Education Secretary Michael Gove visits Mill Hill County School

This Is Local London: Michael Gove sits in on a religious studies lesson Michael Gove sits in on a religious studies lesson

Education Secretary Michael Gove shared a joke with teachers and pupils when he visited a school this afternoon.

Mr Gove, along with Conservative MP Matthew Offord, took part in lessons at Mill Hill County School in Worcester Crescent.

He was given a quick tour of the school before sitting in on a GCSE French class, where he put his own language skills to the test.

Much to the delight of the pupils, he addressed their teacher in French and told her she was "marvellous".

The next lesson on the timetable was RE, where he listened in on pupils learning about Muslim culture.

After the tour, the Times Series quizzed him about school places in the borough. This year, the authority received 5,029 applications for primary school places and 92 per cent of pupils have received one of their top choice three schools.

He said: “More than half of the money we’ve put in for school places has gone to London – Barnet has received £55m of that.

“It’s there to allow our schools to expand.

“We know since 2003, we were living through a big increase in people applying for places and the previous government did not plan for this bulge in numbers.

Mr Gove also praised the free school provision, which allows parent and groups to set up schools, which will not be controlled by the local authority.

He added: “Without the free school provision, I don’t think we’d have been able to see as many places created.”

Mr Offord also explained how Barnet has created 7,852 places in the last five years.

Speaking about his experience at Mill Hill, Mr Gove added: “I loved it. I was invited here by Matthew, who said I’d love it and I have.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting children from all backgrounds here. I’m happy to have seen the school.”

Comments (33)

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8:04pm Fri 4 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

"Education Secretary Michael Gove shared a joke with teachers and pupils when he visited a school this afternoon."

I wonder whether the "joke" referred to was the mere presence of this highly unpopular Secretary of State? With a 106 vote Tory majority in this highly marginal constituency, Matthew Offord will need every iota of support and luck to remain an MP this time next year. Calling in Gove is an error in political calculus, since teachers, students and their parents will associate Offord with Gove -- not a particularly useful association!
"Education Secretary Michael Gove shared a joke with teachers and pupils when he visited a school this afternoon." I wonder whether the "joke" referred to was the mere presence of this highly unpopular Secretary of State? With a 106 vote Tory majority in this highly marginal constituency, Matthew Offord will need every iota of support and luck to remain an MP this time next year. Calling in Gove is an error in political calculus, since teachers, students and their parents will associate Offord with Gove -- not a particularly useful association! sensiblefellow
  • Score: 21

11:19pm Fri 4 Jul 14

aworrall says...

I think it's very commendable that 7,852 places have been created in Barnet in the last five years which is a testament to Mr Offord's term. £55 million is also a pretty impressive investment from the current government so I don't think Mr Offord will be at all worried about getting re-elected. I suspect it will be the tired, old, re-tread Mr Dismore with a history of expense claims hanging around his neck that needs all the luck.
I think it's very commendable that 7,852 places have been created in Barnet in the last five years which is a testament to Mr Offord's term. £55 million is also a pretty impressive investment from the current government so I don't think Mr Offord will be at all worried about getting re-elected. I suspect it will be the tired, old, re-tread Mr Dismore with a history of expense claims hanging around his neck that needs all the luck. aworrall
  • Score: -16

7:21am Sat 5 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

School places automatically expand with population increases, independently of the incumbent; there is nothing "commendable" about an automatic process! What is questionable is the nature of the expansion, namely free schools, something which an incoming Labour government will have to examine with great scrutiny. I would suggest to you that Offord is currently very worried about his life expectancy within the House of Commons. His aloof and out of touch approach to his constituents has not endeared himself to them. Andrew Dismore, on the other hand, has built his reputation on his hard work as an MP. As such, he has an ability to attract voters of all national political persuasions. In respect of shenanigans, the Tories would be best served by starting at home; Mayor Hugh Rayner's business interests are
currently being scrutinised, in respect of allegations that he acted illegally towards tenants living in the properties he owns. A Time Series poll states that 86 per cent of people think Barnet Mayor Hugh Rayner should resign.
School places automatically expand with population increases, independently of the incumbent; there is nothing "commendable" about an automatic process! What is questionable is the nature of the expansion, namely free schools, something which an incoming Labour government will have to examine with great scrutiny. I would suggest to you that Offord is currently very worried about his life expectancy within the House of Commons. His aloof and out of touch approach to his constituents has not endeared himself to them. Andrew Dismore, on the other hand, has built his reputation on his hard work as an MP. As such, he has an ability to attract voters of all national political persuasions. In respect of shenanigans, the Tories would be best served by starting at home; Mayor Hugh Rayner's business interests are currently being scrutinised, in respect of allegations that he acted illegally towards tenants living in the properties he owns. A Time Series poll states that 86 per cent of people think Barnet Mayor Hugh Rayner should resign. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 28

11:34am Sat 5 Jul 14

aworrall says...

