Thursday, 2 December 2010

A loyal Tory writes about Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman

"I have recently witnessed Mr Toad's bad behaviour at a meeting. He was reading other unrelated paperwork and playing with his mobiles. Then he chirped up with comments totally unrelated to the topic.

When I commented to a council official that he was very badly behaved ...they said that that is how he aways behaves.

I am a loyal Tory but this man is an embarrassment."

This was a comment left yesterday on the 'Brian Coleman (aka Mr Toad) has got to go' Facebook group page.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Brian Coleman describes the FBU.....

"A thoroughly unpleasant and nasty lot...Most are thick, can’t string a sentence together and frankly are incoherent."

These are Brian Coleman's sweet words of conciliation according to Evening Standard journalist: Ross Lydall, who has done some great reporting on the fire dispute in London.

To keep up to date with his reports, please see his blog and his Twitter feed.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Brian Coleman Hampered

Ross Lydall has a very interesting article in the Evening Standard today about the fortchcoming Fire Authority meeting on Thursday. I recommend you go and read it, but here are a couple of nuggets of information from it.

Outside, there'll be a protest to reinstate the suspended union activist and Queen's Fire Service Medal owner
Sian Griffiths.

Inside, Councillor Navin Shah will be asking Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman:

"The recent press coverage concerning the hospitality outlined below which was received by you from Asset Co prior to the award of a contract:

· Lunch to a value of £25 on 30 October 2007
· Dinner to a value of £50 on 23 July 2008
· A Harvey Nichols hamper to a value of £350 on 24 December 2008
· Dinner to a value of £40 on 19 January 2009

has been highly critical. Do you now accept that these actions reflect poor judgement and a lack of sensitivity on your part and will you now assure Londoners that such damaging conduct will not be repeated in the future?"

A good question - but I wouldn't hold your breath for a good answer from slippery Mr Toad.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Brian Coleman - Fanning the flames

As the increasingly bitter dispute within the London Fire Brigade rumbles on, fire chief Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman has proposed cutting 16 per cent of London's fire engines.

What hope of any kind of resolution with this pig-headed fool at the helm?

As ever, Adam Bienkov has the scoop.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Toads Roads Undisclosed

Keen readers will remember that back in May, when Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman was chosen as Cabinet Member for the Environment he croaked:
"My priorities are roads, roads, roads and roads."

The Barnet Press report that further to this, Mr Toad also boasted that all of Barnet's pothole repairs would be completed by the end of October. And moreover, it seems that this very same green-skinned councillor has vetoed the release of pothole repair figures to the press. Even worse, he's 'unavailable' to explain his reasons.

The Barnet Press is therefore more than a little cross with the amphibious councillor whom they savage marvellously in their latest editorial:

Monday, 27 September 2010

Jokes still allowed at Barnet Council

With the news today that Barnet council have banned mother-in-law jokes, I feel I should point that Barnet is far from being some sort of humourless place as it is often portrayed in some sections of the media.

Indeed, some jokes are positively encouraged at Barnet.

Take the recent leadership contest. Without doubt they were just fooling around in staging a leadership contest where some young upstart nearly takes the crown from such an established councillor. We were never really going to believe that of course - but it shows that humour is alive and well at Barnet. And what about the deep irony implicit in the massive pay hike joke voted through by Coleman's Conservatives. As if anyone could really be that greedy? How we split our sides. And of course there's the long-running and much-loved comedy partnership of Brian Coleman playing the straight man to Robert Rams' buffoonery that keeps us laughing all the way to the polling booths.

So now, in tribute to Barnet Council's comedy genius, and in line with the new policy of the outlawing of mother-in-law jokes, I'd like to present to you a selection of Brian Coleman jokes that I stole adapted from
the Sun newspaper's joke page. NB - that link is NSFW if you work for Barnet council - but these, on the other hand, are perfectly acceptable:

LAST week my wife and I went to buy a car and the salesman asked if I wanted an airbag. I said: “No thanks. I already have a Brian Coleman.”

WHAT’S the difference between Brian Coleman and a vulture?
The vulture waits until you’re dead before it eats your heart out.

I TOOK Brian Coleman to Madame Tussaud’s chamber of horrors and one of the attendants said: “Keep her moving sir, we’re stocktaking.”

DID you hear about the man who threw Brian Coleman into the lion’s den at the zoo?
He’s being sued by the RSPCA for cruelty to animals.

