Friday, 31 July 2009

What the Dickens!?!

If Charles Dickens were still around, he would, I'm sure, have enjoyed writing about Brian Coleman. In fact, I have often wished for his genius at deft ridicule, particularly for the purposes of writing this blog. For if ever there were a modern day Dickensian figure then surely it is Councillor Coleman of Totteridge, Mayor of Barnet and self-styled 'King of Bling'.

Imagine then my delight at coming across this incontestible proof of his Dickensian-ness:

Mr Bumble the beadle................Mr Coleman the mayor

"Mr. Bumble had a great idea of his oratorical powers and his importance."
~Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

I rest my case.

I should add here that Brian 'Mr Bumble' Coleman is in no way related to Barnet's other Mr Bumble. This latter Mr Bumble of course, being much-loved at Barnet Football Club...

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Brian's bookshelf

If, like me, you've ever wondered about Brian Coleman and, specifically, what on Earth might have made him, you know, like he is - then this post is for you.

This blog has managed to get a sneaky glimpse of Brian's bookshelf and I think it provides a revealing insight into what has inspired Brian Coleman to be anyway, here are the books we sneakily glimpsed:

Firstly, an object lesson, on why you must be careful about what books you give your easily-influenced children to read. Just look at Coleman's Bottom! NB - its not as scary as it sounds.

Secondly, a book that's clearly been a huge success for the comatose Councillor Coleman.

Here's some more advice that the Assembly Member for Barnet and Cabden has taken very much to heart.

Enough said!

And finally - Oh dear. It looks like the masticating Mayor has taken some bad advice when it comes to his pet hate: Blogs, and his pet love: Lunches.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Brian Coleman's Wind

Archive Coleman-related shennannigans on a Friday is becoming something of a habit. Today's concerns Frith Manor Primary School.

Following the school tragically burning down, they decided to rebuild as an Eco-school, generating their own power, saving money and the environment, and educating and involving the kids into the bargain. A brilliantly imagined and realised project as this really nice clip demonstrates.

There was a single objector: Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman (now on his holiday, one assumes he's not taking his vacation on the Isle of Wight to support the Vestas workers)

Here's the really nice clip:

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Perturbing the police

Hold it right there Councillor Coleman!

You're under arrest for blatantly using the police as a political prop.

Now I understand sir, that you said something stupid about the woman who was backhanded twice by a police officer and then struck on the legs with a baton. You said sir, as I recall:

"Nicky Fisher turned up to this protest, which everyone said could be violent. She put herself in this situation – and lo, she was hit. It's like going gambling and then complaining that you've lost money".

As I recall, you took quite a bit of political flak for that, so tried to use cheap and nasty gimmick of your 'Commend A Copper' Facebook group to change the subject. And now that's all gone pear-shaped.

It seems that you are so despised that, to this day, that group has only succeeded in attracting to the police, the opprobrium that seems to follow you around like a bad smell. Your post about the group on the Conservative Home website drew a similar stink, even from your fellow Conservatives. If you don't mind me saying so sir, you put yourself in this situation - and lo, you was hit (speaking virtually of course). Furthermore sir, I see that some wag has now responded by setting up the 'Commend A Kipper' Facebook group, with reference to your fervour for free food.

On top of all that, I'm arresting you for crimes against copywriting, with your absolutely atrocious attempts at alliteration.

I've got you bang to rights Councillor Coleman, now I'll have to ask you to accompany me down to the station.

What's that? No sir, we will not be hailing a cab...

Friday, 17 July 2009

Herculean effort, and an attack from the archive

Right now, (and doubtless for a time to come), Adam Bienkov of the Tory Troll blog is undergoing the Herculean task of going through Brian Coleman's expenses (pictured above). Good quality, primary source journalism. Its a blog that has broken the stories on a whole load of Coleman outrages. Keep a check on it for more revelations to come.

Apart from the good works of the Tory Troll, there's been so much other Coleman-related press and bloggery this week that I confess I've had some trouble keeping tabs on it all. Here for your interest though, are some recent highlights:

Liberal Conspracy asks 'Is Brian Coleman AM finished?'
Barnet Council Watch says 'This is not just arrogance. This is Brian Coleman arrogance'.

And I finish with a clipping from the archive kindly sent to me on Facebook by a Barnet Football Club supporter. As he wrote:

"Coleman claimed to have been attacked by Barnet supporters, but had in fact barged into a group of Colindale residents opposed to building in Montrose Park. As one eye witness (a former councillor) put it: "Oh my God, he's attacking them!"

