Tuesday, 20 August 2013

** Updated ** Ex Councillor Dan Hope and the Conservative Party - A clarification and correction

I have been contacted by a senior Barnet Conservative Councillor, who has asked to remain anonymous, asking me to make a clarification regarding a blog I posted earlier this week. In the post entitled "

Barnet Tories are on a charm offensive

I implied that the blatherings of Ex Brunswick Park Tory Councillor Daniel Hope and his blog "The Barnet Bugle" are part of the official Barnet Conservative Party PR machine. The Councillor, who knows Mr Hope very well, points out that the Barnet Bugle is not an official Conservative publication. He furthermore points out that many of the blogs contained are rather dismissive of various senior members of the Barnet Conservative family. He suggests that it should be clear to anyone that such a person would not be commissioned by the party to represent their views. He draws my attention specifically to the month of October 2011 (http://www.barnetbugle.com/journal/month/october-2011). The three blogs that month criticised Finchley MP Mike Freer for not being anti European enough, implying Freer was sucking up to the Prime Minister. The next blog, rather strangely given the attack on Freer, attacks Hendon MP Matthew Offord for not supporting the Prime Minister and being ungrateful for David Camerons support at the election. The third blog that month attacked the then GLA representative for Barnet, Brian Coleman. Mr Hope predicted that if Coleman put his foot in it again, he would be deselected as candidate for the 2012 election. This was clearly wishful thinking, as was his predictions that the only thing which would save Coleman was the fact Labour are useless. In fact Labour won by ove 20,000 votes.

The email also reminded me that Daniel Hope was deselected as a candidate for the Tories in Brunswick Park ward before the 2006 council election. It was suggested that Mr Hope found it impossible to work as a team (the Barnet Eye is still unclear as to the circumstances surrounding this). Following his deselection Mr Hope has left many unpleasant messages on the various sites concerning Councillor Andreas Tambourides, who he blames for his deselection. As Mr Tambourides is well respected in Barnet Conservative circles and is a senior officer in the party, it has been suggested that he is most unlikely to want to work with Mr Hope.

In light of this email, The Barnet Eye wishes to apologise to the Barnet Conservative Party for implying that the blatherings of the Barnet Bugle are associated with them. We accept that he is a marginal figure in the organisation and his antics, views and comments do not represent them.

Please note it is the official policy of the Barnet Eye to correct inaccuracies if pointed out and apologise where necessary.

******* Updated  21/08/2013 12:18 *******
Dan Hope at the Barnet Bigle has responded on his blog to the above statement. It seems Mr Hope has rather missed the point, but hey ho. Anyway if you are interested in what he has to say, please click here.


The Barnet Eye rather suspects that the motivation for such a statement is purely to generate a few hits on his little read blog. He clearly realises that The Barnet Eye links to any such article and with our large readership, he gets a big boost.

Anyway, whilst we could go through Mr Hope's rather strange comments line by line, we feel that it is unneccessary. We do however have a few observations.

The first is that we find it odd that Mr Hope needs to complain that we have issued a correction. He spends much time blathering about the inaccuracy that he have taken the trouble to correct (the fact that his blog is not an official Tory publication). Mr Hope claims that he was never deselected as a Tory Council candidate in Brunswick Park. I would be most interested to hear whether Mr Hope believes he took the decision to move from the Safe Brunswick Park seat to the one in which he stood, which was unwinnable?

Mr Hope clearly cannot see the irony of his following statement, in regards to our statement that Mr Hope has problems with teamwork "Well Mr Tichbourne if you are so unsure as to what you are talking about, why publish it then? Mr Hope does recall big problems with Ms Hillan and Mr Tambourides with teamwork. Whilst he was Chief Whip of a group with no majority both of his ward colleagues were plotting to remove the elected Leader of the Conservative Group was successfully campaigning for a Conservative victory. He suggests you take your comments back to your 'anonymous' source for clarification." At Mr Hope's suggestion, I went back to the source with this comment. His response was that it was odd how Lynne Hillan & Andreas Tambourides could work well enough with each other. He also points out that as chief whip, Mr Hope oversaw an extremely unhappy period for the Barnet Conservatives, which ended with a leadership challenge and many rebellious councillors. My source wryly comments that party discipline has been better since 2006, despite huge challenges. Mr Hope also misses the irony in our statement that Mr Tambourides is well respected in Barnet Conservative circles. Whilst to Mr Hope this may seem lavish praise, most readers will realise that this is perhaps not a massive compliment in this publication.

Mr Hope also claims that Mr Tambourides has no infliuence and is not an officer in the Barnet Conservative party in his blog, but yesterday on twitter stated

Finally Mr Hope claims that the Barnet Eye has acted like a troll towards Mr Tambourides. He lists several blogs where Mr Tambourides is mentioned. Rather ironically, Mr Hope fails to mention his own comments on several of these blogs, which are less than complimentary about Mr Tambourides. Mr Hope claims that the Barnet Eye "ruthlessly trolls" against Mr Tambourides. Strangely enough, the evidence Mr Hope gives for ruthless campaign includes no blogs this year, only two last year. Not what I would call the most ruthless campaign. Interestingly Mr Hope has not even managed to put the correct links up on his blogs to the relevant articles.

I will leave the final word about Mr Hope to Councillor Tambourides. Whilst I have only ever spoken to him twice, he has never made a single complaint about anything the Barnet Eye. In fact the last time we spoke, he simply said "I'd advise you to be careful with Daniel Hope, he causes trouble".

******* Updated  21/08/2013 14:22 *******
With delicious irony, Mr Hope has added some rather amusing comments to his blog. This one is especially amusing

UPDATE 21 August: Mr Tichborne has updated his article. Despite being unable to answer the series of errors and nonsense in his orginal article and arguing he has an 'accuracy' policy he has not corrected a single word. In fact the update that he has continues to peddle anonymous gossip.

What makes this so deliciously ironic is that the Mr Hope has put up another post on his blog today, doubtless to capitalise on all the extra hits he's getting. What does it say

One Barnet Alliance member speaking on a confidential basis to the Bugle said
"How can Barbara be so arrogant? Who is she to say if anyone took offense from comments that another spokesmen said should never have been made? And to say that even though they have never debated, discussed or voted on immigration she was sure 'nobody in BAPS would disagree with (her)' makes her sound ten times more arrogant than even they claim Barnet Council has been in not consulting before making decisions."
(See http://www.barnetbugle.com/journal/2013/8/21/barnet-alliance-states-we-dont-think-that-any-view-that-was.html for full details)

As ever Mr Hope thinks confidential comments are fine when they agree with him, but "anonymous gossip" when they don't. Consistency has never been Mr Hopes strong point. Ho Hum .....


Ron said...

Maybe he should try UKIP? from his latest comments on immigration it seems to suit him just fine.

Morris Hickey said...

I can see your point Ron - UKIP are all noise and no substance.

Ron said...

The Barnet Bugle is known for his proximity to the truth. he's usually almost there, but never really touch it (and i, from all people, should know...)