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TOPIC: David Burrowes and his floating dog hit the headlines

David Burrowes and his floating dog hit the headlines 01 May 2018 22:23 #3813

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[Original article]

Enfield Conservatives were no doubt hoping that a press release that they sent to the Enfield Independent would help them in their bid to recapture control of Enfield Council in Thursday's elections.  But I doubt whether they were expecting the amount of publicity that the paper's report and accompanying photograph would bring them - two further reports on the local paper's website, one in the Evening Standard and headlines on the national news website Huffington Post.  Not to mention several threads on Twitter.

A bit of explanation for those who've missed this story:  The picture sent to the paper had been "photoshopped".  David Burrowes and his dog had been inserted into a picture of a crowd of people protesting about a dangerous junction in the Meadway Estate.  It seems he'd turned up late and had missed the photo opportunity, so before the image was sent to the paper his omission was rectified.  The probability of anyone spotting this was presumably assessed as being low.  However, one of the people who'd actually been there did spot it and complained because he didn't want to appear in the same photograph as David Burrowes.

To cut a long story short, what had happened was picked up by Twitter users and spread.  There was great amusement at the fact that the dog appeared to be levitating, with all four paws off the ground.  What's more, the dog's stance bore some resemblance to that of a widely published photograph of the new home secretary.  And various spoofs of the photoshopped photo started appearing on Twitter, such as the one below.

david burrowes and dog photoshopped into photoOne of several images posted to Twitter featuring David Burrowes and his dog

Judged by the standards of recent very serious occurrences of Fake News, was the fuss about the insertion of David and his dog into the photo nothing more serious that a "storm in a dog bowl"?  Should there be "zero tolerance" of any sort of manipulation of facts,  however petty?  Not sure, personally.  However, if it has distracted attention away from the important issues about the future of Enfield, then that's not good.

And what about the subject of the original press release?  The protest was about the failure of Enfield Council to do anything about the extremely wide junction of Meadway and Greenway.  This is a junction that I know well, as it's on my (relatively) low-traffic walking route from PG to Southgate.  Pedestrians have to cross an absolutely huge expanse of tarmac roadway, hoping that a car isn't going to suddenly appear and mow them down at high speed. Changes to this junction surely ought to have been included in the Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood scheme, but weren't even in the original consultation.  Why not?

meadway junction google mapsThis image from Google Maps shows the huge expanse of roadway that pedestrians have to cross

Though I'm a firm supporter of the Quieter Neighbourhoods concept, I'm frankly dismayed at the haphazard way that the proposals have been developed.  Why no measures to stop the dreadful rat-running along Connaught Gardens and Oakthorpe Road, same question applies to Tottenhall Road and Wolves Lane?  All those roads are in Quieter Neighbourhood schemes but have been ignored.

The original version of this article was a spoof and has been replaced as some readers found it offensive.

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David Burrowes and his floating dog hit the headlines 02 May 2018 06:16 #3814

Who wrote this? “gullible lycra-lovers”? I am sure Kevin would object to that too. Why all the anti cycling stuff? Have Palmers Green Community actually been following the story and why make this about the cycle lanes when it has nothing to do with that? By the way notice that there are no Conservative banners in the shot? That is because all “political” photos were done prior to this. There is absolutely nothing wrong in putting a bit of pressure on the Labour administration to sort this area out - it is rat-running hell.

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David Burrowes and his floating dog hit the headlines 02 May 2018 14:07 #3815

I find this article quite offensive. Like Hal, I would like to know who wrote and posted it?

This is meant to be an independent forum for open discussion, not a personal blog site to advocate one person's opinion.

Plenty on hear have raised their objections to the lanes, which is fine, and others have supported them. But language such as the below is far from benign. In fact, this whole article feels like it has been written by an ardent Tory supporter as it is quite clear from the fall out from this that the local Tory's have come out of this with NO credit. It only went viral because they all ran away and hid and refused to answer questions about it. Disgusting 2018 politics.

"The PR team cleverly ensured that the photo into which Mr Burrowes had been inserted included two people known to be his sworn enemies - fanatical cycle lane campaigners. And when these gullible lycra-lovers spotted the picture in the paper, they naturally kicked up a fuss on Twitter and complained to the Enfield Independent, demanding that the editor replace the offending photo asap."

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David Burrowes and his floating dog hit the headlines 02 May 2018 14:38 #3816

Like 99% of stuff on this website, it was written by me, and I meant to publish it under my own name. It was meant as a joke, but clearly has misfired, so I'll replace it. I don't really believe that the Tories wanted to create fuss about the photoshopping, I expect they didn't think that anyone would notice.

The stuff about fanatical lycra-lovers was meant to be a spoof of the exaggerated language used by the tabloid press.

As it happens, I would have gone along to the protest myself if I'd known about it, because I cross that junction on foot fairly often and it is definitely a hazard and should have been tackled as part of the Fox Lane quieter neighbourhood.

Basil

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David Burrowes and his floating dog hit the headlines 04 May 2018 15:49 #3819

With 99% of the content of this hugely valuable web site and 6% of the vote in the Palmers Green ward as a mere “paper candidate” I think Basil should rest easy. Clearly here is someone whose community efforts are appreciated.
On the “doggate” junction, locals to the space were at the first QN workshop. Their very strong stance was to close Meadway to through traffic using that street as a Southgate 5-ways bypass. That would certainly cap the issue.
Looking at the complete Fox Lane Quieter Neighbourhood, the four impacted wards have moved from yesterday’s 6 Labour and 6 Conservative councillors to today’s 10 Labour and only 2 Conservative councillors, with one of those two scraping in by a mere three votes. On the basis the Conservative campaign was essentially led by hostility to cycling and Quieter Neighbourhoods versus a positive approach to the same by Labour perhaps we can now look forward to some long awaited traffic relief across so many of the areas streets. The implication must be that it's what people were happy to go with.

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