Friday, 11 December 2009

Brian Coleman - The Fast, Furious and Foolish

A major piece of research has been published today in the British Medical Journal.

As the
BBC reports:
The researchers compared data on road collisions, injuries and deaths in London between 1986 and 2006, with speed limits on roads.

After adjusting for a general reduction in road injuries in recent years, they found that the introduction of 20mph zones were associated with a 41.9% drop in casualties.

The greatest reduction was seen in children under the age of 11 years and in the numbers of all ages killed or seriously injured.
So its official - 20mph limits save lives.

I wonder what
convicted speeder Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman has to say about plans to create such a life-saving 20mph limit on Camden High Street. Ah, here we are:

“Camden High Street is a major A-road route north and the idea that its speed is to be limited to only 20mph ignores the needs of motorist who need to move around and indeed drive out of London......I shall be calling on the Mayor to scrap this decision immediately.”

So Mr Toad, never mind that its a life saving measure - just make sure that nothing slows down your Mayoral limo on when you're on your way to yet another
free feed eh.


PS - More on Mr Toad's road safety record here.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Fire Brigade turn the hose on Brian Coleman and his sleazy crew

The London Fire Brigade Union have launched a wonderfully scathing attack on Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman and his sleazy crew at the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) today in a press relase. This follows Coleman's political hijacking of the Authority which I recently reported on in this blog.

According to the Union: "LFEPA chairman Brian Coleman has rejected demands that Evans-Jacas be forced to stand down from the fire authority. Opponents argue that Coleman is undermining democracy by allowing his new ally to remain in place, pointing out that legislation demands the composition of the fire authority reflect the balance of the political parties across London, which it now does not."

Describing Coleman as a "notorious egocentric" the
Union's press release goes on to suggest that we may be in for "a serious bout of industrial unrest in London’s fire service, the like of which has not been seen since the national pay strikes of 2002- 03."

Mr Toad, it might be advisable to give a wide berth to any of London's bravest you might come across who happen to be holding a hose. And to carry a towel.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

A titter from Twitter

I have just seen the above on Twitter regarding yesterday's 'planet-saving' in Ilford by Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman.

I have more and more respect for the London Fire Brigade with each passing day :-)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The two faces of Brian Coleman

Oh look, here's Mayor Coleman posing with Mayor Johnson this morning at Ilford fire station. They were there today - not just to bask in the reflected glory of the brave lads of Green Watch - but also to bask in the reflected glory of the fire station's green makeover (solar panels, high efficiency boiler and so forth).

Now this is all very opportune, as Boris Johnson himself
pointed out:
"As expectant eyes around the globe turn to Copenhagen to see whether world leaders will take action on climate change, here in London we are making a difference right now."

So there you have it - Brian Coleman's green credentials on very public display. Let the polluters tremble. Greenpeace may as well pack up and go home. Jenny Jones can stop complaining. The planet is in Coleman's safe, green hands at last. Phew!

Hang on a minute though.....surely this is not the same green Brian Coleman whose most recent
London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) budget recommends removing the £60,000 Sustainability revolving fund for improvements in energy efficiency schemes.

Likewise, I'm sure it must be this latter Brian Coleman who promoted
road-building on school fields, car-park building on parks and who opposed plans for a wind turbine at a Barnet school trying to implement a green programme.

Perhaps the valiant defender of the planet on parade at Ilford this morning has an evil twin.

Tip of the hat to Nick Carthew for the LFEPA budget example. Thank you.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Spontaneous street parties spread across Barnet

Reports are coming in of spontaneous street parties spreading across Barnet today. It seems that these unprecedented scenes of wild celebration were prompted by this correction made in today's London Daily News:

Contrary to an earlier report Cllr Brian Coleman the serving Mayor of Barnet said:
"I do not intend to stand for leader of the council, either now or in the future".

One Totteridge-based reveller said:
"I am pleased as punch. Now Coleman, give the people of Barnet what they really want - go off and haunt someone else and stop rattling your [Mayoral] chains around here."

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Anonymous Contributor Staggered by Brian Coleman

This was posted as an anonymous comment on yesterdays blog concerning Brian Coleman's commemoration of the Holocaust and his hypocrisy. I thought it deserved greater prominence. I have taken the liberty of adding paragraph breaks but have otherwise left it unchanged:
The extent of this man's hypocrisy and cynicism is staggering.

He has spent so many years wallowing in the gutter of confrontational politics, exploiting controversy for personal publicity, and now he dares to use the horror of the Holocaust to tell us about the importance of 'living together in harmony'?