As my correspondent went on to point out:

"There's no love lost between Barnet supporters and Coleman, given his antics against the club relating to the ground issue, so imagine the shock when he turned up for the final match of last season (complimentary tickets and matchday hospitality of course!)."

Originally published in the Evening Standard on 9th March 2006, the piece was written by one of Coleman's many winers and diners: Ross Lydall. Click the thumbnail for bigger and readable:

Tory chief in fracas with soccer ground protesters

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Coleman's Bottom

Histrory, they say, repeats itself.

So it is with the
Asset Co scandal, in which Coleman awarded the company a multi million pound contract after being wined and dined by their chief executive.

This, after all, is not the first time that free food fan: Mr Toad has been supportive of a venture being promoted by someone who also happens to be one of his many winers and diners - detailed
here and here.

Those with long memories may recall that Brian Coleman forced through a
scheme that included a deeply unpopular new road to be built across a primary school playing field in New Barnet (Metropolitan Open Land adjoining the Green Belt). Rather than debate the environmental and planning merits of the scheme, he chose instead to use a straw man argument, effectively labelling local parents and environmental campaigners - his constituents mark you - as a bunch of racists, "idiots" and "the usual Nimby brigade".

Now why would Brian Coleman go to such lengths to abuse his own constituents? I merely note that he is regularly wined and dined by the president of the venture which wanted to build the road:
Gerald Ronson - and I leave readers to draw their own conclusions.

Incidentally, I hear that the hated road is known locally as 'Coleman's Bottom'. Here's what it looked like before Coleman:

Here's what it looks like since Coleman added (landscape) injury to insult:

Tip of the hat to the Save New Barnet campaign for the pictures.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Brian Coleman 'hampered' - rather less smart than the average bear

Another day, another Brian Coleman scandal (or two).

This time it appears that he's received a big, fat hamper from a contractor - to whom he's then gone on to award a multi-million pound contract (today's scandal number one).

What's more (today's scandal number two) he's been caught out making up the rules as he goes along. It seems that this is not only undemocratic, but also against the law.

The marvellous Tory Troll blog has the scoop on both stories.

How much scandal can this freeloader's political life endure? Not much more surely.

Fingers crossed eh :-)

Monday, 13 July 2009

The Bart Simpson defence

The Barnet Times reports today that Mr Toad's preliminary misconduct hearing will be held this Thursday (behind closed doors - worse luck). This remember, is the hearing that the leader of Barnet council: Mike Freer gave Mr Toad ten thousand pounds of our money for, to spend on solicitors (even though he already had some solicitors paid for). Anyway, it seems that the councillors code of conduct requires him to "treat others with respect". It is alleged that his description of an opponent as "an obsessive, poisonous individual" is in breach of that code. Hmm.

Personally, I think he will employ the Bart Simpson defence (outlined in detail above) - however, I'd advise those responsible for reaching a verdict that Mr Toad can be a slippery fellow, as recent evidence shows.

On the misconduct investigation:
"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.

On publishing his expenses:
"I won't do it voluntarily. It's none of the public's business." ~ Brian Coleman 7 July 2009.

On bloggers:
"The mad, bad and the sad, the bloggers on the internet" ~ Brian Coleman 7 July 2009.
Oh dear!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Christ on a bike! Is that Coleman on a bus!?!

Vickim57 has issued a challenge.

She noted that Mr Toad claims £1,784.00 for a travelcard and questioned whether ths is good value for money (given his well-publicised travel preferences). She challenged us therefore to snap a picture of the taxi-loving Toad on public transport.

Well, I took this picture on Wednesday of this week, just before Mr Toad was forced into an embarrassing climbdown 'saw the light'.

Vicki, I claim my prize :-)

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Wordle Brian Coleman didn't want you to see

Before Brian 'Mr Toad' Coleman's humiliating climbdown on the issue - as he embarrassed the Conservative Party and stuck two metaphorical fingers up at us all by refusing to publish his expenses he said: "I'm from the Boris school of anarchist thinking. If somebody tells me to do something, I don't want to do it." (One presumes that this statement may not hold true if somebody tells him to get yet another cab to yet another free, slap-up meal of course).

Nevertheless, it gave me some contrarian inspiration as I thought to myself - just what does Brian Coleman hate the most? And then it came to me - Bloggers!* So I thought I'd become one.

Here then, for my first post is an idea I stole from Barnet blogger Vickim57. A Wordle of Coleman's expenses claims no less. The Wordle Brian Coleman didn't want you to see (click the picture for bigger (and sideways)):

*I expect he's none too fond of indigestion either but I couldn't become one of those.