If it's such an automatic process I wonder why the Education Secretary said “We know since 2003, we were living through a big increase in people applying for places and the previous government did not plan for this bulge in numbers" ? I think both Offord and Dismore are hard working which is what we should expect of our politicians but the difference between them is that Offord actually lives within the constituency so is very much in touch with his voters, has energy and can actually talk to people which is in stark contrast to the aged Dismore who is devoid of communication skills, just seems to play gesture politics and lives in W11 - that's what he thinks of the voters in his constituency! I think it's a disgrace that Dismore is also asking us to vote for him to have two jobs to fund his two houses. Aside from this, noone is going to vote for Ed Milliband who is a complete embarrassment to the Labour Party.
If it's such an automatic process I wonder why the Education Secretary said “We know since 2003, we were living through a big increase in people applying for places and the previous government did not plan for this bulge in numbers" ? I think both Offord and Dismore are hard working which is what we should expect of our politicians but the difference between them is that Offord actually lives within the constituency so is very much in touch with his voters, has energy and can actually talk to people which is in stark contrast to the aged Dismore who is devoid of communication skills, just seems to play gesture politics and lives in W11 - that's what he thinks of the voters in his constituency! I think it's a disgrace that Dismore is also asking us to vote for him to have two jobs to fund his two houses. Aside from this, noone is going to vote for Ed Milliband who is a complete embarrassment to the Labour Party. aworrall
  • Score: -15

11:57am Sat 5 Jul 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Hard working, energetic Offord, who is 'very much in touch with his voters'? Erm? The MP who hid in a church hall from a group of his own constituents not so long ago, and then insisted on being taken away in the back of a police van, rather than talk to them?

This rather cockeyed attempt to smear Andrew Dismore is idiotic: the truth is, as even his opponents admit - he works **** hard for constituents, and the constituency - for the people who are always overlooked by our Tory representatives, the people who don't live in mansions, or the nice parts of this borough, and whose children have no chance of getting into the nice middle class selective schools, or those with catchment areas restricted to the more affluent areas.

As with so many other things in this borough, there is a sharp contrast between the good schools here, for a favoured minority of pupils - many of them out of borough - and too many awful schools for the rest.

Gove and his party are set on a reckless policy which puts ideology before the best interests of children: what we need are good schools for everyone, run efficiently in a cohesive and accountable system, not a proliferation of amateur academies and failing free schools.
Hard working, energetic Offord, who is 'very much in touch with his voters'? Erm? The MP who hid in a church hall from a group of his own constituents not so long ago, and then insisted on being taken away in the back of a police van, rather than talk to them? This rather cockeyed attempt to smear Andrew Dismore is idiotic: the truth is, as even his opponents admit - he works **** hard for constituents, and the constituency - for the people who are always overlooked by our Tory representatives, the people who don't live in mansions, or the nice parts of this borough, and whose children have no chance of getting into the nice middle class selective schools, or those with catchment areas restricted to the more affluent areas. As with so many other things in this borough, there is a sharp contrast between the good schools here, for a favoured minority of pupils - many of them out of borough - and too many awful schools for the rest. Gove and his party are set on a reckless policy which puts ideology before the best interests of children: what we need are good schools for everyone, run efficiently in a cohesive and accountable system, not a proliferation of amateur academies and failing free schools. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 19

12:36pm Sat 5 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed by Mrs Angry. Offord's overly defensive behaviour is laughable and he has a much publicised tendency to resort to calling the police in to "protect" him from his very own constituents! (no doubt, the police themselves must be feeling irritated by this tendency). Of course, aworrall, feel free continue to back Offord if you wish; Paddypower and Ladbrokes are currently giving excellent long odds on Offord, so if he wins you will be in the money (2/9 and 1/4 for Dismore, 11/4 and 11/4 for Offord).
I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed by Mrs Angry. Offord's overly defensive behaviour is laughable and he has a much publicised tendency to resort to calling the police in to "protect" him from his very own constituents! (no doubt, the police themselves must be feeling irritated by this tendency). Of course, aworrall, feel free continue to back Offord if you wish; Paddypower and Ladbrokes are currently giving excellent long odds on Offord, so if he wins you will be in the money (2/9 and 1/4 for Dismore, 11/4 and 11/4 for Offord). sensiblefellow
  • Score: 15

12:49pm Sat 5 Jul 14

aworrall says...