WHY did Brian Coleman cross the road?
I don’t know, but it was an ugly sight.

WHAT are the two worst things about Brian Coleman?
His faces.

I HAVEN’T spoken to Brian Coleman for 18 months ? I don’t like to interrupt him.

I ALWAYS know when it’s Brian Coleman knocking at the door ? the mice throw themselves in the traps.

Brian Coleman and I were happy for 20 years.
Then we met

Friday, 24 September 2010

Brian Coleman's Freudian projection

Hot on the heels of the enormous fiasco over the Tories voting themselves a massive pay-rise (a proposal viciously whipped through by Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman), and the consequent embarrassment caused by the resulting leadership challenge - Coleman's Tories have yet another embarrassment.

According to The Guardian, a report to the Audit Committee has just ordered Barnet to come up (finally) with a business case for the savage cuts they are planning to inflict on our services - including selling our libraries and sacking the wardens in our sheltered housing.

But hang on a minute, you may be thinking. This is Coleman and Co's flagship policy. Have they really failed to even get a business case for it?

I'm afraid so.

In the interests of fairness however, I should point out that although they may not have a business case of any kind, they are in possession of bags and bags of Thatcherite dogma. Will that do?

Understandably, the unions and Barnet's residents are more than a little furious about having their services cut simply to satisfy Coleman's Thatcherite urges. They had
a successful meeting last night of around 200 angry people determined to mount a campaign against Coleman's monstrous foolishness (Click the link and scroll down for information about the next of these meeting).

And yet, in the
Barnet Times, Brian 'no business case' Coleman has called them: "a complete shambles" and "a group of no hopers".

So what has all this got to do with Sigmund Freud and his theory of Freudian projection? Well, Wikipedia helpfully
explains that an example of Freudian projection might be "...blaming another for self failure. The mind may avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, and redirect their libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or "projecting," those same faults onto another."

Far be it from me to suggest that Fruedian projection is at the root of Coleman's behaviour of course. Its not as if he's going around accusing other people of being odious toads or anything.

Oh, hang on a minute...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The wisdom of Brian Coleman. An open letter to councillors.

With Barnet's Tories to vote on the leadership contest tonight, here is an open letter, published in full, from their former Chairman:

Dear Councillors

Many years ago, when I was Chairman of Chipping Barnet Conservative Association, I dared to criticise Brian Coleman who was supporting the first of Lynne Hillan’s failed attempts to become leader of the council.

Cllr Coleman saw me walking in the street and stopped his car for a quiet chat (this was in the days before his driving ban when taxpayers subsequently had to provide him with taxis). Speaking in the understated manner that we have all come to know and love, and with only the very slightest finger gesticulation, our Brian told me clearly and unequivocally: “In order to rebuild, you must first destroy”.

Like Hovis, the words of Brian Coleman are as good for you today as they have always been.

As you embark on yet another leadership election, ask yourself this. Are you happy that, save for one notable exception, you have brought the Conservative Party into disrepute? Do you think loyal party members will be impressed that you have reduced Barnet Council to a laughing stock?

It is no good blaming inexperience or alleged bullying tactics employed by certain individuals. You are grown adults, not children, and you are all quite capable of thinking for yourself. You know the difference between right and wrong and even if you had only been a councillor for five minutes, you knew that the decision to hike allowances for Lynne Hillan and her cronies was morally wrong and indefensible, yet you voted for it anyway.

You have let down the public who elected you to office, as well as all the hard working volunteer members of your associations who gave their time and money freely to support your campaign.

Unless you want to see the Conservatives wiped out in 2014 along with your own political ambitions, you have to do what Brian Coleman said all those years ago. Destroy the old and rebuild.

Yours sincerely

David Miller


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Brian Coleman's expenses mistake?

No doubt, when you have as many expense accounts as Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman, it can be tricky to keep track of them all. Doubly so I'm sure, when you're in receipt of as many freebies as he is.

I suspect therefore, that the apparent double-dipping I have been alerted to by a public spirited contibutor is simply a genuine mistake - caused by the genuine difficulties inherent in keeping track of so much freely available cash and so much free feasting.

