Barnet Liberal Democrats had an enjoyable cream tea on Sunday. I was asked to lead an after-tea members' discussion about the general state of the party. I considered asking colleagues to close their eyes while imagining their ideal state of liberal democracy, and then running away before they'd opened their eyes again. Actually, it was great fun and a very good, constructive discussion. The consensus was that we are delivering some great things in the Coalition Government and could do well as a party if we get our message across about what has been achieved.
Later on, I was carrying out some important research into the interplay between community, commerce and the science of brewing - that is, I was in the pub - when news broke on the pub's TV set of the riots in Enfield. The pub is in New Barnet, which is not at all far from Enfield Town. I have to say that the atmosphere in the pub was somewhat sombre as a result.
Entirely unscientifically, I have recently noticed what I perceive to be more anti-social behaviour in the East Barnet Road area. More people walking around with glasses taken from some local drinking establishments, more crowds of kids behaving in an unruly manner, more cars with noisy revved-up engines, more people with dogs that are not under control, more people who appear to be under-the-influence, more people stood having noisy altercations on street corners after dark - whether any of this can be backed up statistically, I don't know (well then I should find out - I cannot work out from this whether anti-social behaviour locally is rising or falling; never mind), but I surely can't be the only one who's noticed it.