Wednesday 9 May 2012

Brian Coleman: back in the real world

Mrs Angry giving Humpty a helping hand.

*Updates Thursday: see below and below, and below, Friday

In an age of miracles, here is the latest great news: Brian Coleman has lost his much loved post as Chair of LFEPA, the London fire and emergency authority, and been replaced by Tory GLA group leader James Cleverly.

Cleverly has already tweeted, in response to the FBU

"Hearing that is new chair of LFEPA. Look forward to working with him. Army background might prove useful!"

It's a good start: let's hope Cleverly will put aside the politics of confrontation which was the mark of Coleman's tenure at LFEPA, and London will have a fire and emergency authority that is run for the benefit of the city, and not in accordance with a lunatic agenda of obsessive union bashing, and punitive cost cutting, punctuated by the odd luncheon at taxpayers' expense.

London's firefighters celebrate: Coleman is gone

No doubt the directors of Assetco will not be cracking open the champagne today, and oh dear, someone in his charity flat in Finchley will be needing to carry out his own cost cutting exercises after losing, in a matter of days, a combined income of around £80,000, from a total £130,000.

If, as justice demands, Coleman loses his Cabinet post here in Broken Barnet, he will see a sizeable chunk of the remaining £50,000 vanish down the plughole too. Shame.

Mrs Angry thinks it rather unkind and really quite unnecessary to kick a man when he is down, and gloat on his misfortune.

In Brian Coleman's case, however, she must make an exception.

It rather looks as if our Mr Toad will soon be reduced to the rather more modest income of those residents he has so contemptuously ignored in his years of power, ordinary citizens, the elderly, the impoverished, the single parents, the vulnerable - 'these people', Councillor Coleman, remember?

Karma is not always instant: sometimes it takes a long, long time to work its way back to where it belongs.

If you have the ability, Brian, you will take this downfall in your fortunes to learn from your mistakes, and try to make amends. You could, as Tory leader Richard Cornelius suggested last week, find a more positive use for your talents. You know: that might even make you a happier person, and give you some better sense of fulfillment in life.

Well: maybe.

Mrs Angry - eternal optimist. x

Update Thursday 9am:

Rumours are rife that Brian Coleman has now been kicked out of his Barnet Cabinet post, and that he has been replaced by Councillor Dean Cohen. Mrs Angry hopes this is so: it is only right that Coleman should be removed and it would be particularly amusing if Dean Cohen took over as member for Environment etc. Coleman had a nasty habit of treating the younger councillor with his characteristic charmless and dismissive manner at meetings, which was unfair. Dean is a decent and sensible enough young man and a post with such responsiblity would be beneficial for him and for us.

Mrs Angry has been reminded that Brian has lost a cabinet post before, when the late Victor Lyon was leader. Coleman returned to the cabinet in the wake of a coup which he engineered so as to oust new leader, the moderate Brian Salinger, and replace him with the delightful Mike Freer, now our MP here in Finchley & Golders Green. This was, alas, the beginning of so much that is sick in the rotten borough of Broken Barnet: the hard faced Tory politics of the last few years, and the lunacy of the massive Easycouncil/One Barnet outsourcing scam.

This month will see a new Mayor in Barnet, the affable Brian Schama, and deputy Mayor Kate Salinger, who has also suffered at the hands of the vicious, vindictive cabal of Tory hard liners in Barnet. It would be good to think that the new Mayoral year will mark the start of a new era in Barnet, where our elected representatives work together towards a better future for us all, wouldn't it?

Is the rumour true? Will Coleman resist such a move and pull out his last reserves to maintain his last remaining hold on any power? Tonight's meeting will decide his fate: in order to challenge leader Richard Cornelius' proposal to appoint Dean Cohen to the post, Brian would need to persuade two thirds of the Tory councillors to object. Craven and abject as they have been in the past, now that they are given the opportunity of freeing themselves from bondage to this arrogant, bullying fool, surely even the most dim witted of our dim witted Tory councillors will not back Coleman in this, his last stand, will they? How many bodies are there buried under the floorboards of Broken Barnet? Not enough, one would have thought. Let's see.