Coleman, take a look at your own published remarks about gypsies, travellers, and sundry other groups and individuals, and ask yourself how you can possibly claim in anyway to have contributed to creating a more harmonious society?

Jewish children were murdered in the Holocaust in a racist act of genocide: gypsy children were murdered in death camps too - why? Because of mindless prejudice which is perpetuated today, even in the 21st century.

Antisemitism is now rightly seen as beyond contempt: prejudice against gypsies and travellers is present still in our society and encouraged by media stereotyping and comments by public figures such as yourself when engaging in debates about providing such people with stopping places or the most basic facilities for sustaining life. Take a trip to the Imperial War Museum, and the Holocaust exhibition, look at the Nazi 'catalogues' of Romany children and think a little more carefully about the vote winning posturing you like to indulge in.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Coleman Cares

Children from Whitings Hill Primary School will join the Worshipful the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman, AM, FRSA in planting snowdrop bulbs next Thursday (26 November), commemorating those children who perished during the Holocaust.

Barnet Council's Snowdrop Project was started with the aim of planting a snowdrop in memory of every one of the 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust, whilst highlighting the horrific scale of the atrocity to younger members of the borough's community.

The Worshipful the Toad of Barnet said:
"Come Spring, the school grounds will be illuminated by a blanket of white snowdrops, a delicate and fitting tribute to the memory of those children who suffered under horrific circumstances.

The project brings home the scale of the Holocaust, whilst strengthening our belief in the importance of living together in harmony*."

Just as long as we don't have to live with gypsies, naturally.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Coleman caption competition

When a man's an empty kettle he should be on his mettle,
And yet I'm torn apart.
Just because I'm presumin' that I could be kind-a-human,
If I only had a heart.

Can you do better? The usual (virtual) prize is (virtually) on offer :-)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Brian Coleman's X-Factor X-it X-posed

Following on from the story about Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman's sour grapes towards the X Factor, I've been leaked this astonishing audio clip and a still picture (no video unfortunately) from what appears to be a failed X Factor audition attempt by none other than Mr Toad himself.

I think it certainly helps to provide a fuller picture of the reasons for Coleman's antipathy towards the show.

I must say that I am totally made up about this unbelievable clip :-)

Monday, 2 November 2009

Brian Coleman's X Factor Xclusion

Oh dear. Brian Coleman has got all sulky about the X Factor house. I thought something like this might happen.

Simon Cowell recently threw a lavish 50th birthday party for himself in Barnet you see. And as
Marie-Claire magazine noted:
"The guest like a who's-who of cool.
From Kate Moss to Cheryl Cole, via Kevin Spacey and Katie Price - not to mention Dannii Minogue, Alexandra Burke, Myleene Klass, Amanda Holden, Leona Lewis, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, David Hasselhoff and hundreds of others - anyone who was anyone was there".

But wait a minute. No invitation for Mayor Brian Coleman, Barnet's First Citizen? Some mistake surely? Especially when you consider that he's spent a lifetime dedicated to swigging champagne and munching canapes at other people's expense (indeed, that's pretty much his job nowadays). Here was Barnet's biggest ever freeloading opportunity, right on his patch, and it seems that Barnet's biggest ever freeloader simply didn't make the grade. And if, as Marie-Claire say - anyone who was anyone was there - what does that make Brian Coleman?

I had a bad feeling that Brian Coleman's revenge would be swift and terrible - and so it has proven to be - with Coleman choosing the Barnet borough location of the X Factor house as his sulky weapon of sour grapes. As he told the Barnet Times:
"I shall be writing to Simon Cowell this afternoon to say: if they can’t be good neighbours then they should move to a more secluded location where they are no bother to anyone else.”

Oooh! That'll certainly teach that Simon Cowell not to invite Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman to his parties!

'Not the Barnet Times' blog has more on this, like for example, that it seems the residents in the street in question are quite happy with the X Factor House, and that Mr Toad would do well to follow his own suggestion about moving to a location where he'll be no bother to anyone else in future. Quite. John and Edward would make a better Mayor.

Friday, 23 October 2009

London Fire Authority hijacked by Brian Coleman and his sleazy crew

Its the news that firefighters have been dreading. Just as Adam Bienkov and Rog T predicted, Brian Coleman has seized political control of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

Steve Reed reports what happened in his blog:
"London's Tories are using public money to fund cash hand-outs to defecting councillors. At today’s meeting of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority Tory defectors Cllr Betty Evans-Jacas (Lambeth) and Cllr Bertha Joseph (Brent) were both given positions worth thousands of pounds in allowances. The defections give the Tories a majority on London’s Fire Authority for the first time."

