After the obligatory sleepless night, here I am still trying to pack my bag for my trip to America; I rather need to buy a towel (since mine are all in the wash), but I’ll have to wait for the shops to open. I also might need to tell British Airways I’ve got a second “bag”, my sleeping bag, if I can’t fit it in to my main bag properly… and no, sitting on it won’t help!
Bah, so much to worry about, but at least it means I’m not worrying about the actual flight, and being in a small aluminium can a mile up in the air, with only a thin veneer of metal separating me from a long plunge into the… oh, sorry.
It’s been hectic lately on the local politics front: yesterday the odious (hopefully soon-to-be ex-) Barnet politician Brian Coleman pleaded guilty to assault on a local café owner, having insisted upon his innocence since the original incident last year. One wonders whether he knew he was going down either way, and was trying to curry favour with the judge by being the “sinner who repenteth”… too late, mate. Alas, he’s only been fined rather than imprisoned or — more appropriately — given community service (such as sweeping the pavement outside Café Buzz, perchance?), and it may seem like he’s “getting away with it” because he’s a member of the political class, but I won’t criticise the judge, he did what he could.
What’s really ludicrous is that she was photographing him parking illegally in a loading bay, and he used to be in charge of parking in Barnet (and introduced very unpopular changes which negatively affected the high street, apparently wanting to keep people without mobile phones away from our shops)! What’s even worse is, the local Tories only suspended him after pressure from Westminster, insisting he was innocent all along — but would a normal “pleb” be accorded such consideration from their masters if accused of a violent crime, or indeed anything at all? No, we’d get suspended or even fired so they could keep their hands clean.
Anyway, this will hopefully spell the end of his political career (he already lost his seat in the London Assembly, possibly due to being the only person there not to voluntarily publish his expenses — yes, that old chestnut!), and we’ll be rid of him. I certainly hope I won’t return from my holiday to discover more Bwian-welated events have twanspiwed…
(Come on, if it’s okay to make fun of Jonathan “Wossie” Ross for his rhotacism, when I think he’s all right (in spite of “Sachsgate”), then surely it’s okay to make fun of a horrible, horrible man who shames politics!)
In worse local court-related news, however, a legal challenge against my council’s “One Barnet” mass-privatisation scheme brought by a local woman, who believes that they didn’t consult her or other disabled people in the borough (or indeed, any of us proles) about the project, and that they shouldn’t be so eager to help private companies profit from essential services like social care without any kind of mandate from the electorate, sadly failed in court. But oh, here’s why: although the judge accepted that Barnet council hadn’t consulted us (and indeed berated them for this), he had to let it drop on a technicality, that it was “out of time”. However, since no-one in court could even agree on when the three-month time limit for the legal challenge began, she has leave to appeal this decision (and legal aid to boot!).
Naturally the leader of the council, Richard Cornelius (the guy who wouldn’t suspend Coleman until he had to, despite his previous bad behaviour), has implored her not to do so, because it will “waste” further money (presumably the social services company that needed a £2m. bail-out, when it was supposed to be turning a profit, wasted a different kind of money?). I reckon it’s actually because he knows that he and the other Barnet Tories will be voted out at the next election, and he wants to ensure that the 10-year contracts are in place before that happens, presumably because he and the other Barnet Tories will then be able to go through the revolving door between the political and business classes and take up cushy jobs in the companies they placed in power over Barnet.
Yeah, maybe there’s a less sinister explanation, but that Cornelius person always makes me cringe: he’s one of those politicians who always, always has a big smile on his face and sounds like he’s on the verge of laughing whenever he speaks to the cameras. Perhaps he thinks it’ll make him seem amiable and “one of us”, when in fact it makes him appear to be smugly lording it over us, and chuckling at our foolish attempts to hold him to account… like he thinks we’re uppity peasants whose opinions should be automatically discounted because we can’t possibly know what we’re talking about. He’s the kind of person who puts me off politics, because I fear becoming like him.
Anyway, that’s all the local politics I’ll write about for some time; aren’t you all relieved?
When the shops open, I’ll be buying some food for breakfast, and a towel, and continuing my efforts to pack. I still have some trepidation about this trip, but that’s probably just nausea resulting from getting almost no sleep, and having a dry mouth as a result (shades of January 2012, but at least this time it’s only for one night — oh, and look, I have some “travel sickness” pills left over from those days, and they haven’t gone off yet!).
I will also be phoning Trek America to see if I can buy a sleeping bag once I’m out there (possibly from them), and donate it to goodwill afterwards. Hey, the sleeping bag I have is probably too warm for the climate in California, Nevada and Arizona! And I frequently donate stuff to charity that wasn’t necessarily cheap: not only a mountain of stuff in January 2012, before moving (wish I’d thought to give them all our old plates and other kitchenware, instead of having to throw it all out in about a thousand black bin liners), but more recently things like an extraneous bedside chest of drawers that I’d wanted to sell.
But hopefully I won’t have to donate my body to medical science, at least until I’m actually done with it…
That’s about all I can write for now: this isn’t the end of my blog (not when I’ve still got so many promised entries to write!), and your humble narrator will return later in the month. I won’t be writing this on the road, due to my smartphone being all right for Facebook but not for editing a blog that’s unwieldy enough on a proper PC, and also because those of you who know me are my Facebook friends anyway, while the rest of you probably just think I’m some muppet who complains about insignificant things and constantly drones on about climbing, Gwar and American Dad!
So, for those of you who know me, check my Facebook updates. For the rest: later, dudes. And for all: be thankful that, at least for now (and, barring accidents, for the foreseeable future)…