*Updated again:

Oh, what larks. The local Times paper tried this morning to speak to Councillor Coleman about his fall from grace. According to a tweet by the Times' Tim Jones:

"Our reporter just phoned Coleman for a comment. He answered and passed the phone to his 'agent' who then said Brian declined to comment..."

Unkind suggestions on twitter have speculated that this was a. Brian putting on a funny voice, or b. evidence that our man is now taking up a career in showbiz.

Over at the Barnet Press, however, fearless reporter Dan O'Brien has spoken to Coleman - survived the experience, and received some priceless quotes: he claimed he no longer wants the Environment & Planning post, and is 'glad' to be rid of it. In the article, headed by a phrase that will amuse Councillor Andrew Harper, as well as Mrs Angry - 'Coleman 'glad' to lose his portfolio' - Brian said:

"Of course I don't want it. I have had quite enough thank you," he said. "I can't lose it quick enough.”

No doubt Councillor Coleman will be writing an open letter to the Barnet bloggers in order to thank them for enabling him to arrive at this happy conclusion to his political career.

No, really, Brian: you're welcome.


Not much news from last night's Tory AGM meeting which was set to confirm the new Cabinet appointments, except that Mrs Angry's spy claims that at the meeting, Brian Coleman, our former AM, and former Chair of LFEPA, and former Cabinet member for Environment and Planning, and former representative on the NLWA was ...

'very relaxed and chilled. He 'accepted full responsibility' and he's going to be pretty tough on his new committee!'

Of course in many ways Brian is, like David Brent, no more than a chilled out entertainer.

Good to hear, though, that he is going to be 'pretty tough' on his new committee, Budget Performance Overview. Yawn. Poor Brian. This role is the equivalent of being sent to the Gulag. Overview committees have no real power, and are always ignored by the Cabinet - of which Brian is no longer a member.

One might hope that accepting full responsibility might mean Coleman is acknowledging that his behaviour has been unacceptable, and that he needs to change. It is more likely, however, that he is simply hoping that he can bide his time on the backbenches, and somehow engineer his way back to power. If that he what he thinks, he has made yet another serious miscalculation.


Ron said...

you are a cruel, cruel woman, Mrs Angry. I like you.

Mrs Angry said...

not cruel, Ron: firm but fair, at least in the case of Brian Coleman. And now, wit the luxury of distance, I do feel very sorry for him.

Mr Mustard said...

I think Brian must have taken up that suggestion I made to him rather cheekily last week just after the start of his fall from grace in which I suggested he become Brian "cuddly" Coleman

( don't go getting the wrong idea now - Miss Streatham is my kind of thing ).

baarnett said...

An expert tells me that Bwian will inevitably lose his allowance for being on the board (bored) of the "North London Waste Authority", based at Camden Town Hall.

If Dean Cohen takes his place, he can say "Hello!" there to the other Great Statesman from the London Borough of Barnet on that board, Councillor Melvin Cohen.

His dad.

Unkind references to Pater:

Not the Barnet Times

Barnet Eye

Unkind references to Filius:

Barnet Eye

Broken Barnet (well, slightly unkind)

Mrs Angry said...

hmm, Mr Mustard, I must publish the email you sent to Brian, with its helpful advice. I'm sure it was gratefully received.

Ha: Baarnett - 'bored' eh - so you are the phantom 'agent' who has been sockpupetting on Another Blog in my name ... tut tut. Perhaps you are also Brian Coleman's new agent? Have you got him in panto yet?

I rather like Dean Cohen because he is young, but not hard & mean like all the other young, hard a& mean Tories and it was horrible to see Coleman being so rude to him. Also I feel guilty for being rather naughty at the residents forum when he was chair. Sorry, Dean. Not sorry in the case of Reuben Thompstone though, who deserves it.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Dean Cohen not hard and mean? How soon they forget.

Mrs Angry said...

hmm ... Mrs Angry was not born then, but then young Dean must have only have been about 12 at the time. Easily led, I imagine. We all know the Tories are all too scared to stand up & be counted when conscience dictates - apart from Kate Salinger. They do the wrong thing and then call it party loyalty. Or Rams style, they suddenly all get the urge to have a pee at the same time, & leave the council chamber so as to miss the vote.