Ah yes the church hall where Labour activist behaviour resulted in the police being called in and an arrest made. Wasn't Cllr Negus Narenthira also escorted out of the hall by police?! Weren't most of the rabble either from Camden or Dismore's office? I think you will find it was Labour wasting police time - soft on crime and part of the problem.
Ah yes the church hall where Labour activist behaviour resulted in the police being called in and an arrest made. Wasn't Cllr Negus Narenthira also escorted out of the hall by police?! Weren't most of the rabble either from Camden or Dismore's office? I think you will find it was Labour wasting police time - soft on crime and part of the problem. aworrall
  • Score: -18

2:03pm Sat 5 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

aworrall wrote:
Ah yes the church hall where Labour activist behaviour resulted in the police being called in and an arrest made. Wasn't Cllr Negus Narenthira also escorted out of the hall by police?! Weren't most of the rabble either from Camden or Dismore's office? I think you will find it was Labour wasting police time - soft on crime and part of the problem.
The vast majority of the people in attendance were residents, old and young (children included) protesting at the lack of affordable housing. Offord, true to type, was too frightened to address the concerns of his residents and used a police vehicle to escape from his constituents! The fact that you are insinuating that Labour is criminal is crass to say the least.
[quote][p][bold]aworrall[/bold] wrote: Ah yes the church hall where Labour activist behaviour resulted in the police being called in and an arrest made. Wasn't Cllr Negus Narenthira also escorted out of the hall by police?! Weren't most of the rabble either from Camden or Dismore's office? I think you will find it was Labour wasting police time - soft on crime and part of the problem.[/p][/quote]The vast majority of the people in attendance were residents, old and young (children included) protesting at the lack of affordable housing. Offord, true to type, was too frightened to address the concerns of his residents and used a police vehicle to escape from his constituents! The fact that you are insinuating that Labour is criminal is crass to say the least. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 21

4:44pm Sat 5 Jul 14

aworrall says...

Mr Offord doesn't strike me as a frightened man - I think it's Labour that are well and truly frightened - employment up, economy recovering, crime down and not hampered by a weak, wierd leader.
Mr Offord doesn't strike me as a frightened man - I think it's Labour that are well and truly frightened - employment up, economy recovering, crime down and not hampered by a weak, wierd leader. aworrall
  • Score: -12

5:14pm Sat 5 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

aworrall wrote:
Mr Offord doesn't strike me as a frightened man - I think it's Labour that are well and truly frightened - employment up, economy recovering, crime down and not hampered by a weak, wierd leader.
"Employment up" -- ermm, via zero hours contracts!

"Economy recovering" -- a rather lacklustre GDP growth rate, and an underlying worsening of the income distribution. Nothing to write home about.

"Crime down" -- anecdotal evidence in Offord's constituency would point to the contrary. Moreover, the assertion that "crime is down" depends on how you are defining crime.

"Weak, wierd (sp)" -- actually, a pretty decisive leader. I would rather have a less than telegenic leader with great policies than vice versa.
[quote][p][bold]aworrall[/bold] wrote: Mr Offord doesn't strike me as a frightened man - I think it's Labour that are well and truly frightened - employment up, economy recovering, crime down and not hampered by a weak, wierd leader.[/p][/quote]"Employment up" -- ermm, via zero hours contracts! "Economy recovering" -- a rather lacklustre GDP growth rate, and an underlying worsening of the income distribution. Nothing to write home about. "Crime down" -- anecdotal evidence in Offord's constituency would point to the contrary. Moreover, the assertion that "crime is down" depends on how you are defining crime. "Weak, wierd (sp)" -- actually, a pretty decisive leader. I would rather have a less than telegenic leader with great policies than vice versa. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 19

9:00am Sun 6 Jul 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

"Michael Gove shared a joke".

Michael Gove is a joke — or at least he would be if his dangerous ideas weren't being put into practice.
"Michael Gove shared a joke". Michael Gove is a joke — or at least he would be if his dangerous ideas weren't being put into practice. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 6

9:42am Sun 6 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

Indeed, Edgar, Mr Gove has a lot to offer to the education profession. Just as much, in fact, that Offord has to offer to his Hendon Constituency. Gove has written a most excellent tome, which I strongly recommend. It's called "Everything I know about teaching" and is available for purchase from your favourite online bookshop :)
Indeed, Edgar, Mr Gove has a lot to offer to the education profession. Just as much, in fact, that Offord has to offer to his Hendon Constituency. Gove has written a most excellent tome, which I strongly recommend. It's called "Everything I know about teaching" and is available for purchase from your favourite online bookshop :) sensiblefellow
  • Score: 16

11:20am Sun 6 Jul 14

aworrall says...

sensiblefellow, is that the best you can come up with - oh dear, Labour are really desperate.
sensiblefellow, is that the best you can come up with - oh dear, Labour are really desperate. aworrall
  • Score: -18

4:27pm Mon 7 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

One thing's for sure, - it will be a mighty c*ck-up by the Labour party if Dismore doesn't win. After 5 years of making tough decisions and putting the economy back together, history shows us that the public will give Labour another chance to spend all our money again. It's just the nature of the political cycle. That is why it was such a monumental failure for Labour not to take Branet Council in May. It was the best chance they will have for a long time.

