Tuesday 15 February 2011

Brian Coleman Barnet Parking Special : The Peasants are Revolting !

There are many things which I could have blogged about regarding the Council meeting last night. I wish I'd filmed the whole sorry episode for posterity. I've been to rowdy public meetings, I've seen politicians given the bird before. I've seen members of the public insult elected officials. I've seen bolshie lefties get upitty with twatty Tories. Last night though, I saw something new. Last night I saw a Conservative Council insulting Middle England. I expect them to be rude to me (actually they're not, I suspect they are too scared). I expect them to be rude to VickiM (who is a known trades unionist). What I really didn't expect was the sheer boorish behaviour with which they treated the general public of Barnet.

I sat next to Dr Deborah Linton and her husband Nigel Linton as we awaited our turn to ask a question. I've never met the Lintons before, but they struck me as very nice, decent people, who were genuinely concerned about the massive cost increase that the parking charges will bring. Dr Linton approached the issue by being perfectly reasonable and explaining the massive increase in cost for her, due to the system. As Dr Linton tried to make her point, Council Leader Lynne Hillan butted in, purely to throw her off her stride and asked her if she actually had a question. Dr Linton continued, Hillan butted in again and told her to "get on with it". Dr Linton got her question out (all credit to her), and Brian Coleman summiraly dismissed her as if he was talking about something stuck on his shoe. Dr Linton walked back, looking visibly upset. Her husband (who had clearly been riled by his wifes treatment), tried again, he was civil and reasonable. He needn't have bothered. Coleman again spoke to him as if he'd escaped from Broadmoor.

My question was next. I had  a completely different supplimentary question lined up. Having seen the way that the Lintons and a whole stack of other residents had been summiraly humiliated (and at this point I must stress that the audience stood four square with the public speakers - heckling as if their lives depended on it), I decided to give them a taste of their own medicine. Unlike many people, I'm used to public speaking. I had a successful career in acting from the age of four, until my mother developed Cancer in the 1970's, in 1978 I formed a Punk Rock band and we've played all over Europe, in some "highly charged" atmospheres. A bear pit is my natural domain, and if people are going to be rude, then so am I. The punchline of my question was "Are the cabinet stupid or do they think the public of Barnet are". As the words came out, a huge cheer went up. The cheer wasn't for me, it was  because someone had given Hillan, Coleman and Co a taste of their own medicine and everyone saw they didn't like it. Hillan floundered and said "I don't think the people around this table are stupid". In other words, the people of Barnet are. Hillan admitted what we all knew. She has nothing but disdain for everyone apart from her Tory cabinet buddies.

There were a couple more questions, then Mr David Attfield, a Lawyer who is leading the campaign against the parking charge rises. Again Mr Attfield is clearly used to speaking in public. He'd seen the crass (and very innaccurate) responses Brian Coleman had given the Lintons. He was prepared and he was up for it. He made the point that Brian Coleman had lied to the Lintons in a public forum and he had a copy of an email Coleman had sent (one I'd handily put on The Barnet Leaks website). Coleman had claimed that 10% of people in Barnet were affected by the CPZ changes. Mr Attfield quoted back Colemans words from his own email, which admitted only 3% were affected. Why is this important? Because that 3% have been tucked up for the cost of the road maintenance program and pothole repairs. As Mr Attfield destroyed every last ounce of Colemans credibility, I realised that Coleman had been done up like a kipper.

The Lintons had softened him up and given Coleman enough rope to hang himself. He duly obliged and Mr Attfield had stepped forward as the hangman. I didn't realise what a great job Mr Attfield had done until I read tonights Evening Standard :-


It says in the article that "around 40 people are contributing to the costs of a legal challenge". Make that 41. If Mr Attfield contacts me, I'll certainly chip and I'll use this blog to get all of my readers to chip in as well. Brian Coleman has been caught out telling Porkies. Mr Attfield proved this. In the answer to Mr Linton he said "10% of all Barnet Households have a parking permit". In his email to Harper he said "

