Netroots: Blogger’s victory safeguards public scrutiny

brian coleman -thwarted by a blogger.Pic courtesy: Evening Standard

Those who went to the TUC’s Netroots conference  last weekend should take heart from the success of one of their active bloggers only days after the event.

Adam Bienkov, aka Tory Troll, spotted that Brian Coleman, chair of the London fire authority, had tabled a paper changing arcane standing orders to abolish the right of any of the elected representatives to ask him a question on fire policy. This was to happen at the same meeting that is expected today to tear up a carefully negotiated settlement with London firefighters over their working hours.

 Brian Coleman, no stranger to this blog, was going against Conservative policy to promote transparency and accountability in public life. He would have probably got away with it without the tenacity of Adam. He published the facts,linked the report on his website and it got taken up – by print media in the London Evening Standard and the Guardian Diary. Soon it was on local radio airwaves and this morning was on regional BBC Breakfast TV.

The result: a complete climb down when Boris Johnson, to his credit, effectively repudiated Coleman, and publicly endorsed the party’s policy of openness in City Hall.

This is worth highlighting because  it  can be replicated with the new Netroots network. Other bloggers can keep an eye on their local council by looking up the agenda of council meetings on the council website  before they take place. And if they see anything nasty, highlight it and get in touch with the local media. Turning sunlight on dodgy council decisions can be really effective. Well done, Adam.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 28 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 43 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 8mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 15th with 975 views. The most popular post that day was Armchair Audit: Brian Coleman- Britain’s highest paid councillor.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for roast beef, roastbeef, beef, roast, and nick clegg.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Armchair Audit: Brian Coleman- Britain’s highest paid councillor November 2010


Roast beef rebels plan Cameron Stew May 2010


An own goal investment in England’s green and pleasant land March 2010
1 comment


My Career so far… November 2009


Nice Try, Guido. Or Not Really. January 2010