Sunday, 4 March 2012

Boring, boring Barnet? A highly political Monday in London's second biggest borough

The bloggers and local reporters in Barnet will be kept busy tomorrow, Monday 5 March.

Up with the lark to attend the standards sub-committee hearing at Hendon Town Hall at 10am. Standing trial, not for the first time, will be councillor Brian Coleman, GLA member for Barnet and Camden. (Mrs Angry has the full charge sheet over at her Broken Barnet blog.)

You might argue that a man should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Yes and no. There are two degrees of offence here.

1. Charge: He has broken the members' (councillors') code of conduct. Verdict: The committee will decide that tomorrow.

2. Charge: He has pissed off a member of the public sufficiently for them to report him to the committee. Verdict: The defendant is guilty as charged!

Remember this on the day of the next elections to the GLA. You won't have to wait long: Thursday 3 May.

Asssuming the trial not of the century but at least of this month finishes early enough (clear-cut case, I would think, so it shouldn't take long) you can hear "Newsnight" reporter Paul Mason speak at Middlesex University about his new book "Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere". (It's certainly kicking off in Barnet right now, Paul!)

This is from 11am-12.30pm, in Room W138, 1st Floor Williams Building.

After that, it's a long pub lunch, I would imagine, at the Greyhound or the Claddagh Ring, or another hostelry close to Hendon Town Hall. (Or there is a good noodle restaurant opposite Middlesex University if you don't approve of liquid lunches.)

Out of the borough but of great importance to its residents, in the evening you can head down to Friends Meeting House, Euston Road for a meeting from 7pm organised by "Right to Protest".

One of the speakers will be Middlesex University student Alfie Meadows who was coshed on the head at a student demonstration by a police officer in 2009, and nearly died from his injuries.

We all need to defend the right to protest, residents of the quiet London Borough of Barnet as much as anyone! Just ask the small traders, the sheltered housing residents, the library users, the motorists, Barnet Council employees... and on, and on.

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