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Our Barnet: the alternative torch relay

posted 23 Jul 2012, 05:44 by Friern Barnet   [ updated 24 Jul 2012, 03:03 by Martin Russo ]
An extract from Mrs.Angry's Broken Barnet Blog about Saturday's alternative relay.
Saturday, 21 July 2012

Our Barnet: the alternative torch relay

North Finchley

So, where were we ... mmm, Barnet Council decided, at 6pm last night, to try to obstruct - yes, there's that word again, obstruct - the anti One Barnet alternative Torch relay by barring the march from Victoria Park. Why? Oh, you know, it would have been against the bye laws, having such a large gathering. And a risk to health and safety.

Yep: Barnet Parks are not to be used for large gatherings, you see, by large gatherings. Bye laws, health and safety, stuff like that. Too risky. Oh - unless the large gathering is a commercial event, one of the new private hire arrangements just sanctioned this week by our shabby Tory Cabinet.

Of course Victoria Park has now been withdrawn from the list of those identified for such ventures. Because local Tory MP Mike Freer got worried about the amount of opposition from local residents and lobbied to have it exempted. Yes, like Robert Rams & the car park charges.
This is the way things work, in our borough. Tories create unpopular policies, ignore any protest, until the issue is so unpopular they realise that it might affect their chances of re election, then they have words in quiet so that an exception is made for their constituents.

This is Broken Barnet: didn't you know?

Not sure why Barnet Council thought banning the relay from entering the park would do them any favours - all it did, of course, was to make people more inclined to support the march, and the rally took place outside the entrance, rather than inside the park, thus ensuring that the whole protest gained more attention than it otherwise would have had.

Starting in Friern Barnet, by the library so recently closed, but still the subject of much campaigning by local residents, the relay moved on to North Finchley, and this is where Mrs Angry, Mr Tichborne and others joined in.

Andrew Dismore, AM

Mrs Angry and Mr Tichborne had been somewhat distracted, by the way, before the start of the march by the amusement caused by a parking attendant, one of the newly privatised NSL flock which is permanently predating on the drivers attempting to stop in this part of North Finchley, coincidentally right next to Cafe Buzz, the centre of so much dangerous activism in Broken Barnet. This guy parked his moped on a yellow line, and then issued a ticket to a poor woman with a child in the car who had stopped briefly in the wrong place, even though he was wearing a helmet, against the regulations, and despite some lovely photos taken as he was pursuing this petty incident. In front of two Barnet bloggers with camera phones, in fact. Oh dear.

The Torch relay, with the Torch itself, a long trail of residents, activists, union members, banners, and a bus moved slowly through North Finchley to Finchley Central, passing by the Tory HQ on Ballards Lane....contd (see Blogroll)