First there's this, from the LFEPA register of gifts and hospitality: Then, there's this, from Brian Coleman's expenses at LFEPA:
I feel sure that Mr Toad will wish to explain himself at the earliest opportunity. No doubt, if it is a simple mistake, he will croak a heartfelt apology. Perhaps, if that happens, we shall even witness a really extraordinary event - Mr Toad opening his wallet to pay the money back!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Big Society Brian

I see from my latest copy of Norwood Now magazine that c. £130,000.00pa
Brian 'because-I'm-worth-it' Coleman has been presenting certificates to lucky charity shop volunteers.

Next week, I hear he'll be at the Beat Bullying charity, presenting awards to those who have had to overcome bullies
time and again and again and again and again.

And then in the Autumn it seems he's due to give out the 'Conciliation Trophy' at Acas.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Top Barnet Tory: Coleman and Co are “immoral, disgusting and vile”

“immoral, disgusting and vile” - That's the view taken by no less a dignaitary than the Chairman of the Hendon and West Hendon Conservative groups, Adrian Murray-Leonard - who has bravely stuck his head above the parapet on the issue of Coleman and Co's naked greed.

In a Barnet Times article this morning he continues:

“Most of them are in it for themselves. They are living under an illusion of grandeur. Most of the people who are getting whipped to make the decision should stand up against it.”

Mr Murray-Leonard - hats off to you sir. There are loads of decent Conservatives like you around. But, as you rightly point out, Coleman and his cronies are "greedy vultures" with whom you do not want to be associated. Its no wonder that Chief Toad Coleman is such an embarrassment to the Conservative Party.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Brian Coleman - because he's worth it.

Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman has justified the fact that the mega pay rise he voted through for himself and his cronies is even bigger than his infamous free lunches, on the basis that he believes he is 'worth it'. As he told the Daily Telegraph:

"I don't have to justify what I earn. Councillors are worth every penny they earn."

Yes Mr Toad. Of course you are.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

PM launches 'The Big Pariah'

The Prime Minister: David Cameron was in Barnet yesterday - responding to the antics of long-time embarrassment to the Conservative Party: Brian Coleman - by launching his concept of the 'Big Pariah'. Here is his speech in full:

It’s great to be here in Barnet.

Before I get into the details, let me briefly explain who the Big Pariah is and why it is such a powerful idea.

You can call him Brian. You can call him Coleman. You can call him the king of bling. You can call him Mr Toad. I call him the Big Pariah.

The Big Pariah is about a huge freeloading councillor…

…where people, in their everyday lives, in their homes, in their neighbourhoods, in their workplace…

…don’t bother turning to officials, Barnet Council or the London Assembly for answers to the problems they face …

…but instead feel the pain of repeatedly paying out enough for Coleman and his fellow councilllors to help themselves.

It’s about people paying for his massive hikes in pay. Londoners forking out for his endless taxis. Constituents coughing up for yet more hikes in pay.

It’s about amphibious liberation –the biggest, most dramatic redistribution of power from the man and woman on the street to the Toad in the council chamber.

It’s time for something different, something bold - something that just pours money down the green-skinned throat of the ward councillor for Totteridge.

The Big Pariah is that something different and bold.

It’s about saying if we want Brian Coleman for the long-term, we need people to come together and hand over the cash together – because we’re all in this together.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Daily Express lays into 'Fat Cat' Coleman

The comment piece in the Daily Express today blasts 'fat cat' Coleman and his nose-in-the-trough behaviour. Here are some extracts:

"LIKE many people I’ve never been quite sure what David Cameron means by the “Big Society” but I am pretty sure it is not encapsulated by the figure of Conservative councillor Brian Coleman.

He is no volunteer giving up his time to serve his community.

It was revealed yesterday that Mr Coleman is pocketing £114,322 a year in allowances – more than the salaries earned by junior ministers in the coalition government. He receives £34,000 for sitting on Barnet council, plus £53,439 for sitting in the London Assembly and another £26,883 for being chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

While MPs have quite rightly been lambasted over the past year for their greed and excessive expensive claims, local councillors have been quietly feathering their own nests – and getting away with it. In fact, the worst of them are beginning to make MPs look models of self-restraint."

"Barnet, which this year increased allowances for its councillors from £17,454 to £27,580 and that of its leader from £40,893 to £47,027, was revealed earlier this year to be one of the lousiest councils in the country for carrying out adaptations so as to allow disabled residents to continue living in their homes – with residents waiting more than five years.

