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I posted the other day about an email sent by or behalf of the Crouch End councillors. I knew then that I was angry about it and wanted to take the time to consider a reasoned response. I have now reached such a response. The contents of their email is deeply inappropriate and not the way to carry on local politics or indeed politics of any sort. They should be ashamed of themselves and in my personal view an apology and retraction would not be enough. I have no respect for those who stoop to such tactics.
I think the major complaint about the email comes from the phrase
a dishonest Lib-Dem and UKIP linked campaign against us
The campaign they refer to is that conducted by the Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society (HTHAS). HTHAS is not linked to any political party. Indeed if you look at the list of "Who we are" I doubt you'll find a paid up Lib Dem or UKIP member. I don't know, I haven't asked, but what I do know is that some of them are Labour party members. Perhaps it is a "dishonest Lib-Dem, Labour and UKIP campaign". For goodness sake, even our Labour Councillors are "Lib Dem linked".
And if there were a link to other political parties, grow up chaps, that's how politics works. Whether or not you agree with them, there are other political parties, and Labour does not have some special super power which enables it to determine which are good and which are bad, which you can speak to and which you can't. Perhaps we can expect a sermon on a mount, or some tablets of stone, with a few inviolable rules.
"Against us" - really is taking it very personally. HTHAS is for a free and open debate based on facts leading to a good outcome for the Town Hall. If it is against anything, that opposition will be based on evidence, certainly not personal animosity. Though perhaps personal animosity is what our Labour councillors are aiming for.
Defamation - to accuse a large group of people - in addition to the 11 people named on the HTHAS web site, the concept of the Appreciation Society extends to the 7,000+ who signed the petition - of dishonesty may very well one day require the accuser to prove that allegation in court. To show that those 11 people (7,011 people?) have lied. I don't think there is a shred of evidence of dishonesty from HTHAS - it might almost be enjoyable to have the day in court. On the other hand, and bear in mind that I'm not accusing any one of dishonesty, there are a number of facts that I'm still trying to verify in respect of the Haringey case, including that:
To all these questions (and more besides) I have either been told that the information is commercially sensitive, or subject to confidentiality agreements, or hasn't been determined, or the information which I have been given is not totally unambiguous. Which might all be true, but which does make it very difficult to get on board with the programme. Or to verify the facts.
Back to the email.
There are accusations in the email against two unnamed individuals. Pathetic. If they have accusations they should be explicit. The accusations are absurd and inaccurate.
A director of the Crouch End Festival is accused , by implication, of stoking racial tension, and of far right extremism. Bollocks. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
A former Lib Dem councillor is accused of being a former Lib Dem councillor. Well, yes, and he's not the only one. He is also accused of doing "little to address the issue of Hornsey Town Hall in his eight years as a councillor in Crouch End" If it's the chap I'm thinking of he was a councillor for 12 years and was a founder member of the Community Partnership Board, forerunner to the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust , to this day a supposedly public body in which the trio now set great store. He did a great deal to address the issue of Hornsey Town Hall, but was thwarted perhaps by an unco-operative Labour majority across the borough.
I could go on, but I'm not going to. I think the authors of this inaccurate, ill-judged, unreasonable, defamatory gutter attack on decent people should stand down from public office. But they won't.
just to finish off completely perhaps I could offer a Facebook style non-sequitur, apropos of absolutely nothing at all. A short film of two men and a woman making fools of themselves for public entertainment, dancing to a tune inspired from overseas, and a picture of a cute terrapin held transfixed in the palm of someone's hand.