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.