expressly for the purpose of housing a museum, they would sell the building for top dollar.
To my mind, the proposed closure of the borough's two museums, Barnet Museum and Church Farmhouse Museum, proves the utter philistinism of Barnet Tories.
I would recommend to them an enjoyable and accessible book called A Brief History of the Human Race by Michael Cook. This explains such things as why all human groups have had the capacity to develop civilisation but only some have achieved it; what would South America look like if Columbus hadn't invaded (left to their own devices, would the "Americans" have developed such things as writing, for example); and what are the things that mark civilisations as civilisations? The answer to the last question is, crucially, things such as the effort to preserve and understand their own history.
I would recommend this book to them, but I doubt any of them have any use for reading. They're too busy dragging their knuckles on the floor.