"The blogs in Barnet seemed to have shot their load, though. They got a bit carried away with themselves but it was all very nasty. I was warned by the chief executive of Barnet Council no less that I was being watched everywhere I went."
|Gnat brained Borisand loving admirer|
In fact I've generally done everything I could to avoid Coleman. When Coleman was Mayor, my daughter, who at the time was the best female swimmer in her age group in the country, was given a prestigious award by the London Borough of Barnet. As Coleman was Mayor, he was presenting it. Knowing his vindictive nature, I didn't attend. I most certainly didn't want him throwing a hissy fit and upsetting my wife and daughter. As it was, he didn't realise who my wife was and actually spent half of the event gossiping to her and telling her how beastly people were being to his mother. As for the other Barnet bloggers, they have even less interest in following Coleman than I have. Mrs Angry has told me on several occasions that Coleman makes her feel physically sick and Mr Mustard and Mr Reasonable are just not interested in him at all. I have sent Nick Walkley, who was Barnet Council CEO when Coleman was in his pomp an email asking whether it was true he'd issued such advice. If it is then the council are even more out of touch than I thought.
As to the first of Colemans claims that "The blogs have shot their load". I am really not sure what this is supposed to mean. I suspect it simply confirms what many of us have long suspected, that Brian Coleman is a narcissist and if blogs are not writing about him, then they have simply lost their reason for existence. In actual fact, I cant speak for the other Barnet bloggers, but I found Coleman to be a crashing bore to write about. His actions were uniquely predictable. If Rowan Atkinson and John Cleese collaborated to invent a character who was the epitimy of an awful Tory in a little council, with a string of non jobs, who was pompous, officious and downright unpleasant, I am sure they would come up with Coleman. The only reason any of us ever blogged about Coleman was because he was the best way of persuading people that the Tory regime at Barnet Council was beyond the pale. But often, it simply detracted from what we were trying to say. At the height of the struggle to stop the Council committing the folly that is the One Barnet outsourcing, Coleman was at his very worst. Wheras us bloggers should have been focussing on destroying the case for the outsourcing, often Coleman would pop up and take everyones attention away, by doing something revolting and outrageous. Council Leader, Richard Cornelius, who I get on well with, once told me that "Brian goes around upsetting everyone, which means the rest of us can get on with our jobs". I warned him that Coleman would eventusly blow up in their faces, but he said "Oh no, Brian is quite clever really, he knows where to draw the line". Sadly for Richard, he couldn't have been more wrong. First Coleman took on the Boroughs traders and motorists. This turned pear shape and they lost Barnet and Cameden GLA seat, giving Labour a huge boost. Then Coleman got arrested for beating up Helen Michael. The Tories for a while were caught like rabbits in a torch beam. In a rather stupid act of ostrich like denial, many bought into Colemans story that nothing happened and that he'd been set up. The CCTV footage shown on the news exploded that myth and exposed the lies.
And for the Barnet blogs and Brian Coleman, that was pretty much that. But as I said before, it was never about Brian Coleman for any of us. of course we were in good company getting slagged off. He also called Boris "gnat brained" and Zac an out of touch posh boy. Oddly he had nice words for Dan Thomas, who previously he loathed, the two having a massive falling out about Thomas residency arrangements. Apparently Brian was supposed to be writing a book, which would lift the lid on the Barnet political scene. The reports I had were that it was virtually unreadable, simply being a long list of diatribes against people no one had ever heard of. When Brian said that the bloggers had shot their load, I sort of assumed he was simply referring to his own blog, which was last updated in 2014. I suspect that this may well be the last time we talk about Brian. I for one hope so. In the article, he states that his time has passed. We heartily agree and we won't miss him.
So are we finished? Yesterday, this blog got 863 hits, on a day when there wasn't anything earth shattering on it. We get far more hits than in 2009, when Coleman was Mayor and under investigation for disciplinary breaches. At the 2015 Barnet Eye awards at The Chandos Arms, I was told by dozens of people who had turned up, that the blog has got far better over the last couple of years. I heard the same thing, time and time again "I don't like everything you put on the blog, but its the first thing I look at when I want to know what is going on locally". We continue to break strories that are then picked up elsewhere. The latest big story that we featured first was the dodgy shenanigans in the Unison election. That story made it on to the Guardian. Mrs Angry was featured in great length in their article. Hardly sounds as if the Guardian think she's shot her load. As to our other bloggers, Mr Mustard has become a national celebrity and is the "go to" expert on dodgy council parking regimes for many TV shows. Mr Reasonable does what he has always done. He writes a couple of well thought out and well researched blogs a month, that in all the time I've followed him, no one from Barnet Council has ever even tried to refute. He doesn't write blogs to draw attention to himself, he blogs because he thinks it is the right thing to do.
In fact I am quite surprised that the Barnet blogsphere has survived and is as strong as it is. The only thing which could realistically be levelled at the Barnet blogosphere is that maybe its become stale, with no new bloggers emerging. It would be great to see some new blood, but in the absence of such activity, I think the four of us are doing a fine job and I can assure you that my load is far from shot.