Yesterday I had a nice cup of tea in Finchley. I also had a chat with a member of the Finchley and Golders Green Conservative Association regarding the issue of Brian Coleman and his readmission and re-ejection from the Finchley and Golders Green Conservative Association. If you read the tweets and the letters published on twitter by the worthies from the association, you may think that the whole issue was simply an administration cock up. You may also think that Brian Coleman has no friends at all within the association. Following my conversation yesterday, I have to report that the whole story seems to be slightly different. Whatever you may think about Brian Coleman, one thing is beyond doubt. That is that when it comes down to it, he considers himself to be a Conservative. Although some may think this love manifests itself in a slightly unhelpful way at times, it is unquestionable.
The story I was told and which I believe, is that Brian Coleman was very pleased to receive a membership card and letter from the association telling him he was a member and that his support was valued. I also believe that Brian was chuffed and shared this information with lots of his Tory friends. From what I have been told (and this is a charitable interpretation of the events), perhaps the only people in the Finchley & Golders Green Tory party who were unaware of his readmission were the membership secretary and the other senior officers. Brian was not under the impression that his readmission was a secret, which is why he felt comfortable tweeting about the situation. He was under the impression that he'd been banned for two years and this period was up (the ban was imposed in June 2013 after his conviction so this doesn't quite stack up).
Anyone who knows Brian will know he is not one to hide his light under a bushell. The concept that he'd received the card and the letter and would go out and tell his Tory friends is beyond belief, especially as he was quite happy to tweet about it. Brian also felt that he was doing his bit for the party in the election.
My friend in the association tells me that Brian feels very upset with his treatment. He feels that he is owed for all his hard work for the Tories over the years and they are very duplicitous bunch. He feels he's done nothing wrong and has simply been "hung out to dry because of some bloggers tittle tattle".
It is also clear to me that some of his friends in the association are rather upset with his treatment, and feel the association should have shown him a bit more loyalty. They are disgusted with tweets showing the private letter and the delivery of it to Mr Coleman. They saay this displays a complete display of bad manners, given Brian Coleman had paid his subs and in his eyes done nothing wrong.
If you take the story on face value, Coleman received a membership card and a letter. He was pleased to be readmitted, so he tweeted about it. The next thing he gets a snotty letter and a load of abuse from the Tories on Twitter. It isn't exactly classy behaviour by the association is it? That is Brians story and that is what he's telling any of his friends who are prepared to listen.
Whatever I think about Brian, I must say what I've been told has a ring of truth to it and I think the association has some questions to answer. Not least their PPC Mike Freer who is a friend of Coleman and who one has to assume was aware of Colemans readmission