"Brian Coleman, who is possibly even more revolting than Bertha Joseph, will use this majority to push through various controversial measures in defiance of workforce opposition. This includes changing shift patterns, removing beds in fire stations, removing diversity officers, and installing a new private entrance at the LFEPA headquarters at I don't know what expense."

Please follow the links for more detail.

Brian Coleman - "you odious toad"

Here's Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman's latest outburst - at the London Assembly's Business Management and Administration Committee meeting yesterday. The jokes just write themselves.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Brian Coleman and the Great Ire of London

Wednesday 22nd October 2009

Up and at the London Fire Brigade Headquarters all the morning, despite my having recently breached the members code of conduct, determining the reconstitution of committees and related matters. By and by my colleague on the Fire Authority Councillor Bertha Joseph comes in her beautiful ballgowne that she purchased with charity money. It got her suspended as a councillor but of course that doesn't stop her working with me. She goes resplendent to the window and tells me that she sees a great ire seen in the city. So I made myself ready presently, and got up upon one of the fire escapes (the one that I wish to have removed to provide for a private entrance for myself as befits my importance), and there I did see the fury of London's firefighters and an infinite great fury at that, on this and the other side of the bridge; but, it did not trouble me. So down, with my heart full of gladness, to my colleague on the Fire Authourity Cllr Tony Arbour, also recently suspended for breaching the members code of conduct - but of course that doesn't stop him working with me - who tells me that it begun with my plans for changes to Firefighter shift patterns and that it hath burned on because of my plans to remove all the beds from fire stations - as people sleeping on the job cannot be countenanced.

Having staid, and in an hour’s time seen the ire: rage every way, and nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it, and having seen it get as far as my plans for the removal of diversitie officers, and the wind mighty high and driving it into my plans to remove support staff from opposition members; and every thing, after so long a drought, proving combustible, even my plans to remove my political opponents from committee chairmanships, an there burned unabated: I back to the meeting, and there did give them an account which dismayed them all, and word was carried in to Boris Johnson. At last met my Lord Mayor, like a man spent, with a handkercher about his neck. To my account he cried, like a fainting woman, “Lord! what can I do? I am spent: people will not obey me and the ire overtakes us". So I did tell Boris Johnson what I saw, and that unless I got my way, nothing could stop the ire. He seemed much troubled, and Boris Johnson commanded me to go from him, and to spare no firefighters, but to pull down each before the ire. And I gladly did as I was commanded.

So to the Haven restaurant in Whetstone, and there eat and drank and mighty merry; and so home singing, and, after a letter or two at the office, to bed.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Brian Coleman's hypocrisy of the day reports today that Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman asked:
"How on earth in a recession with spending costs being cut across the board can you not justify re-examining the salary packages?"

Very good question Mr Toad. Shall we start with your own, officially excessive income, as recommended recently by The Senior Salaries Review Body.

I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Brian Coleman attacks the elderly

Not the Barnet Times carries a great piece today about how Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman and his Conservative friends at Barnet Council are planning to scrap the essential warden service for those living in sheltered housing. Written in the first person, and from the heart, the piece describes how Coleman's cowardly and villainous plot is striking fear into the hearts of the elderly. You should read it - really. However, I can't resist giving you the paragraph devoted to Mr Toad:

"And to £103,000 a year Brian Coleman, who said of the warden cuts: “The sensible nature of Barnet's changes is becoming more evident every day”, I say go. Just pack up your gold chains and get out of this borough. We are all sick and tired of your big mouth. You are arrogant, pompous and hopelessly out of touch with reality. You are an embarrassment to real Conservatives."

So now you've bravely attacked Gypsies and the elderly Mr Toad. Which marginalised group of people is next? The mentally ill? They should be an easy target. Or how about small children? They don't even get a vote so you can surely pick on them with impunity.

To campaign against Coleman's cuts - see the Barnet TUC website - with all the info on protests past, present and future.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Brian Coleman has no room for gypsies

Bravely striking another blow for intolerance of ethnic minorities, Assembly Member Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman rails today, in the Ham and High, against Boris Johnson's London Plan - which requires the provision of sites for gypsies and travellers in London.

"The whole idea of top-down pitch targets is completely wrong. It should be communities telling the mayor how many pitches they can provide, not the other way around." blustered Brian of
twisted knickers fame.