The council has also done away with full-time wardens at old people’s homes, instigating instead a system of roving wardens who cover the whole borough. Councillors defended the scheme by promoting it as pioneering and an efficient use of money.

But now it seems some of the money saved will simply be disappearing into councillors’ pockets instead. It is extraordinary that at a time of severe financial constraint a council which promotes itself as a super-efficient flagship authority can be awarding itself pay increases.

Far from nearly doubling councillors’ allowances a council which truly cared about giving taxpayers value for money would be abolishing them altogether."

"Anyone who genuinely cares about how their local community is run does not need to be paid for attending a couple of meetings a month and making decisions."

" It is disgusting that public service has been debased by a generation of councillors merely out to line their own pockets."

Friday, 16 July 2010

Brian Coleman Ejected From Club

Dear readers I hate to tell you this but I'm afraid its true. Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman has been ejected from and rejected by The Tufty Club.

He's brought this shame upon himself by deliberately and repeatedly ignoring good sense on road safety issues in Barnet - in favour of keeping the traffic moving at all costs. One presumes its because he's usually in a taxpayer-funded taxi somewhere on his way to yet another free feed.

But seems the final straw for Tufty and his chums came at the council meeting on Tuesday when Cllr Jack Cohen raised the suggestion of 20mph zones in Barnet. Tufty of course, is very much in favour of these because, as the BBC reported last year:
"..they have cut road injuries by over 40% in London, a study claims. In particular the number of children killed or seriously injured has been halved over the past 15 years, the British Medical Journal reported."
According to the Barnet Times, Coleman's reaction was “not in this borough”.

And Tufty's reaction to that?: "Not in my club!"

Quite right too.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Brian Mammon

Chief Toad: Brian Mammon forced through massive pay rises for himself and his fellow Tory Toads last night.

One Conservative, Brian Salinger was absent through illness. His wife Councillor Kate Salinger abstained from every vote. At the end of the meeting there was an unexpected item as Chief Toad Mammon indulged his bullying nature by publicly humiliating Ms Salinger for daring to abstain. She was vindictively and publicly removed, with immediate effect, from every chair, vice chair, committee membership and any other official role that she held in the Borough of Barnet.

After the meeting, a visibly delighted Mammon enjoyed bragging to the press about how strong, immediate discipline had been imposed on those who depart from the party line.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Bare-Faced Greed of Coleman's Conservatives

The 'Not The Barnet Times' blog reports this morning that Brian Coleman's Conservatives in Barnet are trying to force through proposals tonight that will see Coleman's already-inflated allowances rise to an austerity-busting £130,000.00+

Will it be enough to match his inflated ego?


Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Crap Cycle Superhighways - Coleman's fault?

So Boris' big idea of London cycle superhighways kick-starting a bicycle revolution has degenerated into a crap, bus-filled, lick of blue paint on the roads. A gimmick. But hang on a minute, Boris is a really keen cyclist is he not? I'm not his number one fan by any means, but on this I believe he really did have an ambitious vision. So why has it turned out so crap? Here's some conjecture for you:

One of the favourite obsessions of Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman - a convicted speeder - is keeping the flow of cars moving at all costs. In fact, its this similarity with Kenneth Grahame's Mr Toad that probably earned him his nickname. For example:

  • Against the wisdom of RoSPA, he's had road-humps systematically removed from Barnet's streets.
  • Against the street's residents, he's re-opened the rat-run: Partingdale Lane.
  • Against the best interests of cyclists, he enthusiastically supported the reckless and failed policy to introduce motorbikes to London's bus lanes.
  • Against the best interests of the primary school children in New Barnet, he's had a road (Coleman's Bottom) built right over their school playing field.
  • Against all reason, he's been appointed Barnet's Cabinet Member for the Environment saying (depressingly, predictably) "My priorities are roads, roads, roads and roads."

Now consider this. Boris Johnson's Conservatives hold just 11 of the 25 seats on the London Assembly so one assumes that Boris will want to keep those 11 as sweet as possible. Indeed, if one were to look at Boris' recent manipulation of the fire authority, one might think that Boris is keen to go to some lengths to keep Coleman sweet - and with his nose too busily planted in the trough to cause him any further trouble.

