Thursday, 27 January 2011

To annoy Brian Coleman, march on Sunday

Barnet councillor Brian Coleman was on top Coleman form at the council meeting on Tuesday night (25 January), by all accounts.

He managed to offend a far larger number of people than usual, since more of them than usual turned up to spectate the meeting. Many of those in the public gallery were "ordinary" Barnet residents who had come to have their say - they didn't get that - on the planned parking fee rises.

Mrs Angry has a full description of proceedings.

The Times series reports Coleman as saying:
“We are proposing to increase parking charges to less than £2 per week, less than the price of a cup of coffee. We will not entertain this type sort [sic] of nonsense from hysterical, over-the-top residents.”
A resident described their reaction:
David Berger, 32, has lived in Golders Green for five years and said he was “appalled” by the behaviour of Tory councillors.

He said: “They showed sheer arrogance and rudeness.

“One of the councillors got up and said we should leave Barnet if we can’t afford the parking charges – I was stunned silent.

“Councillor Brian Coleman doesn’t seem to understand what residents want and need."
According to the Times, Coleman topped off his bravura performance by flippantly dismissing people's concerns about the council cutting the budget for school crossing patrols:
“Ten schools are still funded centrally. Of those ten four wish to retire. It's open to schools to make their own crossing patrol arrangements, just as they make their own staffing arrangements.

“Simply, quite why we're funding ten patrols when the other 110 schools in the borough make their own arrangements no-one can remember.”
Coleman needs a kick up the backside, but he won't get one. For Barnet's Tories he is a useful sponge soaking up residents' growing rage.

But if Coleman angers you, you can come and join the march this Sunday, vent a bit, and join the increasingly united opposition to him.

17 comments:

Mrs Angry said...

It was a very interesting evening because yet again, as we have seen at a number of council events attended by the public, ordinary people who are not usually interested in local politics, have become determined to hold their elected representatives to account. They are furious, and much of this hostility was sparked by the councillors' allowance scandal, but is being activated by the cuts and changes being imposed now. There has been a very broad base of people turning up to these events: people are becoming wised up to what is going on, and they want to make their voices heard. No wonder Barnet is so scared of genuine consultation: they know what sort of response they are going to get. You are wrong, though, to say residents didn't get their say on Tuesday night: they may not have been involved in any debate but they were very vocal throughout and several times speakers were drowned out by sustained yelling and booing, and comments from the gallery, and simply had to sit down, defeated. And these residents are the people who will vote out Tories out at the next election, entirely due to the ineptitude and arrogance of the current administration. The look on the faces of the Tories while Coleman was speaking said it all: they know the damage being done to their own electoral interests, but they are too weak and too stupid to make the changes needed to change course.

David Duff said...

"Mrs Angry has a full description of proceedings."

Oh yes, "full", that I can believe!

On a somewhat esoteric note concerning democracy, am I to believe that the Tories conducted a coup de main in order to take over your council? If so, I am amazed at their efficency in pulling it off because usually they find difficulty holding a piss up in a brewery. However, I did not read about this revolution in Barnet so I must assume that the people of Barnet, or a majority anyway, actually voted them in.

In which case, why are you organising a mass march (alright 25men and a dog is hardly a "mass" but you know what I mean) which, I assume, is for the purposes of intimidating properly elected councillors against the wishes of the majority of your fellow Barnets? - Barnettis? - Barnettites? - Barnies?

It all sounds frightfully revolutionary to me and not at all the sort of thing one expects from a nice place like Barnet - I really must visit sometime, I know I would get a warm welcome.

Mrs Angry said...

thank you for your fulsome praise, Duff, but I am distracted by your disrespectful observations about the Tory party ... let me guess: UKIP voter?

David Duff said...

"fulsome" - nice one! If only your posts were as brief as your puns I might read you to the end.

I frequently do not vote at all although last year the Tories were honoured but mostly because I dislike the il-Lib-non-Dem party one of whose members is the sitting Mp for my area.

Mrs Angry said...

I'm guessing you live in Frome, then Duff: am I right? I once spent two hours driving around Frome trying desperately to get out.I still have flashbacks. I was trying to get to a friend's wedding. At the reception, we sat next to some locals. I asked if they were local. 'Oh no', came the reply, 'We're not from here: 'we're from t'other side of Frome.' One and a half miles away. Living in such a place may have caused you to form insular, incorrect and regrettable political views, I feel.

I do recommend you try to read the rest of the blogs: the reason some are so long is that I feel the need to record as much of the wickedness and lies of our councillors as possible in order that fellow residents have a full record of what is said: acting as as the official Hansard of Broken Barnet, if you will, but with a few smutty innuendos thrown in wherever possible, to liven the proceedings.

vickim57 said...

Don't encourage him!

vickim57 said...

Seriously, though, Mr Duff...

