The once powerful chair of the London fire authority and domineering Tory figure in Barnet Council saw defeat at the hands of the electors of Totteridge after being finally disowned by the Tory Party and forced to stand as an independent.
Four years ago Mr Coleman was riding high and he knew it. His extortionate expenses claims from the taxpayer were one of the highest for a councillor in the country. His disdain and hatred of the Fire Brigades Union and anything that London firefighters stood for was beyond any reason.
His introduction of a hated parking system in the borough and championing of outright privatisation of everything that moved were well beyond the pale – down to tearing down posters from small shopkeepers opposing his parking scheme and even assaulting one of the people who objected to it.
He seemed to revel in the role of a Pantomine villain goading and bullying opponents almost wanting the electorate to hiss and boo him while centre stage.in whatever political drama he had created. Even Tory mayor Boris Johnson, not one to avoid the limelight, sometimes put his head in his hands at the mention of his name. No wonder he was sometimes called Mr Toad or worse.
Obviously there is a debate to be had between the Right and Left about the running of our public services, the role of unions but there was no need to show such contempt for one’s opponents and arrogance about using taxpayers’ money for expensive and excessive taxi journeys running to hundreds of pounds.
His defenders tended to call him a ” colourful character ” or “a good Conservative” but this was beyond just human foibles. In a way his demise is a modern morality tale that would not disgrace in another century a story from Chaucer.
His final act on Twitter as he was defeated was to report that he was at home listening to arias from Puccini’s tragic opera Tosca. Here the heroine throws herself off a parapet in the final scene. While I would never wish such a fate for Mr Coleman it seemed a fitting dramatic musical backdrop to the end of a political career that almost brought down the borough of Barnet for the Tories and may still do so after a by election at the end of next month.