Friday, 7 June 2013

Brian Coleman resignation - What about the victim Richard?

A man violently attacks a woman half his size in the middle of the High St in broad daylight. As passers by intervene, he carelessly drives off, bashing into other cars as he makes his escape. He then turns up at the Police station and tells them a pack of lies. He continues to lie for five months to all and sundry about the assault. On the day of the court hearing, the villain pleads guilty at the last minute. He gets a large fine. He then smirkingly tells the press that he "only pleaded guilty to get off on the driving charges, because it would be a hassle to lose his license".

What sort of a man would you think would behave like this? Would a man who carries on like this be someone who you would want to to represent you in the council? If you were the leader of the Political party who the man belonged to, would you wish to be associated with the man? What would you have to say to the victim of the assault (which has been proven to be completely unprovoked).

Well if you were Brian Colemans political boss, Councillor Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council would you say this
“I’m very sad but the party had no alternative under the circumstances of his conviction.
“The situation has been an embarrassment and the actions of one man have embarrassed the whole party. It was difficult but the group had to exclude him.”
This crass statement shows no sympathy for the victim whatsoever. There is no acknowledgement that Brian Coleman is a vicious thug and no worry for anything other than the fact that it is a bit embarrassing for the Conservative Party. It seems that Councillor Cornelius is very sad that his friend Brian Coleman has had to go. He hasn't said his behaviour was unacceptable or that assaulting women can never be excused. He didn't say that the Conservative Party expects a better standard of behaviour from its representatives. It seems that they don't care, so long as you don't embarrass them.

There is little human sympathy for Helen Michael, who has just buried her mum. There is no regret for the injuries she has suffered. There has been no apology for the whispering campaign portraying Helen as a slightly deranged stalker who has persued Brian Coleman beyond all reasonable means.

The facts of the case are crystal clear, it is all on CCTV. Brian Coleman parked illegally outside Helen Michaels cafe. Thousands of Barnet residents have been fined for such actions and had their cars photographed by Barnet Council parking wardens, who Brian Coleman used to control. Helen Michael did not film Brian Coleman. She took a picture of his illegally parked car. I have seen her phone footage and his tale of how she harrassed him is a pack of lies. She is videoing his car when the camera is dropped.

Coleman was quite happy for his parking wardens to do the same thing to anyone to fill the council coffers. His only problem was when a private citizen did it to him. Interestingly enough, a month before the assault, I filmed Brian Coleman outside the Council chamber. He was talking to John Burgess, the local Unison rep and I very openly filmed Coleman and said "Smile for the camera". He sneered, but said nothing. Why did he say nothing to me, a 6'1 sixteen stone man, yet violently assault Ms Michael for filming his car? I believe it is because Brian Coleman, like all bullies, is a complete and utter coward. The sad thing is that his little gang of Richard Cornelius and co are so taken with the man, that they can no longer tell the difference between right and wrong.

Barnet Council needs a new broom. We need new faces in the Conservative party, unsullied by these tawdry goings on. We need people of honour and people with some backbone and moral fibre. We need people who do not accept that beating up women and then telling lies is OK. We need people who care more about the London Borough of Barnet than their own "embarrassment". Whilst I am not a Tory or a Tory voter, I passionately believe we need decent people in all parties. What happened outside Cafe Buzz last September and the shenanigans that have followed are a sorry stain on the reputation of the Borough. The comments of Richard Cornelius are simply the latest installment in a sorry tale of woe.

It is only eleven months until the next council election. If, as I suspect,, the Conservatives lose control of Barnet, I suspect Richard Cornelius may rue the day he made these comments and his colleagues may well regret not taking some action to appoint a leader who cares about more than his own embarrassment.

I was asked as I bought my provisions if I was happy that Brian Coleman had finally been kicked out of the Conservative party. The answer is "No, I am sickened by the whole thing. I am sickened by Coleman and I am even more sickened by the weasel words of his colleagues. Most of all I am sickened by the lack of morality at the heart of power in Barnet Council. That is now beyond dispute. Worst of all is the fact that my taxes support this charade".

******** Updated *********

I've just heard the Iain Dale Show on LBC, featuring Brian Coleman. This features a stack of lies made up by Coleman about Helen Michael. I sincerely hope she sues the pants of him and LBC for broadcasting it. The man is utterly shameless


Don't Call Me Dave said...

When you ask people about Richard Cornelius, they invariably remark that he is a polite and courteous man (which he is). It would be a little unfair to suggest that he condones violence against women (or violence in general for that matter) because I am sure that he doesn’t. The problem is that he is simply weak and ineffectual, totally unsuited to be the leader of a political group, let alone the whole council itself.

When Mr Cornelius applied to go on to the candidates list, he did so because he told us that he was strongly opposed to the late Victor Lyon’s decision to close Totteridge library. Once elected, we never heard another word from him on the subject. Indeed, in 2008 he told the Totteridge Residents Association: “Once I joined the Council almost two years ago, I had to overcome one big misconception. I found that the Council is competent in most things that it does.” (see: It was quite evident back then that Mr Cornelius did not have the guts to stand up to the vested interests within the council.

Since becoming leader, there have been several notable occasions where he has chaired meetings and been completely unaware of policies being promoted by his own officers. The leader should be fully briefed on all policy matters and the idea that policy is being developed underneath the leader’s radar proves that there a serious democratic deficit in this borough, in addition to the lack of leadership.

But Richard Cornelius is not the only person who should have acted quicker following Brian Coleman’s arrest. The local association could, and should, have suspended him straight away given the serious nature of the charge. Following his conviction, the association was far too slow to respond. Chairman Fiona Bulmer claimed that she had to follow a set process and that it would take time. As a former Chairman of the Association, I know that this is not correct. The Chairman has the authority to call an emergency meeting of the Executive Council and this can be convened in 7 days.

The reality is that the Conservatives have been running around like headless chickens, completely unable to take swift, effective action. The lack of leadership goes beyond the council group.
Brian Coleman’s announcement that he will stand as an independent next year will cause the party a serious problem. They do not normally canvass in Totteridge where Tory votes are weighed, rather than counted. But now they will have to fight the seat, campaigning against the man they are all frightened of. This means they will have to divert resources from elsewhere in the Borough to challenge him. Time will tell whether this will cause them to loose seats in marginal wards.

Don't Call Me Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don't Call Me Dave said...

Typo in last sentence: lose, not loose!

Morris Hickey said...

"Loose" seems entirely apposite where Bwian is concerned.