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A textbook demonstration of successful post–2016 political operation. As with other incarnations of that weird phenomena it probably has the same 2020 expiry date. Seriously, some of the presentations were brilliant as were the unflinching faces when the most audacious claims for the hotel's miraculous virtues were deployed and flew with the grace of lead balloons.

It seems a common theme in the new politics that the only thing meaner than a sore loser (guilty as charged!) are sore winners. Just to set the record straight this really is a controversial scheme with huge potential commercial and social costs. Concerns for these spoke for themselves, the benefits of the scheme needed what can only be charitably described as a blind eye turned to blatant manipulations with conscience conveniently left at home.

The opposition clearly and demonstrably spread further than the residents of Chipping Close. It did not jump miraculously from them to Cllr Wendy Prentice missing out the rest of the ward she has served with dedication for so many years.

I do not claim to know how many people in the area support the hotel and how many oppose it. I do know that the only "very well organised campaign" to oppose it I know of was two and very occasionally three guys meeting occasionally in a pub and at least one of High Barnet's several freelance fly–posters.

Such an ad hoc "campaign" was followed by many more (and usually far more independently conceived) objections lodged with the council than comments in support. What does it say for the merits and public view of a scheme supported so forcefully and with so much lobbying by the leaders of many residents' and community groups? If they could possibly have dragged up any more public support they would have. It would be strange indeed if the judgement and opinions of High Barnet residents were very different from those of Watford, Bushey, Camden and Westminster where similar projects have all been recently opposed and refused. We live in strange times.

People can get away with saying whatever they like about the future – until the future that they themselves have made actually arrives.