There are about 10,000 residents Permits in circulation in Barnet roughly 7,000 of our approx 200,000 household
That is 3.5%. Is it OK for the Council to lie to residents? One thing is clear, when Coleman is called to court to give his side of the argument, he will have no credibility, having been shown up for what he is. Brian Coleman said "I've rarely met such rude members of the Public" during one outburst. Prey tell me Brian, how do you expect members of the public to react when you mug them for hundreds of pounds and then lie about it? Brian Coleman thinks that "The peasants of Barnet are revolting". I must say he's wrong. It isn't just the peasants, it's the whole community. This petition now has over 4,000 signatures. If you live in a CPZ area and you use permits, it is vital that you sign this petition ASAP. The time has come to stop these unfair charges and stop the likes of Coleman from shafting the people of Barnet.

There is a report in the Hendon Times detailing how the Cabinet adjourned for half an hour due to the heckling -


May I point out to the rude, boorish Councillors such as Hillan, Coleman and Harper that if they treated the public with a modicum of respect, they might get some back.


Don't Call Me Dave said...


My friend’s 10 year old daughter had aspirations of becoming Prime Minister. She has been interested in politics since the age of 5. At the 2005 elections, she was seen running around her school playground telling the other children: “Don’t vote for Tony Blair!” It was good advice though sadly wasted on primary school children. She has now decided that she does no longer wants to be a politician. The reason? “Because politicians tell lies and I don’t want people thinking that I am a liar as well.”

These words, from a 10 year old, are a damning indictment of the political classes, and of people like Coleman in particular. No doubt he, and his fellow sewer rats, will be delighted at the news that one more honest person has decided against a life of public service. It’s bad news for the rest of us, old enough to remember when politics was an honourable profession.

A plague on Barnet Council.

baarnett said...

DCMD: Well, not for John Stonehouse. And of course not for Reggie Maudling. And not forgetting Lord Archer, well, obviously not forgetting him. And there was T Dan Smith, well clearly not including Smith. Or Dame Shirley Porter, god bless her. Or Ernest Marples and his motorways. And excepting Jonathan Aitken, yes excepting him. And Lord Boothby.

So, Apart from Stonehouse, Maudling, Archer, Smith, Porter, Marples, Aitkin, and Boothby, what have the politicians ever done for us, when politics was an honourable profession?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Well of course you are right baarnett that there have always been a few bad apples in the House, but now it seems that the barrel is overflowing with rogues, villains, house flippers and serial expense abusers.

Rog T said...


As I sat watching the Cabinet last night, I realised what a lucky let off I had, when Dear old John Hart beat me last May. I would have felt morally compelled to work my nuts off for the people in Mill Hill had I won. As a result I'd have been stuck in the company with that bunch of bastards on a regular basis. The good Lord moves in mysterious ways and I thank him for sparing me that.

baarnett said...

DCMD: But maybe we don't have worse politicians nowadays, we just have greater opportuniity to see their dealings.

That said, there are those, many, who are not in it for themeselves, but for what they can do to benefit people.

And they are even more worthy of praise if they can accept that this can apply to some of their opponents in other parties.

Mrs Angry said...

I am glad you mentioned in detail what happened to Dr Linton: the way in which she was treated is typical of the attitude shown to members of the public attempting to put questions to meetings. The leadership always tries to prevent this by cutting questions off, saying they are repeating the point of the original question, or making an observation rather than posing one, and this is always done in an extremely rude manner, as if we have no right to be taking part anyway: we do, we are the masters, they are the servants, they are there to be scrutinised by us. This is why what is happening in the Consitutional reform proposals is so significant, the attempt to remove the right to free speech to other councillors,and the public too. It may seem a boring issue: it is not, it will give even more power to this deranged leadership. They will try to slip these 1984 'reforms' in the back door when they think no one is looking: we must not let them.

Maurice said...

Brian Coleman has a revolting attitude. He says "The peasants are revolting" maybe he should join them ? He has annoyed the London firemen who do admirable work and also annoyed many residents in the London Borough of Barnet. Mr.Coleman should be reminded that he is on the council to serve; as Lynn Hillam has indicated it is the main prority of a councillor. Serve the residents your employers, do not expect the residents to serve you.

PatPending said...

Please read this article for more on illegal goings on in Barnet council.