But would Boris "I'm-not-kidding-when-I-say-that-I'm-militant-about-cycling" Johnson be prepared to dramatically water down his pro-cycling aspirations - just to satisfy Mr Toads obsession - and thereby keep better control the slippery reins of power?

Poop Poop!

PS - For more on Mr Toad's record on road safety, I recommend Mark Pack's analysis.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Coleman squares up to RMT over northern line

Not content with burning his bridges with the Fire Brigades Union, Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman has been further indulging his second* favourite activity (union-bashing) by squaring up to the RMT over the northern line. The Ham and High reported recently that:

He has sent a memorandum to London Mayor Boris Johnson calling for drivers to be scrapped permanently, a move which he believes, would break the power of Britain's largest transport union RMT.

What a pants motive!

Mr Toad - you may be interested to discover that the northern line actually runs from High Barnet (my flimsy excuse for the pictoral pun above) - through Totteridge and Whetstone - on its way to London Bridge station. From London Bridge station its just a
short walk to City Hall.

However, rather than joining the 28.3 per cent of your constituents who already use the tube to get to work, you choose to squander the money we fork out each and every year for the all-zones travelcard that you fail to use - and add insult to injury by racking up
thousands upon thousands of pounds worth of taxi bills that we also have to fork out for. No wonder you're such an embarrassment to the Conservative Party in these time of austerity.

"All in this together"?
Not quite all Mr Osborne.

So here's a suggestion Mr Toad. How about you start actually using the tube before you start banging on about how it should operate?


*Toad's favourite activity

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The odious Toad of City Hall

Its a long way from his self-proposed new title of "Chairman and Leader" of course, but "The Odious Toad of City Hall" may well be the one that sticks. As the Tory Troll blog reported yesterday, Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman is proposing changes aimed at silencing the Fire Brigade Union if he

"considers the trade union’s presentation to be unreasonable and/or contrary to the good conduct of the business of the meeting."

This, of course is on top of Coleman's attempts to force through bitterly opposed changes to firefighters conditions of service. Indeed, the London Fire Brigade Union (FBU) are calling a demonstration tomorrow, saying:

“It’s time to tell Brian Coleman that enough is enough. We are sick and tired of him and his fire authority colleagues attempting to smash our hard-won conditions of service............Time and again we have proved that the argument that increases in productivity can best be secured by moving to 12-hour shifts are fatally flawed. That suggests the brigade’s proposals are politically-motivated, rather than being based around any kind of rationale or sensible research.
"If Brian Coleman thinks that 12-hour shifts are inevitable, he’d better think again. We just won’t accept them, and we will fight him in the courts and on the picket lines if he doesn’t back off.
“I urge members to get to the lobby and make their voices heard. It’s time to start increasing the pressure. It’s time to unite and fight.”

Brian Coleman politically motivated? Well I never.

If the last FBU protest is anything to go by, it promises to be vocal!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Coleman rides the gravy taxi

As George Osborne delivered the toughest budget in years today, news broke of yet another Coleman-caused embarrassment to the Conservative Party.

Proposals for a self-awarded 9 per cent pay rise would you believe, and a new title: 'Supreme Chief Toad and Eternal Croak Leader' (or some such).

Adam Bienkov has the scoop at the Tory Troll blog.

Does the new title come with any bling Adam?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Has anyone told Brian Coleman?

A kind contributor has pointed me towards the letters page of yesterday's Daily Telegraph, in which Richard Tracey: Transport Spokesman for the London Assembly Conservative Group, offers these words of wisdom:

SIR – The Olympic Delivery Authority’s promise to minimise disruption to London’s transport is a step in the right direction. We must hold it to this pledge. After all, it proposed Olympic lanes through the Blackwall Tunnel, only to retract the idea later.
To keep London moving during the Olympics, we must encourage the thousands of international visitors and sports officials to use the Tube, the buses and river transport. There is simply no space for their
chauffeur-driven limousines.

Commenting from his passenger seat this morning, Coleman sing-songed, "La-la-la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you-la-la-la-la-la", before blowing a raspberry and directing his driver to take him to another free dinner somewhere.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

"Self-serving, money-grabbing parasite"

Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman is celebrating.

David Miller of the excellent 'Not the Barnet Times' blog - one of Coleman's fiercest critics - has posted what he claims is his last post. He explains:

I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the political system in this country is rotten to the core. The choice, therefore, is either to spend the rest of my life fighting it, or simply ignoring it as best as possible. I have chosen the latter.

