A modern morality tale: The decline and fall of Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman: Once high on the hog now out of politics

Brian Coleman: Once high on the hog now out of politics

Last week’s local elections  which saw  a massive revival for Labour in London – also witnessed the disappearance from political life of one Brian Coleman.

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.



4 thoughts on “A modern morality tale: The decline and fall of Brian Coleman

  1. Ahem.

    Is there, perhaps anyone you might like to credit for at least partially enabling the downfall of Brian Coleman? Apart from yourself?

    Also we would be wise to remember the tale of the performance of Tosca in which the fat lady sings, and then throws herself onto a trampoline, and bounces back.


    • Of course Mrs A, yourself, Helen Michael,Mr Mustard and other Barnet bloggers -but I wasn’t even crediting myself, just recording the final demise for now!No doubt there is another operatic script where he returns from the underworld!


  2. Without journalists in the UK we the people would be governed by such self serving, self interested scum.
    For that I thank you & all your fearless colleagues. THANK YOU !


  3. To understand Coleman read this…..
    I was standing in the foyer of Brigade HQ in Union Street talking to some senior managers when BC walks around the corner, he was about five feet from me, as the Leader of the Authority and as I was a senior FBU official, it made fairly good sense to say something to him…
    @Good Morning Mr Coleman’ says I…..not a glance or mumble in my direction and off he went…Anyway the senior managers look at me and say ‘What was all that about?’….I says ‘He hates the FBU and especially its officials’….’Well there’s no need to be rude thought’…’Don’t look at me, I was just being polite and courteous’….well blow me, ten seconds later he walks back…’Good morning Mr Coleman’ says I [again]….And again a total blank as he waddles past me….Senior Manager to me…’Do you know what Joe, if you told me how rude he was I would not have believed you, that man is a proper cock!’….’No’ says I ‘He is a

    Conceited Useless Narcissic Tit’…..

    and to this day its one of the few things that the FBU and the Senior Management of the London Fire Brigade totally agree on!


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