So the question is - how many sites would you come up with then Coleman?
The answer, according to The Barnet Times -
not even “one single site”.

You really are multicultural tolerance personified aren't you Mr Toad?

I just came across this image of Brian Coleman at Barnet Multicultural Day (May 2009). Their slogan was 'Health and Harmony in the Community'. Just as long as there's no gypsies eh Coleman?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Tories say - Knickers to Brian Coleman!

Word has reached me that Brian Coleman flounced out of Mayors Question Time today, leading fellow Conservative, Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes to announce: "I regret that Brian has left to adjust his knickers."

This is the latest (and funniest) in a whole string of direct attacks on Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman from members of his own Party, making him an increasingly isolated figure both at the GLA and in the Conservative Party as a whole.

Paul Waugh notes recently in the Evening Standard for example, how Boris Johnson "couldn't resist referring to Coleman's own double income as a councillor and a Member of the Assembly".

And this of course follows Boris Johnson's well-publicised carpeting of Coleman over his all-advised, (and wildly out of step with public opinion), arrogant stance on expenses - leading to Coleman's subsequent, embarrassing climb down.

Then there's the blogs. Take, for example the staunchly Conservative blogger: 'Don't Call Me Dave', whose excellent 'Not The Barnet Times' blog has post after post detailing Coleman's general unsuitability for office. Then there's Iain Dale. Or if you want a really straight-to-the-point view, look no further than the Tory Bear blog, which pulls no punches at all in telling it like it is.

But its not just Billy-no-mates Coleman's colleagues at the GLA and the bloggers who've had enough of him. Just look at the comments from the rank and file of the Conservative Party when he blogs at the Conservative Home website here and here and here. And bear in mind that two of those blog posts were for the purposes of congratulating the emergency services. That is a LOT of flak to draw from ones own party, especially when deliberatately trying to be as uncontroversial as possible.

Why all the flak and open hostility Coleman?

Its because you've been found out. Your arrogance and buffoonery and troughing only serve to help the other political parties. Boris Johnson knows it, Richard Barnes knows it, the bloggers know it and the Party rank and file know it. You are an embarrassment to David Cameron and an embarrassment to the Conservative Party, just as you're an embarrassment to the people of Barnet and Camden.

How long before your bad behaviour also becomes intolerable for Barnet MP Theresa Villiers and a millstone around the neck of Barnet Council leader Mike Freer's political ambitions?

Time to do the right thing for once Coleman. Go!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Coleman: As we regulate child porn, so we should regulate the 'cancer' of blogs

Here is Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman's latest, foolish outburst - as reported in the Ham and High today (click the picture for a bigger and readable version). For those without the time or the inclination to click - yes - he really does describe blogs as a 'cancer' which should be dealt with like child porn. This presumably does not include his own blogs in which he makes allegations about people like this one for example, or this one.

Mr Toad, in your own words - "if you can't take it, don't dish it out basically".

Of course you could always sue for libel if you find anything untrue in the blogs couldn't you?

I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

World's biggest rodent spotted in Totteridge

The Barnet Times reports today that:
"The largest living rodent in the world was spotted scampering across farmland in Totteridge last week............It looks similar to a giant guinea pig, with slightly webbed feet, no tail and a blunt muzzle."

The article continues:
"It was very distinctive, with a squat body and flat head and a very unusual hop. It seemed to be worried as it was running to the cover of the corn fields as quickly as possible."

Proof, if any were needed, that there are some very strange creatures in Totteridge.

Brian Coleman is Mr. Rude

Has there ever been a ruder politician than Brian 'Mr Rude' Coleman?

As reported on this blog before - he has, it seems, made a career out of being absolutely vile to people - specialising in outright insults, and very dodgy, unsubstantiated insinuations of all kinds including homophobia and anti-semitism.

As a regular contributor to the Facebook group twinned with this blog pointed out (way more succinctly than I could) recently:
"There is nothing more vile than bigotry and prejudice, whether it be homophobia or antisemitism, or racism of any sort, be it targetting muslims, jews, catholics, asylum seekers or Irish travellers ... Very nearly as repugnant as racism are those who for their own purposes make use of false accusations of such behaviour: this devalues the real evil of mindless hatred and is nothing less than the politics of the gutter."

Quite. But Brian Coleman doesn't seem to mind a bit of repugnant behaviour. Indeed, he seems to positively embrace it.

