Monday 5 November 2012

Up before the beak: Brian Coleman and a courtroom drama that wasn't

Brian Coleman leaves Uxbridge Magistrates Court -  pic stolen from Citizen Barnet

 Mrs Angry was unable to attend Uxbridge Magistrates Court* this morning, to see our little friend Councillor Coleman in the dock, as she is rather indisposed, but thank you for asking, not dead yet. You'll miss her, you know, when she's gone, especially you, Brian Coleman: who will be around then, to guide your political thinking in the right direction - as in the case of dumping One Barnet? Eh?

So we must rely on the testimony of others - see Citizen Barnet and the Barnet Eye for an account of this morning's proceedings, whereby Coleman, the former Cabinet member, former Assembly Member, former Chair of the London fire authority, and, oh dear, former member of the Conservative Party, was obliged to stand and answer to two charges, one of 'assault by beating' and a driving offence. The accused pleaded 'not guilty, m'lud', and a trial, aimed at lasting no longer than four hours, phew, will now take place at Uxbridge on February 6th.

Councillor Coleman was seen leaving the courtroom in an apparently cheerful mood, witnessed by a number of reporters and some determined Barnet residents keen to observe the rather minimal amount of courtroom drama.

Perhaps Brian feels he is right to feel cheerful: he was said to be - rather to the discomfiture of some of his colleagues - on top form at last week's Chipping Barnet Conservative Association dinner, attended by the Home Secretary Theresa May... 

It sounds a wonderful evening, at the South Herts Golf Club in Totteridge: on the menu ...

Jubilee Salmon or Asparagus Soup
Supreme Chicken with mushroom sauce
Mango and Passion fruit pavlova or Cheese and Biscuits

All sounds a bit Abigail's Party, doesn't it? But then that is the era in which Barnet's Tories really belong, to be frank.

Teflon Theresa, (yes, the other one) appeared to avoid Brian's table, for some reason. 

Councillor Robert Rams, once Brian's junior apprentice, of course, commented on twitter:

"Great speech by the Home Secretary this evening "I give the police one target - cut crime" 

Good. Quite right. Mrs Angry is pleased to see the Conservatives in Barnet standing firm on this issue, aren't you, citizens? And luckily our police here in Barnet, and indeed Finchley, are very keen to comply with the Home Secretary's target.

'Leader' Richard Cornelius was said to be frantically chair hopping all evening, urgently seeking the support of colleagues over a rather sticky problem.

Mrs Angry hears rumours, you see, that there may be some uncertainty in Barnet Tory ranks over the correct procedure for excluding councillors from their group. Yes ... although suspended from the Conservative party, local government law on this issue refers to groups, rather than parties, and it has been reported that to exclude a member from the group requires a different procedure to a suspension by a political party, as it is the group which is recognised in regards to the council. 

Tomorrow's full council meeting will perhaps demonstrate whether or not the vacillating Tory 'leader' has entirely distanced himself from the man he told us last week he 'knows and likes', or whether Coleman will prove rather more difficult to dislodge. Will he turn up? Of course he will. Where will he sit? With his old cronies. Is this how suspension is supposed to work? You tell me.

Mrs Angry is reminded of the fabled and possibly apocryphal story of the performance of 'Tosca' in which the tragic, portly soprano throws herself off the parapet onto what should have been a mattress, but had been replaced by a trampoline: like the bouncing Tosca, when at last you think you've seen the back of him, Brian Coleman always pops up again.

*Historical Footnote: 

Talking of courtroom drama: Brian would be interested in this, bearing in mind his fascination for the infamous Black Museum ...

Uxbridge Magistrates Court appears to have only one other claim to fame, historically speaking, anyway.

According to a local history available online here this was the place where, in 1924, and 1933, 'the most infamous man to have appeared before Uxbridge's magistrates', a certain John Reginald Halliday Christie, whose later address was 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, was up before the old beak for a couple of offences: first being the theft of a bicycle, for which he got no, not community service: hard labour, and then, on his return to Uxbridge, Christie was prosecuted for the theft of a car, and, tut tut, various driving offences ...

Updated: two local tv news stories covering today's events in Uxbridge:

courtesy ITV London Tonight

 courtesy BBC London News


Citizen Barnet said...

I think it was about as eventful as these things ever can be. For fireworks this 5 November, we needed to look in the night sky.

Mrs Angry said...

That is very poetic, Citizen barnet.
I'm jealous really, missing the fun.

Citizen Barnet said...

I am sure Barnet has plenty more fun to show us yet.

baarnett said...

The Daily Mail says tonight (roughly):

"Politician suspended from the Tory party is to sneak off to the 'I'm A Celebrity' jungle"

Can't think who.