Can't believe that Dismore doesn't even live in his constituency though! That is a scandal. I met him once and said hello but he just sort of shuffled away like a frightened child. A very odd man indeed.

If he does lose to Offord, it will be because of his strange personality, home outside the costituency and part in the expenses scandal (which the public will not forget).
One thing's for sure, - it will be a mighty c*ck-up by the Labour party if Dismore doesn't win. After 5 years of making tough decisions and putting the economy back together, history shows us that the public will give Labour another chance to spend all our money again. It's just the nature of the political cycle. That is why it was such a monumental failure for Labour not to take Branet Council in May. It was the best chance they will have for a long time. Can't believe that Dismore doesn't even live in his constituency though! That is a scandal. I met him once and said hello but he just sort of shuffled away like a frightened child. A very odd man indeed. If he does lose to Offord, it will be because of his strange personality, home outside the costituency and part in the expenses scandal (which the public will not forget). AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -9

9:29pm Mon 7 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

AverageBarnetResiden
t
wrote:
One thing's for sure, - it will be a mighty c*ck-up by the Labour party if Dismore doesn't win. After 5 years of making tough decisions and putting the economy back together, history shows us that the public will give Labour another chance to spend all our money again. It's just the nature of the political cycle. That is why it was such a monumental failure for Labour not to take Branet Council in May. It was the best chance they will have for a long time.

Can't believe that Dismore doesn't even live in his constituency though! That is a scandal. I met him once and said hello but he just sort of shuffled away like a frightened child. A very odd man indeed.

If he does lose to Offord, it will be because of his strange personality, home outside the costituency and part in the expenses scandal (which the public will not forget).
ABR, I agree with some of what you say. Both parties, subsequent to the 2008 global financial crisis, have agreed on the need for some kind of fiscal consolidation; the key difference is not on the necessity of the austerity measures, but on the manner of deficit reduction (the Tories have taken a blatantly ideological line with respect to the reduction of the state). Barnet council was indeed a close call, with Labour doing better than they had ever done before. Labour rightly rejected the pairing proposal by Richard Cornelius, which the Tories had attempted to sweeten with allowance bribes. As a result, all Tory councillors will have to be present whenever they seek to pass legislation; in this respect, Labour has scored some points. I look forward to the electorate's 2015 decision on the relative efficacy of Offord vs Dismore. I have every confidence that the individual who has done the most for the Hendon constituency will win the day.
[quote][p][bold]AverageBarnetResiden t[/bold] wrote: One thing's for sure, - it will be a mighty c*ck-up by the Labour party if Dismore doesn't win. After 5 years of making tough decisions and putting the economy back together, history shows us that the public will give Labour another chance to spend all our money again. It's just the nature of the political cycle. That is why it was such a monumental failure for Labour not to take Branet Council in May. It was the best chance they will have for a long time. Can't believe that Dismore doesn't even live in his constituency though! That is a scandal. I met him once and said hello but he just sort of shuffled away like a frightened child. A very odd man indeed. If he does lose to Offord, it will be because of his strange personality, home outside the costituency and part in the expenses scandal (which the public will not forget).[/p][/quote]ABR, I agree with some of what you say. Both parties, subsequent to the 2008 global financial crisis, have agreed on the need for some kind of fiscal consolidation; the key difference is not on the necessity of the austerity measures, but on the manner of deficit reduction (the Tories have taken a blatantly ideological line with respect to the reduction of the state). Barnet council was indeed a close call, with Labour doing better than they had ever done before. Labour rightly rejected the pairing proposal by Richard Cornelius, which the Tories had attempted to sweeten with allowance bribes. As a result, all Tory councillors will have to be present whenever they seek to pass legislation; in this respect, Labour has scored some points. I look forward to the electorate's 2015 decision on the relative efficacy of Offord vs Dismore. I have every confidence that the individual who has done the most for the Hendon constituency will win the day. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 11

10:49pm Mon 7 Jul 14

aworrall says...