Fresh from being found guilty of breaking the rules by describing blogger Rog T as a poisonous, obsessive, lying wanker he's been caught out again. This time by the Not The Barnet Times blog allegedly being rude about people's champion Yvonne Hossack. And now he's been caught out yet again. This time the Tory Troll blog reports him launching into an 'aggressive and rude tirade' reducing a poor lady on the catering staff at fire brigade HQ to tears.


Tell me, why don't you pick on someone your own size Mr Rude?

Thursday, 24 September 2009

A message to Brian Coleman from the people of Barnet

A Barnet Times poll of almost 600 people has delivered this unequivocal verdict on you Councillor Coleman.


The Barnet Times are letting the poll roll over - so you can still vote :-)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

What on earth has Brian Coleman got against our athletes?

What on earth has Brian Coleman got against our athletes?

Last year he said that the entire Olympic team was 'tainted'.
Just recently he said women's boxing was 'distasteful'.
Now he's saying that national treasure, Kriss Akabusi MBE is not worth the money.
For a politician like Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman to be so openly hostile towards athletes is always going to be a little uncomfortable for his Party. But when you consider that at the same time, Boris Johnson is doing his best to promote the London Olympics 2012, its a downright embarrassment.

As for Coleman's opinion on the value of Kriss Akabusi MBE, I must say that its pretty rich coming from such a renowned squanderer of public money. Even richer if you remember what he said a while back when trying to justify his outrageous wages and expenses claims - that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

You can't have it both ways Mr Toad.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Brian Coleman - an embarrassment to Boris Johnson of Olympian proportions

As the 2012 Games draw ever-closer, Brian Coleman looks set provide an Olympic-sized embarrassment to Mayor Boris Johnson once again.

You may remember his
outburst at the last Olymic Games:
"If you are looking for young heroes and role models, forget the highly paid athletes who leave their consciences at passport control.....While Britain's athletes may have won more medals than usual they must remember that they are tainted with the blood of Tibetans, Falun Gong practitioners, and Roman Catholic priests"

To redden Boris Johnson's face even further, he recently put an
official question to Mayor:
"Does the Mayor not think that the inclusion of women's boxing in the London Olympics is somewhat distasteful?"

No Mr Toad, it is not distasteful. Its called equality. What's distasteful is your implicit sexism - and it's not the first time.

Perhaps you are just sore that heavyweight freeloading is not to be included as an Olympic event this time around. Whatever the reason, I suggest you sort it out, or you may have to answer to the likes of the somewhat-more-tasteful-than-you, three-time ABA champion: Amanda Coulson (pictured).

Friday, 18 September 2009

Brian Coleman, the good, the bad and the ugly

It strikes me that the image of Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman that the Barnet Times often use, is reminiscent of a still from 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly'.

I'll not ask the obvious question....

Brian Coleman IS liable to pay us back our £10,000.00

As the ever-vigilant Barnet Times reports this week (click for bigger):
Barnet Times article

Regular readers will remember that it was the leader of Barnet Council, Mike Freer who lavished £10,000.00 of our money on his friend, Brian 'guilty-as-charged' Coleman's defence (despite the fact that there was legal representation already bought and paid for). Now it seems he has to pay it back - and I should jolly well think so too! He can certainly afford it.

Perhaps he's now regretting forking out for champagne in that somewhat peculiar 'celebration' of his guilt being established. Oh hang on a minute, perhaps it was free champers from the hamper. Now that would be more like the Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman we know.

Finally, I'd like to flag up a couple of excellent articles for your interest:

Dave Hill's: 'Blog wars: the citizen fights back'
- On Coleman - "He makes Edith Piaf look repentant."

Adam Bienkov's: Brian Coleman in bitter dispute with fire crews
- ""Do you know any other occupation where people are able to sleep on duty?"
Well I can think of
at least one"

Great stuff!

Ok, that's if for now. Please don't forget to vote.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Rog T is plain wrong.

Well, the headline of his latest post is plain wrong anyway. In fact, I often disagree with what Rog T says in his excellent blog. But he wears his heart on his sleeve, says what he thinks and is passionate about the things that are important to him. What's more he's proven that he's not afraid to take on the powers that be. He's Barnet's own Dangermouse (no less) to Coleman's Baron Greenback. So I've been disappointed to read a few bits and bobs lately - from people who know little or nothing about politics in Barnet and its history - casting comment on Rog, his motivations and even on his wraparound shades.