As for Barnet Council and our beloved councillors, there is nothing more that I can add that has not already been said about the self-serving, money-grabbing parasites who run the Town Hall and I shall waste no more time on them save than to say that I fear it will take the death or serious injury to an elderly resident in sheltered accommodation before voters realise the consequence of re-electing the Tories to office.

David - I understand your reasons and respect your decision - but I very much hope you will have a change of heart.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Toad's Roads

Barnet have appointed Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman as Cabinet Member for the Environment.

This is the same Mr Toad of course, whose environmental policies so far have included:

True to form, Coleman croaked:
"My priorities are roads, roads, roads and roads." *

One can only assume that this is part of Barnet's EasyCouncil approach - so if we want someone in charge of the environment who gives two hoots about it, we must pay extra.

In separate moves, Barnet have made Ronnie Biggs responsible for safeguarding the money, left the cats to mind the mice and put the lunatics in charge of the asylum.

* He really did say this!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Coleman is Barnet's new chief toad

Following the resignation of Barnet Conservatives chief whip: Councillor Robert Rams - Brian Coleman has been appointed Chief Toad.

It was believed widely within the local party that someone with a thicker, greener skin, and a proven record for 'getting things done' was exactly the kind of amphibian needed to keep people in line.

And Mr Toad certainly has a record - as he has proven time, and again, and again, and again, and again, and (famously) again.

"My track record speaks for itself" croaked Coleman.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Brian Coleman: that acceptance speech in full

I see that the good people of Totteridge have seen fit to elect Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman once again.

The Barnet Times reports that he has used the opportunity to magnanimously kick his political opponents while they're down.

Here then, is his acceptance speech in full:

You may recall that Mr Toad was investigated by the police after intimidating one of those political opponents. He croaked that she would:

"suffer after the election” because of her candidacy and added it is “now open season for everyone to have a knock at you and [your charity] The Larches will suffer...

You can prove Coleman wrong, by supporting the very good work of the Larches Trust at:

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Why vote for the Residents' Association of Barnet?

The Barnet rumour mill has it that Mr Toad recently made an irate phone call (his speciality of course) to the editor of the Barnet Times. The rumour goes that he was incandescent with rage over the amount of (entirely justified) coverage given to the newly-formed Residents' Association of Barnet party (RAB) - which is fielding independent candidates for local election across the borough. Clearly, he is a nervous man.

Keen watchers of Barnet politics will remember that during the last London elections, the Labour candidate for Barnet and Camden never once made it to Barnet (or was there a single, pathetic visit to Brent Cross?). Either way, its indicative of Labours lack of appetite for a fight in what they view as a safe, Conservative seat. Its no wonder that independent opposition is springing up. The RAB candidates seem to have largely been involved in local campaigns on behalf of the communities they live in - working for their communites on some of Barnet's most contentious planning decisions, notably Brent Cross and New Barnet. They know first hand the massive dissatisfaction with what must be the UK's most complacent Conservative council. Suddenly, the incumbents are up against locally-connected, well-organised people who are up for the fight.

Here then, in full, is RAB's most recent blog:

Many Barnet residents were, and remain, deeply unhappy about the way in which Barnet Council is run. Amongst many of the concerns expressed is the character and integrity of those who were elected to represent residents in the one organisation that effects all our daily lives; and is paid for from our taxes

Set out below are the seven key principles that should apply to all aspects of public life as set down by the Committee for Standards in Public Life.

Now when reading them please consider and think very carefully. Do you believe that the Barnet Councillors seeking re-election have lived up to these standards in both the letter and the spirit of the principles over the past four years?

If you do, then vote with a clear conscience that your selection will, at the very least, be qualified for continuing public life.

If not; then surely you must vote for the people who will not only live up to these standards but embrace them wholeheartedly and unequivocally. The independent candidates supported by The Residents' Association of Barnet candidates, are these people.


SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.

OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

OPENNESS -Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.


I look forward to my irate phone call :-)

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Coleman makes Barnet a laughing stock (again)

Here's the latest from the 'Rotten Boroughs' column of Private Eye:

People of Totteridge ward - surely this is not what you really want. The Liberal Democrats beat Labour into third place in Totteridge last time around. If you also believe that Coleman has got to go, then its probably your best bet to vote for them. What's more, turnout was only 42.51%. A bigger turnout and a swing to the Lib Dems is probably the best hope of unseating this man, rather generously described by Private Eye as a charmless oaf.