The public will not allow Labour back in to mess up the economy again so soon when, whilst on the right track, we still have a long way to go - history has shown this. People certainly don't want a wierd, frightened shuffler who doesn't even live in the constituency to represent their interests.
The public will not allow Labour back in to mess up the economy again so soon when, whilst on the right track, we still have a long way to go - history has shown this. People certainly don't want a wierd, frightened shuffler who doesn't even live in the constituency to represent their interests. aworrall
  • Score: -6

11:25am Tue 8 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Well Offord would be my choice, but I think Dismore will get in due to the country’s position in the political cycle.

I don’t fully understand the “pairing” concept that the tories suggested actually. Could someone explain?

I’m not sure that the tories’ fiscal strategy can be described as “blatantly ideological” but, even if that were true, I guess that’s what 10m people voted for. You know what you get when you vote conservative/labour so you can’t be surprised. I may be naturally inclined towards the right, but it seems to me that a substantial reduction of the labour’s state apparatus was long overdue!
Well Offord would be my choice, but I think Dismore will get in due to the country’s position in the political cycle. I don’t fully understand the “pairing” concept that the tories suggested actually. Could someone explain? I’m not sure that the tories’ fiscal strategy can be described as “blatantly ideological” but, even if that were true, I guess that’s what 10m people voted for. You know what you get when you vote conservative/labour so you can’t be surprised. I may be naturally inclined towards the right, but it seems to me that a substantial reduction of the labour’s state apparatus was long overdue! AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Tue 8 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

AverageBarnetResiden
t
wrote:
Well Offord would be my choice, but I think Dismore will get in due to the country’s position in the political cycle.

I don’t fully understand the “pairing” concept that the tories suggested actually. Could someone explain?

I’m not sure that the tories’ fiscal strategy can be described as “blatantly ideological” but, even if that were true, I guess that’s what 10m people voted for. You know what you get when you vote conservative/labour so you can’t be surprised. I may be naturally inclined towards the right, but it seems to me that a substantial reduction of the labour’s state apparatus was long overdue!
ABR, thank you for your reply. The pairing concept relates to Richard Cornelius' suggestion that, in the event of a Tory or Labour councillor being absent, one councillor from the opposing party would stand down. The pairing concept was proposed to Labour councillors, alongside an enhanced allowance and was rightly turned down. The Tories have a greater propensity (historically) than Labour to absent themselves from Barnet Council meetings, so all the pairing arrangement would do would be to conserve a Tory majority whilst allowing for Tory absenteeism.

My comment about blatant ideology relates to direct and indirect forms of privatisation and deregulation of the public sector. It is my strongly held view that certain services are sacrosanct (education and health in particular) and should be protected from any notion of the profit motive.

Dismore will win, but I differ from you as to the reason why. If anything, the national political cycle would favour the incumbent at this point in time. Dismore will win since he is able to attract constituents from across the political spectrum. He has a strong record of extremely hard work which stands in stark contrast to Offord, who is able to offer little more than sound bites to his constituents.
[quote][p][bold]AverageBarnetResiden t[/bold] wrote: Well Offord would be my choice, but I think Dismore will get in due to the country’s position in the political cycle. I don’t fully understand the “pairing” concept that the tories suggested actually. Could someone explain? I’m not sure that the tories’ fiscal strategy can be described as “blatantly ideological” but, even if that were true, I guess that’s what 10m people voted for. You know what you get when you vote conservative/labour so you can’t be surprised. I may be naturally inclined towards the right, but it seems to me that a substantial reduction of the labour’s state apparatus was long overdue![/p][/quote]ABR, thank you for your reply. The pairing concept relates to Richard Cornelius' suggestion that, in the event of a Tory or Labour councillor being absent, one councillor from the opposing party would stand down. The pairing concept was proposed to Labour councillors, alongside an enhanced allowance and was rightly turned down. The Tories have a greater propensity (historically) than Labour to absent themselves from Barnet Council meetings, so all the pairing arrangement would do would be to conserve a Tory majority whilst allowing for Tory absenteeism. My comment about blatant ideology relates to direct and indirect forms of privatisation and deregulation of the public sector. It is my strongly held view that certain services are sacrosanct (education and health in particular) and should be protected from any notion of the profit motive. Dismore will win, but I differ from you as to the reason why. If anything, the national political cycle would favour the incumbent at this point in time. Dismore will win since he is able to attract constituents from across the political spectrum. He has a strong record of extremely hard work which stands in stark contrast to Offord, who is able to offer little more than sound bites to his constituents. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 9

2:15pm Wed 9 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Well that pairing concept sounds like a silly idea to me. Not surprised that Labour didn’t bite.

I understand your ideological aversion to any element of profit-making in the health/education sectors, but personally I am quite happy to see elements of commercial enterprise introduced into public services, particularly where it can help to rejuvenate under-performing services and bring a bit of dynamism back into service delivery. I’m often concerned by the left wing’s propensity to write off new ideas purely on the basis of political ideology.