Therefore, in an attempt to redress the balance a little here is Rog's comment on the whole Coleman vs. Tichborne case. That's the one that decided that Coleman is guilty as I'm sure you remember. Its a very interesting read (providing you ignore the headline of course) and I hope that it gets a little wider publicity by being copied here.
"Brian Coleman really isn't the problem in Barnet

There are many things wrong with the local political scene in Barnet. I've written hundreds of blogs on the subject. It may surprise you to know that the vast majority of these don't mention our beloved Mayor Brian Coleman. Whilst I may have rather strong views on him, I can honestly say that I don't think he's the problem, he's just a symptom.

Having reflected on the background of my standards complaint and having seen the standards process in action, I think it demonstrates all that is wrong with Barnet Council. Let me explain to you why I say this. I believe that the root cause of the problem is that senior Councillors and Council officers have lost sight of why they are there. They should be their to ensure that local services run as smoothly as possible and that the weak and vulnerable in Barnet are well looked after. They should try and make the environment in Barnet as pleasant as is possible for the residents. They should be respectful of the people who pay their wages (the taxpayer) and be prepared to engage and discuss issues with these people, no matter how difficult the individual may be.

Given that the catalyst that started the whole process was Council Leader Mike Freer, describing his critics as "nutters" and "one handed bloggers", it is clear straight away that the leader has no respect for anyone that disagrees with him. When I wrote a polite email to the ruling group of Councillors, a senior member, Mayor Coleman thought the appropriate response was to reply to all recipients in an offensive manner. Did the group think "This guy has just abused a member of the public, he's out of control". No they did not, they elected him as Mayor, despite being under no illusion whatsoever, that he thought abusing the public was fine and dandy. Surely a few of them must have realised that this was a clear breach of the Standards code. Both Lib Dem leader Jack Cohen and Labour leader Alison Moore realised this immediately. The next sorry step on the trail was when Mayor Coleman asked Council Leader Mike Freer for a £10,000 indemnity to fight the case. I've spoken to lawyers and trade Union officials about this. They've all told me that the sensible thing to do would be to have apologised and drawn a line under it. That would have been the end of the matter. Now Mike Freer had seen the email exchange. Did he think "This is directly related to me, I cannot make an objective and transparent decision here". As Mr Coleman rounded off his email to me by saying "The Leader is totally right" and as it is crystal clear that Freer saw this, he was compromised. If he believed that Mayor Coleman had a good case, why didn't he let Council CEO Nick Walkley make the decision? He approved the decision to give Coleman an indemnity using delegated powers, meaning it was totally up to him. Barnet Council had an insurance policy that covered standards complaints. Coleman could have used this at no cost to the taxpayer. He chose not to and thought the taxpayer should foot the bill.

At no time in Mayor Coleman's defence did he say that his email didn't breach the code. He knew it did. His defence was that he was provoked and that the fact that he couldn't tell me to bog off without being disrespectful was a breach of his human rights. From all the paperwork, he actually admitted the breach all along, just claimed mitigating circumstances.

So we have a case being fought for vanity. A leader who instigated the sorry matter. Whilst the council cut thousands of pounds in grants from hard working volunteers, the Leader happily sanctions the spending of £10,000 on a case that was doomed to fail from day one. Not only that, but one which could have been avoided by an apology. The cost could have been avoided by using the insurance policy. Why didn't Freer send Mayor Coleman down this route? Because Brian Coleman was actually defending Mike Freer, in the only way he knew how, when he got himself into trouble.

Finally this takes us on to the actual hearing. The way this works is there is an impartial investigator who prepares the report. They present their findings. The defendant's legal representative then gets their say. I asked for the right to address the committee, as I felt that there were points which needed to be brought to the committee's attention. I was denied this right. I was told that only the defence could speak to the committee. To me this goes against natural justice. In any normal hearing, there is a prosecution as well as a defence. Normally these standards hearings are held in private. It seems to me as if they are there to serve the purposes of councillors, far more than the public.

Which brings me to my perception of the problem in Barnet. Sheltered wardens are cut, whilst Councillors allowances go up. Parents of dead babies see funeral charges rise, whilst councillors and council officials go on jollies to the USA and Cannes for "conferences". We have a Council leader who holds the public in contempt, but no cost is too much for defending his political allies. In short, the council is being run for the benefit of the senior ruling councillors and the senior officials."
Rog - I hope you'll not mind me taking the liberty of pasting in your whole post.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Has Brian Coleman opened the floodgates?

As reported before in this blog, Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman has been nasty to lots of people and groups over the years from political opponents, to local bloggers to the British Olympic team.

