Friday, 23 April 2010

The Night Mayor of Broken Barnet

Well, well.

It seems that our beloved Mayor, Brian Coleman, is in trouble again, and has been helping the police with their enquiries. Tut Tut. Now then: Mrs Angry is not one to kick a man when he is down, but in Brian's case she is happy to make an exception. Hold on while she just slips into some lovely pointy stillettos. Wait though: he might enjoy that, fond memories of Margaret Thatcher, and all. I'll borrow the daughter's Doc Martens instead. There.

Well, could there be a more fitting Mayor of Broken Barnet than Brian Coleman?

If ever anyone personified all that is wrong with the mutant strain of Conservative politics that has infected our Town Hall, it is surely he. (see earlier blog, The Lunatics Have Taken over the Asylum) Who could attempt to represent this dysfunctional, heartless, self-loving administration better than our Brian?

To be fair, though, we should remind ourselves of his remarkable political achievements, and the immense contribution he has made to the community which he was elected to serve.

... and now let's remember some of the other stuff.

The outrageous amount of our money spent on staggeringly high taxi fares to carry the divine being around his public dinners and engagements.

The obstinate refusal to publish details of his GLA expenses, until forced to by Boris Johnson, having been quoted in the Standard saying such matters were none of the public's business:

The Partingdale Lane fiasco,

The removal of speed humps, (followed by losing his licence for, er, speeding),

Insulting the local Middlesex University as by describing it as 'crap', (followed by, er, an acceptance of an honorary degree from said university),

Taking it upon himself to make lurid 'cottaging' allegations about the late former Tory PM Heath,

Attacking Sir Ian Blair for liking a drink at public events, (only Brian is allowed to indulge himself at these shindigs)

Insulting our Olympic athletes by saying they would have 'blood on their hands'.

Oh, and of course being found guilty of breaking the council's code of conduct for 'failing to treat others with respect' after insulting blogger Roger Tichborne, for which Mike Freer offered him £10,000 of our money for his legal fees. Did we get that back, by the way?

Then we have last year's 'you odious toad' outburst at the GLA in which he exploded at a fellow member for, amongst other crimes, being a grammar school boy. Coleman himself, of course, was a grammar school boy. Rather amusingly, there has for some time previously been a Facebook group dedicated to removing Coleman from office, called 'Mr Toad (aka Brian Coleman) must go'. Another case of Freudian projection, it seems, an interesting pattern of behaviour which our man often exhibits, in almost all the examples listed above.

To me, the most bizarre episode of all was the story reported in the Barnet Press last May describing Coleman's interest in a proposed tourist attraction using exhibits from the Black Museum which he suggested might, in order to 'add spice', display the saucepans Denis Nilson used to dispose of the body parts of his victims. Coleman commented that this would have 'teenage boys queuing around the block'. One would have thought he might realise that any decent person would be revolted by the idea, or that he might just have had some thought for the families of Nilson's victims. Evidently not. What does this tell us about our Mayor, I ask?

Since the story this week about the alleged 'angry' phone call, others have commented that they too have had experience of Mr Coleman's unique telephone manner. Mrs Angry can exclusively reveal that she too has had this memorable treatment. One day she will tell the whole horrible tale, which involved a planning application, a complaint, and an anonymous attempt to smear the complainant's reputation, happily easily proven as utterly baseless, which mysteriously appeared in a newspaper. Nice.

According to reports, the police have now advised Coleman 'over his future conduct'.

Mrs Angry would like to offer Coleman some advice too, although she is not entirely confident that Mr Mayor will want to hear it.

My advice, Brian, is that you remember you are an elected representative, not the dictator of some South American banana republic.

As a local councillor, or member of the GLA, you are supposed to serve the interests of your consituents. You seem to be unaware that this means listening to a broad range of opinions from different individuals and sections of the community, and showing respect for their right to hold such a variety of opinions even when, goodness me, they do not coincide with your own. Being elected to public office should be an honour, and a privilige, a chance to represent, support and protect the interests of the people who have put you in that position: it is not a ticket to a life of self indulgence, an opportunity to hang on the coat tails of, to use that favourite phrase of yours, 'the great and the good', that exclusive club to which, sadly, you will never be admitted.