Come on people of Totteridge! Mr Toad has GOT to go!

Disclaimer - I know nothing whatsoever about any of the candidates in Totteridge except Coleman - about whom I know far too much.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Coleman's Window Dressing Dressing Down

I don't know. You turn your back for a week and there's even more reasons why Mr Toad must go - like his appalling behaviour at the LFEPA meeting and the further evidence of his tirades at members of staff. What's more, there's a happy case of him actually going - sacked as chair of the National Joint Council for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services. There's even a helpful suggestion for a method of exit for him :-).

In this post though, I'm going to focus on the public spat going on between Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman and David Howard - the chairman of the Federation of Residents' Associations in Barnet (FORAB).

I recently reported just how badly the residents of New Barnet and East Barnet were being served by Brian Coleman and the Conservatives, not least over the terrible loss of power that so many households suffered over the bitingly cold Christmas and new year period.

David Howard gave evidence at the first meeting, chaired by Coleman, intended supposedly to scrutinise the events and hold those responsible to account.

This is the damning verdict he gave to the
Barnet Times: “It was window dressing with an election in mind. It was a good opportunity to blame somebody else and be seen to be doing something when most of the problems are resolved."

Mr Toad hit back, accusing Mr Howard of having: "a political agenda" - rather than by defending his own (in)actions mark you. This, as one of the commenters on the Barnet Times website pointed out: "is despicable. The usual bull-headed, pig-ignorant Colemanballs. No doubt he'll accuse Mr Howard of being anti-Semitic or homophobic in a moment, his usual stock playground response to criticism of him."

I see that David Howard has (nobly) resisted the temptation to attack Coleman personally, and defended his actions on behalf of the community and his political neutrality in today's Barnet Times (Letters, page 18).

What he details is the uttter shambles over which Coleman has presided, with, it would seem, the sole intention of gaining political capital - and all the while showing utter contempt for his long-suffering constituents, the people of New and East Barnet:

Its time to do something useful, and wanted by the community for once Coleman - GO!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Cabbies euphoric over Coleman news

The news that Brian Coleman must relinquish Barnet's mayoral limousine was greeted with unprecedented scenes of wild jubilation amongst London's cab-driving community. Ecstatic cabbies hugged one another and danced in the streets outside City Hall, as they confidently anticipated another bumper payday.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

What have Brian Coleman's Conservatives got against the people of East Barnet ward?

Yesterday I reported on Coleman's reluctance to bring himself to the people of East Barnet for the committee which was supposed to be scrutinising their terrible loss of power over the Christmas and new year period, as the temperatures plummeted.

But it now turns out that's just the tip of his inaccessibility.
Comments left on this blog by New Barnet blogger: Mr Reasonable desribe how Coleman
"will only take written evidence. Two public representatives have been chosen and that's it. He will also hear from ward councillors, council officers and the utilities. No public debate. So there you have it. Hold the meeting miles away from where the problem was, eliminate public debate and accept what they tell you. Not my idea of democracy."

Quite. A far cry then, from what Coleman said to the Barnet Times:
"I want to hear from as many residents as possible so we are fully equipped to speak with authority on lessons that need to be learned for the future."

What's more, it turns out that this committee was held at the very same time as the council's demonstration - right over on the other side of the borough - of the planning options it is considering to replace the local town centre with soulless, high rise concrete and traffic pollution revitalise the local economy.

So the good people of East Barnet had to choose whether to have their voice heard on the power outtages they suffered, or to see the (frankly dreadful) schemes of Barnet council that are certain to affect them in a big way. Coleman's choice.

Barnet is 'represented' at the London level by Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman. At the Barnet coucil level, East Barnet ward which comprises New Barnet and East Barnet has three councillors. All of them are Conservative cronies of Coleman. Not one of them, it seems, lives in the ward they are so happy to concrete over. Indeed, they've already started. No wonder a Save New Barnet campaign has sprung up in self-defence.

So, what have Brian Coleman's Conservatives got against the people of East Barnet ward? I do not know. But one thing I do know: - If East Barnet ward votes for more of the same, in the elections on May 6th, they will surely get it.