Now that he's been found guilty of breaking the code of conduct - are we about to witness a flood of complaints against Barnet's most infamously disrespectful mayor?

UPDATE: I just came across Brian Coleman's soundbite following Ken Livingstone being found guilty of disrespecting a reporter in 2006. He said:
"London deserves better. This is a humiliation for Ken Livingstone. He has let down every Londoner who has ever put their trust in him."

Well Mr Toad, if the cap fits...

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Coleman is Guilty

The Not The Barnet Times blog has its finger on the pulse as ever and reports as follows:

"The Standards Sub Committee unanimously decided that Brian Coleman breached the Members Code of Conduct."

UPDATE: Rog T has published his verdict on the verdict - as it were.

Cheer up Brian. You know what they say...

The "drip, drip, drip of poison"

In advance of his hearing by Barnet's Standards Committee today, Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman complained to an investigating officer about what he describes as the "drip, drip, drip of poison" written about him in "dodgy blogs".

The "dodgy blog" in question in the case of this hearing is Rog T's dodgier-than-a-seven-pound-note
Barnet Eye blog. In that blog, as the Evening Standard reported this week, Coleman has variously been described asarrogant, lazy and useless”, “Barnet's favourite numpty”, and addicted to cash and hospitality”. Regular readers will, I'm sure, fail to recognise Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman from these outrageous slurs.

Mr Toad, the poor victim of these shocking allegations, would never sink so low of course as to get personal with, and throw mud at his opponents.

Brian Coleman would never for example imply or outright accuse opponents of drunkenness - like the
Fire Brigade, Sir Ian Blair, or Ken Livingstone.

Brian Coleman would never imply that his opponents were
racist, or allege, in a fit of pique, that they are homophobic bigots.

Brian Coleman would never suggest that an opponent is an obsessive, posonous, lying, wanker.

Poor, poor, defenceless Brian. Its all just SO unfair.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Coleman's Clippings

The Brian Coleman Standards Hearing story is generating a good amount of press - some of it national press no less . Coming, as it does, on top of the Ian Clement case, this must surely be a proud moment indeed for Boris Johnson and Coleman's other colleagues.

Here is some of the latest coverage:

Here is the Tory Troll blog where they first read about the story.

And here is the The Barnet Eye blog that brought about the Standards Hearing in the first place.

Incidentally, the clipping at the top of this post is from last night's London Lite - but is that picture supposed to be of Brian Coleman or Roger Tichborne I wonder...

Friday, 4 September 2009

Brian Coleman - 'underpaid' and "working all the hours God sends."

The Barnet Times have today, picked up on the story I reported yesterday - the official report which pointed out the fact that Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman has his snout too deep in the trough.

They report that Coleman has responded by claiming to be 'underpaid' and by claiming that he's "working all the hours that God sends".

Of course you are Brian.

Still, nice work if you can get it eh?

Thursday, 3 September 2009

OFFICIAL: Coleman's snout too deep in the trough

The Standard reports today that "City Hall politicians should be banned from boosting their pay by doubling up as local councillors"

This, they say, is a recommendation from an independent review by The Senior Salaries Review Body. Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman's excesses are singled out for criticism in their report, as the Standard notes:
"The £25,613 allowance received by Brian Coleman as Tory fire authority chairman — he earns £88,997 in total — was about £6,300 too high andshould be frozen, the report added."

Well done indeed to the The Senior Salaries Review Body. However, I do recommend a closer inspection as you will find, I think, that Coleman's snout is way deeper in the trough than you realised.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Rog T unmasked

Forget the 'Rumble in the Jungle'. Forget the 'Thriller in Manilla'. 'Cos on the 10th September, we have the 'Combat Zone in Whetstone' as blogger Rog T of The Barnet Eye blog goes head-to-head with Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman at Barnet Council's Standards Committee.

Rog T revealed yesterday on his from-the-heart blog, that he was the mystery individual who had filed the complaint against Mr Toad after (allegedly) being labelled as a "an obsessive, poisonous individual".

You may recall that Mr Toad's chum Mike Freer squandered £10,000 of public money to pay for his defence.

You may recall Mr Toad's comments on the case:
"This investigation has absolutely nothing to do with me, nothing whatsoever, and if you say otherwise you will be hearing from my solicitor." ~ Brian Coleman May 2009

I'll be checking Rog T's blog on 10th September for sure. Once again, I predict that Mr Toad will employ the Bart Simpson defence.

