IMPASSIONED speeches from a leading Trade Unionist and left-wing thinker Tariq Ali have received a rapturous welcome at a rally against planned cuts in Barnet.

Hundreds of people have packed into the auditorium at artsdepot, North Finchley, to hear music from 60s favourites The Foundations and local bands, as well as the speakers.

Today's events have been organised by the Barnet Alliance for Public Services to raise awareness for organisations and groups facing funding cuts.

Frances O'Grady, deputy secretary general of the Trades Union Council (TUC) described Barnet as the “testbed for privatisation” .

Spaeking about the One Barnet plans to remodel public services she added: “We can see Barnet is a window on Cameron's Britain. This is the way he wants all of Britain to go.

“Never mind easyJet this is Ryanair public services. Not necessarily cheap but definitely nasty.”

Tariq Ali, a leading left-wing thinker, told the group there was no real difference between the three major parties.

He added: “It's pointless having meetings and rallies unless there's some recognition of what's gone before.”