Friday, 25 September 2009

Would you prefer to suffer from wind or stage 4 bowel cancer

If you read my previous blog, you'd realise that I have come to the conclusion that the standards complaint process in Barnet is a complete charade designed purely to protect councillors. There is no element of natural justice involved and I believe the sub committee went far beyond their brief in their (I believe) unfounded criticism of this blog.

However having said all that, no one died, no one got injured and we'll all live to fight another day.

Far more worrying is the report on the Tory Troll website.

This details how BNP GLA member Richard Barnbrook has received the following punishment for lying about claims of murders.

Greater London Authority

1. Formal Censure
2. Requirement to apologise on the GLA website and on his personal blog
3. submit to training on ethics and standards in public life

Barking and Dagenham Council

1. Suspension for one calendar month without pay
2. Requirement to apologise
3. Failure to apologise leading to indefinite suspension

Compared to what Barnbrook did, Coleman's offences were trivial. Whatever I think of Coleman, Barnbrook has shown himself to be in a totally different league. However toothless Barnet may seem, however biased I may think the process was, pales into insignificance compared to how lame the censure of Barnbrook is. The process prevented the panel in Barnet from hearing my side of the story, so I couldn't put my case. I'll forgive them on the basis that I believe they were mislead. It was clear as day that Barnbrook had behaved atrociously and willfully mislead people in matters likely to cause public affray.

Whatever I think of Brian Coleman and however much I may dislike aspects of his behaviour, his actions result in little more than the furring up of his arteries and me possibly paying a penny a year more tax. If Barnbrook's mob were in the position Coleman's lot are, lord help us all. In my humble opinion in terms of their character, their policies and their standards hearings it is like comparing a mild case of wind with stage 4 bowel cancer.

Sometimes it helps to get things in perspective and see the bigger picture.


Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad has GOT to go said...

Rog - I have to take issue with you here.

Yes - Richard Barnbrook is a nastier individual than Brian Coleman.

But to suggest that Coleman's impact is so minimal is way off in my view.

It was Coleman remember, who stabbed Brian Salinger in the back, thereby allowing Mike Freer into power in Barnet. Since then the two of them have been thick as thieves, bringing about all the Thatcherite policies you detest so much.

Does that really amount to just a penny difference in taxes? No way. Coleman has had, and continues to have big impacts on people's lives. Why don't you ask those living in sheltered housing, or London firefighters, or the kids having a road built across their school field, or the residents of Partingdale Lane or those burying their dead babies - and so the list goes on and on.

Barnbrook is a lone voice at City Hall who has achieved a big, fat zero.

Coleman on the other hand has a whole administration working for him and has used that to full effect, implementing bad policy time and again with his customary self-importance and arrogance.

Which of the two do I most dislike? Barnbrook.

Which of the two do I think has had the biggest negative impact on people? Coleman - by a country mile.

Rog T said...

I understand your point and in some ways you may be correct, but consider this. How many people have been beaten up by Coleman sympathisers? None. How many people live in fear of bricks through the window or poo through the letterbox from Coleman sympathisers? None. You are probably correct that he's caused more damage than many, by promoting Freer & the damage he's done, but that's only cos Barnbrook is so unpopular. I never said that severe wind was pleasant

Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad has GOT to go said...

I see where you're coming from Rog. Roll on the next GLA election and hopefully we can kick them both out. If we're really lucky, the Labour candidate for Barnet and Camden may even bother to visit Barnet next time.

vickim57 said...

And this is what I've said over on my blog, replying to a comment from Roger:

I would argue that in fact the two cases are intimately linked.

When people think the 'political class' is corrupt and out-of-touch, they stay at home on election day, allowing the likes of Barnbrook to get in. Or, worse, they go to the polls and vote for him.

Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad has GOT to go said...

Yes Vicki. Absolutely right. As someone much more widely-read than myself once wrote:

"In a recent post, I drew attention to our very own Barnet Councillor, Brian Coleman and his rather excessive list of free lunches (often at fund raising events). His massive, taxpayer funded Taxi bill, has also been the subject of many lines of press. Well it seems that Brian Coleman isn't the only person who has benefitted from the hospitality and the free rides, he's received. I got an email asking me if I'd checked how many free dinners the GLA's only BNP member had. Any guesses? Well he's not declared a single thing. Now my first reaction was "Billy no mates" (or should that be "Dicky no mates"). I suspect few organisations or charities wish to be associated with Barnbrook or the BNP (of course the BNP draw a totally different conclusion). What the email told me is that Brian Coleman's largess is actually being used by the BNP. He is being used as an example of how "corrupt" the system is. The following is a quote from a BNP website about Coleman. This is just one of many :-

Speaking to a reporter for the London Evening Standard, BNP assembly member Richard Barnbrook, who also sits on the audit panel, said that Mr Coleman’s expense account “paints the assembly in a bad light” “We can’t have members being brought into disrepute, with papers making statements about the abuse of council tax money.”.

So there you go. Now the question has to be "Would the BNP comment on Colemans expenses unless they thought it would help them?" Of course they wouldn't. There are no stories about Andrew Dismore helping working class families on the Grahame Park Estate, they only post "useful" stories.

The mere fact that Coleman's taxi expenses are more than the rest of the GLA put together, shows that he is the exception, but he is causing major damage to the reputation of his colleagues. The problem is that there is no justification for his behaviour. His colleagues really must recognise this fact and address it, by refusing to do so they are condoning it and ultimately helping the BNP get their message across. Do his colleagues really want to hand parties of hate open goals? The sad truth is that Brian Coleman and his outrageous behaviour has become a propoganda tool for the BNP.

I run a recording studio. We have an old adage that "you can't polish a turd" - It doesn't stop certain people from trying very hard to prove the adage wrong - it seems that Coleman's expenses are applying the polish.

Coleman must go for the good of all London. "