Having looked at the Committee papers, it appears as though Brian Coleman will attempt to portray himself as the poor, defenceless, little victim of big, bad Rog T. Surely the girth of Mr Toad's chutzpah is equalled only by his appetite for a free feed!

I note that the venue has changed from Whetstone, to Hendon Town Hall. I wish I had known this before. It took me ages to find just a very average rhyme for 'Whetstone'. Hendon would have been much easier I'm sure.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Three easyCheers for Barnet's No-Frills Approach

Well done indeed Barnet!

The Guardian reports today that you are adopting an easyJet-style, no-frills approach to local government. This is fantastic trail-blazing stuff for sure, delivering the change that the people want, right at the heart of where it is needed.

No doubt you'll start by axing the bloated allowances and expenses of Barnet's frilliest councillor (and Mr Bumble look-a-like): Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman:

Absolutely brilliant stuff Barnet and I'm sure I speak, what's that? The no-frills approach is really all about changes like removing services from the elderly and vulnerable you say? So, not delivering the change that the people want and all that then?


Thursday, 27 August 2009

Mr Toad's Failure in Potters Fields

Here's a happy update to an old story for you.

In 2006, Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman opposed the refurbishment of Potters Fields Park (one of London's few, precious, green spaces), saying:
"I think we could do with a multi-storey car park on the site for 1,000 cars...That's what Londoners need. Parks in central London we're not short of."

This, of course, is not Coleman's only 'sharp-as-a-mallet' contribution to the green debate. Regular readers will, I'm sure, recall Coleman's Bottom where the Amphibious Member for Barnet and Camden employed a similar approach to the conservation of green space in his own constituency.

Anyway, here's what Brian Coleman wanted on the Potters Fields site:

And here are the very happy results of his miserable failure:

More lovely pictures of Potters Fields can be found here.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Farenheit 451 and the 'gilded fool'.

Echoing the fire chief in Ray Bradbury's 'Farenheit 451' - fire chiefs in London have ordered the destruction of a picture of a certain 'gilded fool'.

The poster, it seems, is a 'safety risk'.

The Tory Troll blog has the scoop - (as ever)

Click here for bigger.

PS - If you've read down this far then you may be interested to know that the 'gilded fool' reference is taken from a quotation from 'Farenheit 451':
"This age thinks better of a gilded fool than of a threadbare saint in wisdom's school!"

Its a little obscure I admit, but I couldn't resist it.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Commend-A-Copper's Come A Cropper

Police throughout the land are breathing a collective sigh of relief tonight that they are no longer being 'helped' by Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman (after all, with friends like him....).

This is because, it rather looks as though his failed Facebook fiasco: the 'Commend A Copper' group has finally been removed.

As this blog reported, Mr Toad set up the group as a cheap and nasty gimmick, to divert political flak away from himself. It failed. Miserably.

In fact, Coleman's association with the group ensured that it only drew criticism of the police and of himself. He deleted almost all of those messages that were critical of himself and his ill-conceived, quick-and-dirty piece of PR. He also deleted the commendation of Sir Ian Blair that someone posted on that page - presumably because he disagreed with it.

What a miserable failure.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Brian Coleman on holiday

I hear that Brian Coleman is on holiday.

Certainly, he could do with the break after the recent avalanche of negative press he's received. Just in the last month, he's been:

Censured by the LFEPA for unlawfully making up the (un)democratic process as he goes along.
Lambasted by the London Assembly Audit Panel over his abuses of the expenses system
Found out by The Barnet Eye for apparently 'flipping' his expenses
Caught out awarding a multi-million pound contract to a company which treated him to free food and a Harvey Nichols hamper
Facing a misconduct hearing at Barnet Council (this blog awaits the results with interest).
Shouted at by Boris Johnson who forced him, in an embarrassing climbdown, to reveal his 'ridiculous' expenses
* Publicly rebuked by members of his own party, notably
here and here and here and (very pointedly) here.

Things have got so bad, that he's now
refusing to answer the phone to journalists.

Yes, Mr Toad could certainly do with a break. And he's not the only one!

But the big question for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives has been this: Where can Coleman be sent where he's sufficiently remote to do little damage and, in these times of spin, where he can start to rebuild his political reputation?

It would need to be a place where there was another figure, more
foolish, more prone to embarrassing gaffes and a bigger bully. It'll need to be somewhere with plenty of food of course.....

Ah! Got it!

Incidentally, I checked Addison Lee's website for a taxi quote between London N3 and sunny Torquay. Its £579.10 each way.
So don't try it Coleman. We'll be watching!