I can’t comment on how hard-working Dismore/Offord are, but I do think it would be a shame to elect a man who doesn’t even live in the constituency. I’ll stick with Offord for that reason alone.
Well that pairing concept sounds like a silly idea to me. Not surprised that Labour didn’t bite. I understand your ideological aversion to any element of profit-making in the health/education sectors, but personally I am quite happy to see elements of commercial enterprise introduced into public services, particularly where it can help to rejuvenate under-performing services and bring a bit of dynamism back into service delivery. I’m often concerned by the left wing’s propensity to write off new ideas purely on the basis of political ideology. I can’t comment on how hard-working Dismore/Offord are, but I do think it would be a shame to elect a man who doesn’t even live in the constituency. I’ll stick with Offord for that reason alone. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Wed 9 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

AverageBarnetResiden
t
wrote:
Well that pairing concept sounds like a silly idea to me. Not surprised that Labour didn’t bite.

I understand your ideological aversion to any element of profit-making in the health/education sectors, but personally I am quite happy to see elements of commercial enterprise introduced into public services, particularly where it can help to rejuvenate under-performing services and bring a bit of dynamism back into service delivery. I’m often concerned by the left wing’s propensity to write off new ideas purely on the basis of political ideology.

I can’t comment on how hard-working Dismore/Offord are, but I do think it would be a shame to elect a man who doesn’t even live in the constituency. I’ll stick with Offord for that reason alone.
Thank you for your reply, ABR. If living in the constituency is the only obstacle to you voting for Andrew Dismore, then I would like to invite you to support Dismore in 2015. He lives in his Burnt Oak property frequently enough to be regarded as firmly part of the Hendon Constituency.
[quote][p][bold]AverageBarnetResiden t[/bold] wrote: Well that pairing concept sounds like a silly idea to me. Not surprised that Labour didn’t bite. I understand your ideological aversion to any element of profit-making in the health/education sectors, but personally I am quite happy to see elements of commercial enterprise introduced into public services, particularly where it can help to rejuvenate under-performing services and bring a bit of dynamism back into service delivery. I’m often concerned by the left wing’s propensity to write off new ideas purely on the basis of political ideology. I can’t comment on how hard-working Dismore/Offord are, but I do think it would be a shame to elect a man who doesn’t even live in the constituency. I’ll stick with Offord for that reason alone.[/p][/quote]Thank you for your reply, ABR. If living in the constituency is the only obstacle to you voting for Andrew Dismore, then I would like to invite you to support Dismore in 2015. He lives in his Burnt Oak property frequently enough to be regarded as firmly part of the Hendon Constituency. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 7

11:29am Thu 10 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

ABR, with reference to your previous post and with the utmost of respect, I would ask you to consider the better of these two scenarios:
a) an ineffectual MP who lives in the heart of his/her constituency
b) a highly effective MP who lives outside of his/her constituency

None of the above applies to Dismore, but I would suggest to you that one of the above applies to Offord.
ABR, with reference to your previous post and with the utmost of respect, I would ask you to consider the better of these two scenarios: a) an ineffectual MP who lives in the heart of his/her constituency b) a highly effective MP who lives outside of his/her constituency None of the above applies to Dismore, but I would suggest to you that one of the above applies to Offord. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 5

4:54pm Thu 10 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Of course, neither of these examples would be worthy of my vote.

However, I don't think either Dismore or Offord can be fairly described as "ineffectual". The word is simply too absolute to reflect reality. I realise that you don't like Offord, and consider Dismore the superior choice. I would be similarly inclined towards Offord. But I'm grown up enough to acknowledge that both men surely have their strengths.

And for what it’s worth, Dismore’s visiting the constituency just occassionally enough to qualify as a “resident” for electoral purposes is not going to cut the mustard for me, I’m afraid.
Of course, neither of these examples would be worthy of my vote. However, I don't think either Dismore or Offord can be fairly described as "ineffectual". The word is simply too absolute to reflect reality. I realise that you don't like Offord, and consider Dismore the superior choice. I would be similarly inclined towards Offord. But I'm grown up enough to acknowledge that both men surely have their strengths. And for what it’s worth, Dismore’s visiting the constituency just occassionally enough to qualify as a “resident” for electoral purposes is not going to cut the mustard for me, I’m afraid. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -4

5:50pm Thu 10 Jul 14

aworrall says...