The Tories' manifesto in Barnet for the council election was
- council tax freeze
- no building on the green belt
- weekly bin collection

I think if Tory-voting residents have something to say about other matters (parking fees, cabinet members' expenses rise, closure of museums, etc), they have the right to attend council meetings (when they aren't cancelled at the last minute), write letters to the local paper, and even, shudder, march.

And those of us who didn't vote for the Tories have the right to protest about the whole lot.

David Duff said...

Frome!!! Oh my dear, no one who is anyone goes to Frome, er, except those who are 'from Frome'! Anyway, I find your remarks very West Countryist and I shall be reporting you to the Hayseed Relations Board.

Vicki, I am glad to see that you cannot maintain your harsh approach to me for too long because no sooner do you warn Mrs. 'A' not to encourage me when you then encourage me. You must look upon me as your bit of socialist do-gooding and charity because I'm a poor old age pensioner with nothing better to do than write nonsense.

I was not intending to involve myself in the minutae of Barnetian politics (dread thought!) but I just wished to make the general point that though your local Tories may well be a bunch of incompetent ratbags, nevertheless, your fellow subjects in Barnet voted for them; and I do think that marches have an inherent threat attached to them, don't you? Or is it just BNP marches you dislike?

Mrs Angry said...

Just look on us, Duff, as a pair of evangelical do gooders, taking our mission to the unfortunate, and showing them the error of their ways ...

I think the point of protest and marching is to prevent the current administration from being re-elected, and also to try to exert pressure to moderate their idiotic decisions as they have refused to observe the need to consult honestly with residents on a large number of crucial decisions. If the council had a fair and honest relationship with the residents, and was not trying to impose an agenda which had not been part of their manifesto, there would be no need to take to the streets and express our dissatisfaction, would there?

David Duff said...

". . . there would be no need to take to the streets and express our dissatisfaction, would there?"

I refuse to answer that question, Madam, because it is a blatant piece of encourage-ism for which our esteemed hostess has already rebuked you. You may be in need of re-education in order to curtail these encourage-ist tendencies.

However, I will just say, I thought elections were the time and place to hold ratbags to account. Of course, in my (very) old-world way I keep forgetting that there are all those nuisances who, instead of sighing gratefully after an election and looking forward to a few years of peace and quiet and knitting and doing pilates, or whatever, continue to moan and groan and agitate. Oh well, everyone's hobby is utterly inexplicable to everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Mrs Angry; you would probably not be surprised at this; Barnet currently enforce bus lanes with CCTV and raise £2-3m annually, however they have had permission to enforce multiple moving traffic contraventions such as yellow box junctions or banned u turns, (both road safety measures used by most london local authorities to legitimately raise revenue..) All Barnet managers were asked to look at new ways of doing things under Future Shape/One Barnet(ie new revenue streams)and a business case was put forward to expand CCTV to all enforcement codes, in line with Enfield/Haringey/others... This would have raised a minimum of £5m annually and by its very nature only penalise dangerous road users, most of which are commuter drivers travelling through the borough, NOT Barnet residents that pay to park outside their house, or purchase visitor vouchers....
Needless to say this was put to Coleman and the Cabinet and he shot it down in flames... and has decided to make the CCTV staff redundant.. what a guy!!

Mrs Angry said...

Anonymous: what were the reasons given for turning it down, I wonder? I am intrigued ...

Anonymous said...

apparently they are all too scared of being voted out - staff were told that Coleman stuck to the party line of "we are ending the war on motorists", then he expands the on-street enforcement in every ward...

sry to stay anon but i still work there...

Rog T said...

David "Yawn" Duff seems to have the most incredible writing style, which I've only ever encountered before in applied maths A-level textbooks. I find that by the time I've reached the end of the sentence, I've forgotten completely what it said, although I do know it was mildly irritating. Maybe it's just one of the benefits of dyslexia that it completely filters out pointless shite. I'm really rather glad I'm not more intelligent, otherwise I might remember and then it may annoy me.

David Duff said...

Roger, my poor old chap, you have my sympathy.

"I find that by the time I've reached the end of the sentence, I've forgotten completely what it said,"

Can't be sure, old boy, but I gather the psycho-babble merchants call that sort of thing 'Attention Deficit Disorder'. Yes, yes, I know, incomprehensible gobbledegook but then if you're suffering with dieslex...dysh...dicel... oh hell, you know, what I mean, you can't read, I don't suppose it makes much difference, eh?

Oh, by the way, quiet word to the wise, on your Blog profile, it's 'Bad Lieutenant', not "Leutenant".

Anyway, how's the applied maths coming on?

Mrs Angry said...

... don't you have any local council matters to distract you, Duff, in Worzelshire? I imagine you are probably still under the feudal system down there?

Rog T said...

Yawn, what did you say again, zzzz.....