Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Brian Coleman, the human dynamo

Brian Coleman, Barnet's mayor, is refusing to voluntarily publish his expenses as London Assembly member, while all of the 24 other AMs have already done so. Explaining why he would not, to the Evening Standard's Paul Waugh, he said:
"I won’t do it vountarily. It’s none of the public’s business. They have coped well without knowing this kind of detail for more than 75 years.

“They are not entitled to drool over our personal lives. I’m not going to help the mad, bad and the sad, the bloggers on the internet. I’m not pandering to mob rule. It undermines democracy to suggest that all MPs, all politicians are the spawn of beelzebub.

“Nobody is going to go into public life if they think the minutiae of their grocery bills are going to be looked over....

“Politicians with lower expenses tend to be the politicians who do least work. Those with higher expenses are the ones who do most work.”
Given that his taxi expenses regularly exceeed those of all of the other AMs put together, Coleman is clearly Superman on the quiet, a human dynamo. And he had us all fooled.

I can only think of one other person in 'public life' who is as unrepentant about his right to spend vast sums of other people's money on his own political career and that is George Galloway, who once told the Scotsman newspaper that he “couldn’t live on three workers’ wages” and “needs £150,000 a year to function properly as a leading figure in a part of the British political system”.

Coleman and Galloway actually look a bit alike. Personally, and this might surprise you, while Coleman's politics stink I think Galloway's are far more poisonous. I wouldn't like to guess which of the two is the more expensive.