If you're not registered to vote yet, you can register here.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Coleman's cold comfort

Do you remember those poor souls in East Barnet who had the most miserable Christmas, without power, and in Arctic conditions?

Well, hopes were raised recently when it was announced that Barnet council is setting up a scrutiny committee to make sure someone else takes the blame bring the culprits to account!

Then hopes were swiftly dashed, when it was reported that the committee will be chaired by Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman. Speaking to the
Barnet Times, Mr Toad said:
"I want to hear from as many residents as possible so we are fully equipped to speak with authority on lessons that need to be learned for the future."

However, the excellent Vickim57 blog reports that Mr Toad:
"has snubbed calls to hold the meeting in or close to East Barnet, meaning many of the vulnerable people who were left high and dry by the communication breakdown will again be denied the chance to have their say."

The fool.

Residents who are able to make it to the meeting will be able to give their evidence to Mr Toad's committee, right over on the other side of the borough, at Hendon Town Hall, the Burroughs, NW4 4BG at 7pm on Thursday 4 March. Official papers available here.

Friday, 12 February 2010

London firefighters protest against Brian Coleman

These clips, from last night's news, clearly demonstrate the level of anger that London firefighters are feeling against Brian Coleman. For background information on the dispute, I recommend the excellent 'Tory Troll' blog here and here.

Anyone know where I can get one of those 'Coleman must go' t-shirts? :-))

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Brian Coleman's diary

The Barnet Times reports that long-time advocate of sustainable transport solutions: Mayor Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman, took the mayoral car down to Edgware Infant School yesterday, to congratulate the pupils over the efforts they've made to walk to school.

Tonight Mr Toad is due to attend a meeting of the Barnet Weight Watchers to share his insights regarding self-restraint in the face of food temptation.

Later this week he'll be demonstrating to the Trappists, his expertise in keeping his trap shut.

Etc, etc............

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ball gown Bertha and the ugly sisters

The ugly sisters are having a laugh.

Brian Coleman's deputy at the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), has been caught out buying ball gowns for herself with money that should have gone to charity. Yesterday, Bertha 'ball gown' Joseph lost an appeal against her six month suspension. Adam Bienkov at the Tory Troll has the scoop.

However, ball gown Bertha not only still gets to go to the LFEPA ball - she's guest of honour. As Labour Vice Chair of LFEPA Navin Shah pointed out:
"Boris Johnson the Mayor of London, Cllr Bob Blackman and Cllr Brian Coleman’s record has been lamentable on this matter. Cllr Coleman Chair of LFEPA and his Tory colleagues have not only supported the disgraceful conduct of their member, but they’ve rewarded Cllr Joseph by handing out additional £12,000 a year from public purse and elevating her to the position of a Deputy Chair of the Fire Authority."

The ugly sisters are having a laugh. At us.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Coleman's 'legacy of hope'

The Barnet Times reports that Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman took both his faces to commemorate the Holocaust 'legacy of hope' Memorial Day in Hendon yesterday.

Mr Toad said:
"This year the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day is 'the legacy of hope'. Our legacy here in Barnet is a united community committed to educating the next generation against the prejudice of the last and determined to show we will stand up against those who advocate hate."

Coleman of course has something of a track record of standing up against those other Holocaust victims: Gypsies.

Legacy of hope? I despair.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Brian Coleman in a flap about internet freedom

Here's Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman striking a blow for intenet freedom in his press release of July of 2008:

Cllr Brian Coleman, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, has condemned the internet censorship that China is imposing on foreign journalists during the Beijing Olympics.

“I am appalled but not surprised at such authoritarian
behaviour by the Communist regime in China. They are clearly ashamed of the human rights abuses taking place just a few miles away from the Olympic Stadium, and are trying to hide this away from the rest of the world.

And here's Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman striking a blow against internet freedom in the Ham and High of October 2009:

"Just as we are regulating the net over child porn issues, I am afraid I have come to the conclusion that we need to regulate for the protection of public figures and private individuals who are targeted."

I have no doubt that the Communist regime in China agree with Mr Toad wholeheartedly.

I wonder which of his many failings he's ashamed of and trying to hide away from the rest of the world. It could be all the freeloading I suppose - or the bitter dispute he's in with the fire brigade. Perhaps its the embarrassment he continues to cause to the Conservative party. Or maybe its just his glaring Mr Bumble lookalikeyness that he wishes to cover up.
What do you think?