You claim to be a member of the Methodist Church. Let's see you show some Christian values in your political life. A little more Christian humility, love of one's neighbours, generosity and tolerance might be somewhere to start. Stop resorting to confrontation and force in order to get your way: if you hold such contempt for the opinions and feelings of the public who put you in office, do us all a favour, pal, and stand aside for someone who can do the job properly.

Another blogger has speculated that Coleman's character has been formed by the bullying he allegedly received as a schoolboy, and has suggested that perhaps we should feel sorry for him. Certainly he presents a rather lonely figure at times. He is old enough and intelligent enough to recognise, however, that bullying is unacceptable and a weakness, not a strength. Many children have been subjected to far worse abuse and not repeated the cycle within their own adult lives.

Finally I would ask the voters of Barnet, and indeed of the GLA, what exactly the glaring failure to challenge the embarrassing behaviour of Brian Coleman tells them about the Conservative party leadership and local activists. I have yet to meet a Tory supporter who is prepared to express support for his antics and yet fellow party members are happy to condone his behaviour by refusing to review his position. This is great news for Labour and now the Libdems, of course, so what the heck. It would be nice to think that the voters of Totteridge might like to do the right thing and vote for someone else for a change: who knows, maybe the Clegg factor will have some unforeseen benefits after all.

Mrs Angry will now leave Brian to sit on the naughty step and just think about what he has done wrong, but let us just enjoy once more the great man's words, as quoted in the Standard, when he was showing a little reluctance to disclose his expenses details to the unworthy public:

' ... they are not entitled to drool over our personal lives. I'm not going to help the mad, bad and the sad, the bloggers on the internet. (ha ha) I'm not pandering to mob rule. It undermines democracy to suggest that all MPs, all politicians are the spawn of Beelzebub ...'

It's the forked tongue that gives it away, Brian.


Rog T said...

Dear Mrs Angry,

I am sorry to inform you that Beelzebab is most upset with the tags on this blog and a writ is in the post. He wishes to make it abundantly clear that he is in no way related to or responsible for the behaviour of the Mayor of Barnet or any other Barnet Tories and any further attempts to besmirch his name in this way will result in serious trouble in this life and the next !

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Mrs Angry

In your list of Mr Coleman’s wonderful achievements, you omitted to mention that he was responsible for hiking the cost of infant burials last year by 10% (later reduced to 6.25% after a campaign led by Not The Barnet Times)

There are many loyal Conservative party members who would like to see the back of Coleman but the association has effectively been hijacked by the councillors and debate and dissent is not tolerated. Members are consequently leaving in droves.

The residents of Totteridge could do us all a favour by simply not voting for Coleman next week. They can still vote for two other Conservative councillors - just leave one blank space on the ballot paper. It’s the only language he will understand.

Mrs Angry said...

Rog: shame I've already used 'Sympathy for the devil' as a title!

Don't call me Dave: the gross insensitivity of raising the infant burial costs is appalling, and sadly not surprising. As to the local Conservative Association, it absolutely baffles me why the majority of decent Tory voters do not stand up for what is right and replace Coleman with a candidate who will not embarrass their party or needlessly offend so many people. Until they do, they are betraying the principles they believe in. Your point about the voting in Totteridge is crucial, and I think this message needs to be hammered home to the good people of the ward who may not realise they have the option not to vote for all three candidates: it's easy to misunderstand the process.

Anonymous said...

I hope you saw that the Coleman's electability has been considerably boosted by an appearance in the latest Private Eye

Mrs Angry said...

Hello,Tom ... yes, I hear he is in Rotten Boroughs, can't believe it's his first appearance. Good timing. Loving the new look, by the way, Brian.