To call Offord "ineffectual" is totally absurd - Offord is an extremely hard working MP who doesn't play gesture politics and hasn't just focused attentions on certain groups, unlike his predecessor who alienated many. You either live in the constituency or you don't - calling in at Burnt Oak when it suits Dismore does not even vaguely represent living with and among constituents. He has snubbed them to live in Notting Hill in his tax-payer funded home where his wife lives. That's what he really thinks about the voters of Hendon.
To call Offord "ineffectual" is totally absurd - Offord is an extremely hard working MP who doesn't play gesture politics and hasn't just focused attentions on certain groups, unlike his predecessor who alienated many. You either live in the constituency or you don't - calling in at Burnt Oak when it suits Dismore does not even vaguely represent living with and among constituents. He has snubbed them to live in Notting Hill in his tax-payer funded home where his wife lives. That's what he really thinks about the voters of Hendon. aworrall
  • Score: -5

6:36pm Thu 10 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

"To call Offord "ineffectual" is totally absurd - Offord is an extremely hard working MP who doesn't play gesture politics and hasn't just focused attentions on certain groups, unlike his predecessor who alienated many. "

We will let the electorate be the judge of that. Viva democracy!
"To call Offord "ineffectual" is totally absurd - Offord is an extremely hard working MP who doesn't play gesture politics and hasn't just focused attentions on certain groups, unlike his predecessor who alienated many. " We will let the electorate be the judge of that. Viva democracy! sensiblefellow
  • Score: 2

6:52pm Thu 10 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

"Offord is an extremely hard working MP who doesn't play gesture politics and hasn't just focused attentions on certain groups, unlike his predecessor who alienated many. "

I would contend that that complete reverse is true.

But what matters is not what hardened bloggers think, but what the electorate of the Hendon Constituency believe, having had exposure to both Dismore and Offord, come 2015. I have every confidence in the Hendon constituency's ability to compare, contrast and then vote.
"Offord is an extremely hard working MP who doesn't play gesture politics and hasn't just focused attentions on certain groups, unlike his predecessor who alienated many. " I would contend that that complete reverse is true. But what matters is not what hardened bloggers think, but what the electorate of the Hendon Constituency believe, having had exposure to both Dismore and Offord, come 2015. I have every confidence in the Hendon constituency's ability to compare, contrast and then vote. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 7

1:48pm Fri 11 Jul 14

James NW7 says...

Offord has spent too long ignoring the majority here in the Hendon constituency and has had too much coverage of his bizarre views on his dog's "human rights" and his anti-gay marriage agenda inspired no doubt by his close association with the deeply Orthodox Benjamin Perl.

Now hardly a week passes without Offord bringing down a parade of cabinet ministers to Mill Hill but that won't be enough for him to keep his seat.

Every rude email, every photo opportunity with his dog and his general contempt for the majority of people in Hendon will count against him when it comes to the May 2015 General Election.

Offord will no doubt have a future in Parliament, however he is an MP more suited to the Tory Shires rather than the vibrant multi-cultured community here in Hendon. I predict a quick transfer post 2015 up to a nice safe farming constituency where Offord's brand of homespun nonsense will go down like a dose of warm syrup.
Offord has spent too long ignoring the majority here in the Hendon constituency and has had too much coverage of his bizarre views on his dog's "human rights" and his anti-gay marriage agenda inspired no doubt by his close association with the deeply Orthodox Benjamin Perl. Now hardly a week passes without Offord bringing down a parade of cabinet ministers to Mill Hill but that won't be enough for him to keep his seat. Every rude email, every photo opportunity with his dog and his general contempt for the majority of people in Hendon will count against him when it comes to the May 2015 General Election. Offord will no doubt have a future in Parliament, however he is an MP more suited to the Tory Shires rather than the vibrant multi-cultured community here in Hendon. I predict a quick transfer post 2015 up to a nice safe farming constituency where Offord's brand of homespun nonsense will go down like a dose of warm syrup. James NW7
  • Score: 6

5:46pm Fri 11 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

Touché.
Touché. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 0

10:14pm Fri 11 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

James, I commend you for your forthright post. All I will do is back you up on a couple of issues:
1) Offord has alienated his neighbouring Tory MP, Mike Freer, on Offord's ludicrous and medieval position on gay marriage. I defer to "google" for substantiation of this point. Moreover, a sure fire way to alienate the progressive youth of Hendon (39% of the constituency is 16-34 years of age) is to adopt such a backwards attitude, which flies in the face of 21st century thinking.
2) Offord has completely ignored the vibrant, multicultural composition of his constituency. Hendon is not, as you rightly allude to, a 100% white, inward-looking Tory shire. Latest demographic data states that the constituency is 40% non-white. Offord's approach and attitudes would, as you correctly indicate, be better received in a Tory shire. On religion, Hendon is 7.9% Hindu, 17% Jewish, and 13.9% Muslim. Therein lies some food for thought for Offord, too.
James, I commend you for your forthright post. All I will do is back you up on a couple of issues: 1) Offord has alienated his neighbouring Tory MP, Mike Freer, on Offord's ludicrous and medieval position on gay marriage. I defer to "google" for substantiation of this point. Moreover, a sure fire way to alienate the progressive youth of Hendon (39% of the constituency is 16-34 years of age) is to adopt such a backwards attitude, which flies in the face of 21st century thinking. 2) Offord has completely ignored the vibrant, multicultural composition of his constituency. Hendon is not, as you rightly allude to, a 100% white, inward-looking Tory shire. Latest demographic data states that the constituency is 40% non-white. Offord's approach and attitudes would, as you correctly indicate, be better received in a Tory shire. On religion, Hendon is 7.9% Hindu, 17% Jewish, and 13.9% Muslim. Therein lies some food for thought for Offord, too. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 7

