Monday, 19 March 2012

"A Tale of Two Barnets" premiere, 6-8pm, Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley - TONIGHT!

The stars will be out tonight, Monday 19 March, for the premiere of Barnet the Movie, or, as it turned out to be "A Tale of Two Barnets". Preview here:

Come along to the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley to see the premiere for just £1! If you arrive at 6pm you can watch the press interviews with the director Charles Honderick and some of those taking part in the film. The film itself goes on screen at 7pm and lasts half an hour. After that there will be Q&A with the director, some of the stars, and the audience.

There will be many more screenings throughout the borough - and one in Parliament - in the next few weeks, and the film will be available on DVD. But if you can get along tonight you really should try. It will be an occasion. You'll get to hear the background to why and how the film was made - and find out more about the reaction to it from Barnet Council.

Why, you know they even tried to ban leaflets advertising it from the libriares?!

I have done some publicity for the film on behalf of Barnet Trades Council who are supporting the screening tonight. I thought I'd share the description I've written. It rolled off the pen and makes it clear why this is such an important film.
"What would I like to change about Barnet? I'm not sure there is very much I can change about Barnet." Thus Richard Cornelius, the Conservative leader of Barnet Council. That's laissez-faire taken to its extreme!

Meanwhile, the unelected chief exec, Nick Walkey, on £200k per year (thus, among the 1%), plus his senior management team, which includes several 'town hall tax-dodgers', are pushing through the One Barnet privatisation programme that will create worse services, worse pay and conditions for Barnet council workers - and big profits for multinational companies such as Capita and BT.

This 30-minute film has been made by independent film maker Charles Honderick to reflect the views of residents of the London Borough of Barnet on the state of the borough and its governance at an important time. Residents and users of Barnet Council services talk about their hopes and fears in a period of austerity and uncertainty. The borough is embarking on a large-scale privatisation plan, 'One Barnet', dubbed by former council leader Mike Freer, now a Conservative MP, as 'easyCouncil', and this is also explored in the film.

The council's Chief Executive, Nick Walkley, and the Conservative Leader of the Council, Richard Cornelius, both appear to explain their thinking on the issues raised.

This film will be of vital interest to the wider public. 2012 is a crunch year for London economically and politically. The outcome of the mayoral and GLA elections in May will in part hinge on whether Boris Johnson's "doughnut strategy" - targeting the outer London boroughs - will work a second time.

Barnet is crucial in this, particularly as controversial GLA member Brian Coleman is the rep for Barnet and Camden and faces stiff competition from Labour's Andrew Dismore, the former MP for Hendon.

Come along and find out what Barnet residents think of their borough in 2012!

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