|For the Grenfell victims|
1. Grenfell Tower. A shocking tragedy, perhaps the worst in my memory in London. Over a month ago, we are all still in shock.
2. The Ariana Grande Concert Terrorist attack in Manchester. This was truly a vile attack, in any other year, it would be the low point.
3. The Westminster Bridge Terrorist attack. This happened less than a mile from my office. A truly pointless and horrific incident.
4. Donald Trump. Trump officially became President in January. What followeed has been a farce and a tragedy for the world. A good US president is good for the world. Sadly a poor one is bad for the planet and Trump's administration is mired in chaos. He is too busy tweeting to govern, which is simply bonkers.
5. North Korea. The Jong-Un administration is a danger to the planet. His efforts to develop inter continental ballistic weapons, whilst his population starves is not only dangerous but sickening.
6. ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Whilst ISIS seem to be in its death throes, how on earth can anyone feel anything other than sickened by the plight of the civilians caught in the mayhem. It seems that for many "collateral damage" is worth it. I think this simply sows the seeds for worse to come. Sorry to say I have no easy answers though. Someone said to me recently "if you doubt the power of the devil in the world, look at Mosul" Whether or not you beleive in such a concept, I can think of no rational reason for why humans should behave with such evil, therefore such a seemingly irrational explanation is as good as any.
7. The NHS Ransomware attack in May. This was the moment when we realised that the third world war will not be fought with bombs and guns. I fear one day we'll wake up with no electricity, no radio, no water and no food in the shops. Stock up on the tinned sardines and the firewood!
8. Invocation of Article 50. Now some will say this was the best thing all year. I would caution even the strongest Brexiteers to think very carefully about this. It is 100% clear the UK isn't ready. Starting a process such as an EU exit, with no plan and no strategy, with fixed time limits is plain bonkers. If Theresa May had outlined a plan and a strategy, then that would be different. May claims that you don't show your hand in negotiations. This is what people who have never negotiated anything would say. The first thing you say when you negotaite is "we want this". If you are sensible, you work out all of the non contentious things, get them in the bank and then devise a strategy for the difficult stuff. Theresa May hasn't even got a strategy to secure isotopes for medical treatments. How bonkers is that?
9. The Conservative-UDA pact. How on earth can a huge bung, to a very regressive party, mired in a secretarian conflict, be a good idea. I've yet to speak to anyone who thinks it's willl be of benefit to the UK, or in the long term to the Conservatives.
10. This is the Barnet Eye, so I thought I'd put one local issue. In the last couple of weeks, an OFSTED report detailing the complete failure of Barnet Council to manage Childrens services was released. It is shocking that the council has allowed something so important to fall apart so comprehensively. We will be detailing more on this matter over the coming week. If the local council cannot manage to look after vulnerable children, things really have gone wrong.
Sorry if that depressed you. It certainly depressed me. There have been good things as well.
|Jermaine Defoe with Bradley Lowery|
|Ariana grande on a hospital visit|
2. Ariana Grande. I'd never heard of Grande before the Manchester atrocity. When I heard of the bomb, I was really worried as I have nephews and neices there. As the carnage unfolded, I was sickened. How could anything good come out of such a horrific event. I was not surprised when the young lady who was the star of the show cancelled the rest of the tour. Who would expect her to continue. Then a remarkable thing happened. She came back to Manchester. She appeared at the show, visited hospitals, met young fans and showed that she is a thoroughly decent human being. Like Defoe, she has rekindled my faith in humanity.
3. The General Election result. Again I am sure that many would put that in the first category, but it sent a strong message to al politicians. Don't take the electorate for granted. Theresa May showed no respect for the public with her "vote for me I'm marvellous" policy free campaign. Whatever your politics, you should be pleased that we will never again be treated to such vacuous nonsense in a British Election campaign.
4. President Macron. I've no idea if he'll be a good or a bad president, but he is not the National Front, which means that as far as I am concerned, it was a very good result.
|Imam Mohammed Mahmoud|
6. This years local music festivals. As I said above, the Barnet Eye is a local blog. We've had some awesome local festivals this year, most notably The Mill Hill Music Festival and The North Finchley Fest. Full of love and some great music. In amongst all of the global (Theresa) Mayhem (snigger), it has been a real beacon of hope to see our local community coming together.
7. The reopening of Oriental City as Bang Bang Oriental. It is great to have this back on the local scene. A centre for our local community. It was much missed.
8. The New Thameslink Timetable. This doesn't actually come into effect until next year, but it has been announced this year, that there will be more trains from Mill Hill. Thameslink commuters have been inconvenienced for decades by the upgrades, etc which started in 1984. It will be amazing to have it finally completed.
9. The British Lions epic series in New Zealand. I am not a Rugby fan, however this was enthralling and the final game of the series was as good a game of sport as any you will see in any team sport anywhere. Massive respect to The Lions, who were awesome against the best team in the world.
10. We are all still alive to fight another day! If you are reading this, then that is reason enough to celebrate. It has been an awful year, so far. Lets hope and pray that the second half is better. I found it really hard to find positives on the world stage, but the likes of Jermaine Defoe, Ariana Grande and Imam Mahmoud show us that we, the people, can make a difference. All we have to do is care. As the old saying goes, think globally, act locally. At the top of this blog is a poster for a fundraising event at The Claddagh Ring in Hendon. This is one small way, you can make a difference.