10:18pm Fri 11 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

I would add that the 40% figure and the statistics on religion are not referring to the same data set, although they coincidently summate to a similar total.
I would add that the 40% figure and the statistics on religion are not referring to the same data set, although they coincidently summate to a similar total. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 1

12:24am Sun 13 Jul 14

aworrall says...

Hilarious, Labour are running so scared...... Dog,human rights, Benjamin Pearl and Mike Freer - is that all you can come up with against Offord? I have no idea what some of it refers to but sounds pretty random and desperate. I think you will find it's the dull wierd shuffler Mr Dismore, who has ignored the constituency, mainly by not even living in it! I am less than an expert on the percentages which you seem to be but aren't there a few other communities you have missed which Mr Dismore also shows no interest in? Perhaps it's because he's like Ed, wierd looking and wierd sounding. Still, I am sure his old flat cap will cut the vibrancy
mustard in such a vibrant constituency. We can always also rely on him being so youthful to do two jobs at once - after all 60 is the new 50!
Hilarious, Labour are running so scared...... Dog,human rights, Benjamin Pearl and Mike Freer - is that all you can come up with against Offord? I have no idea what some of it refers to but sounds pretty random and desperate. I think you will find it's the dull wierd shuffler Mr Dismore, who has ignored the constituency, mainly by not even living in it! I am less than an expert on the percentages which you seem to be but aren't there a few other communities you have missed which Mr Dismore also shows no interest in? Perhaps it's because he's like Ed, wierd looking and wierd sounding. Still, I am sure his old flat cap will cut the vibrancy mustard in such a vibrant constituency. We can always also rely on him being so youthful to do two jobs at once - after all 60 is the new 50! aworrall
  • Score: -4

12:30am Sun 13 Jul 14

aworrall says...

I wonder if the "progressive youth of Hendon" which seem to represent
such a big percentage are in to flat caps in Notting Hill - maybe its the new look.
I wonder if the "progressive youth of Hendon" which seem to represent such a big percentage are in to flat caps in Notting Hill - maybe its the new look. aworrall
  • Score: -3

7:03pm Tue 15 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

Even Cameron has seen sense, and has today removed his unpopular, incompetent and ideologically fixated, buffoon of an education secretary. By choosing to ship Gove into the Hendon Constituency, Offord is now associated with a failed education secretary who has been demoted to the position of chief whip.

They key question remains, "will the BBC take the Offord back post-May 2015?" Or will the Doctor be shipped off to a Tory shire, to finally be able to make use of his PhD on the changing landscape of rural local government?!

Gove down, Offord to go.
Even Cameron has seen sense, and has today removed his unpopular, incompetent and ideologically fixated, buffoon of an education secretary. By choosing to ship Gove into the Hendon Constituency, Offord is now associated with a failed education secretary who has been demoted to the position of chief whip. They key question remains, "will the BBC take the Offord back post-May 2015?" Or will the Doctor be shipped off to a Tory shire, to finally be able to make use of his PhD on the changing landscape of rural local government?! Gove down, Offord to go. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 4

8:16pm Tue 15 Jul 14

aworrall says...

At least Offord lives in his constituency whatever Shire that is unlike the retread fossil who must be drawing his pension soon. What PhD did the fossil get? It can't be in social etiquette or communication skills - oh I've got it, it must have been in the history of flat caps and scarves. Offord might be associated with a failed education minister as you call it but all Dismore will ever be associated and remembered for is his grubby little fingers in the public purse.
At least Offord lives in his constituency whatever Shire that is unlike the retread fossil who must be drawing his pension soon. What PhD did the fossil get? It can't be in social etiquette or communication skills - oh I've got it, it must have been in the history of flat caps and scarves. Offord might be associated with a failed education minister as you call it but all Dismore will ever be associated and remembered for is his grubby little fingers in the public purse. aworrall
  • Score: -3
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