Brian Coleman puts his foot in it

I see one of my erstwhile colleagues (loose description) at the London Assembly – Tory Brian Coleman – has employed his usual tact and sensitivity to my own local.

Brian, a Conservative London Assembly member, has described Haringey as “ghastly” writing in his blog on the New Statesman website – describing (wrongly!) Haringey as a place “where decent folk lock their car doors as they drive through”.

All one can conclude is that Brian is snobbish, rude, and ill-informed as his remarks show. He is often billed as ‘controversial’ – presumably on account of such insults – but there is a great difference between controversial and ignorant.

My Lib Dem colleague and Leader of the Haringey Liberal Democrat Council group, Neil Williams, put it very well:

“This is exactly why the Tories are so unelectable in our borough. Haringey is a great place and a vibrant and cosmopolitan community – and that is exactly the way we locals like it.

“It’s the same old nasty Tories. They have no idea what Haringey is like and should be ashamed of their comments.”

Of course – the good news – is that there are no Tories at all on Haringey Council – and indeed – Tories came fourth at the last local elections and a very distant third at the General Election of 2005. Cause and effect!

0 thoughts on “Brian Coleman puts his foot in it

  1. LynneWe would rather like Barnet to follow suite and become a tory free zone. It may take a bit longer than you managed in Haringey but we are working on it.RegardsDuncan

  2. A better headline might have been “Brian Coleman writes thoughtful piece on future of the Suburbs” Describing Haringey Council as “ghastly” is something you do regularly on your blog and do you seriously think vast areas of Tottenham and Wood Green are safe for decent people to walk the streets ? I suggest Lynne you leave you Lib Dem enclave of Muswell Hill and Crouch End and see the state that the rest of Haringey is in and the way current Haringey politicians are failing the residents. Obviously the Brighton Air has affected your judgement this week but as ever I am grateful for the name check !Look forward to seeing you back on the assembly after your defeat at the upcoming general election ! kind regards

  3. Loads of people, such as myself, do walk safely through the streets of Wood Green and Tottenham. That must mean in your eyes Im not a ‘decent’ person, which leaves you calling me indecent. Thank you Coleman!!!!!!! One day you may learn to stop piling on the insults perhaps!!!!!!!!

  4. Hi All!I hope you all had a nice summer!I will attempt to address each point, particularly addressing the point by Mr Brian Coleman, a Conservative member of the Greater London Assembly. As a local Conservative, I would strongly disagree with Brian’s comments as they do not reflect the views held within Haringey. In my capacity as a local resident, I have worked closely with councillors, local MP, community leaders and local residents to develop a strategy to improve our community, a community through our collective response, reduced crime, and anti-social behaviour and made our streets far safer. The police actively work with the community to address issues of criminality and community safety issues, which have successfully received responses. For instance, did you know in Bounds Green, there were two specific brothels operating, these were subsequently closed down after intelligence led policing approach taken by Haringey police. I am very proud of my local police, residents, community leaders and naturally professionals who work day to day to make this community a better and more safer place for everyone. Additionally, it must be recognised that Tottenham and Wood Green are becoming far safer, especially for young people visiting or living in these areas. I represent a younger generation of people growing up in Haringey; I can state to you categorically that I feel much safer now than I ever did. Naturally as a Conservative, I feel the police and other partners could strengthen their efforts and take measures to improve policing, but to completely deny some of the positive measures that have been taken already is both hurtful to me and offensive to the people of this community. We work so hard locally to make our communities safer and promote community cohesions by encouraging positive links between our different communities. It must be recorded that, Haringey is home to very many diverse communities, representing both ethnic and faith communities. I would disagree with Neil William’s assessment as this is untrue, that Tories are unelectable in our borough because they somehow do not agree with promoting community cohesion or improving our community. I am a Tory and share your view; however, I further suggest that far more efforts need to be made to improve policing and community safety. This is the natural response of local people and politicians of any party. You further manufacture a claim by stating: “It’s the same old nasty Tories.” These personal attacks will only harm the positive relationships parties in Haringey already share. Brian Coleman should not interfere in the affairs of this community. “They have no idea what Haringey is like and should be ashamed of their comments.”Actually, this is quite misleading and quite simply ludicrous. I know exactly what Haringey is like and my family have lived in this community for over thirty years. Additionally, by stating this opinion you are discrediting all the positive work I have tried to do as an individual resident and someone who is active in this community. I feel disheartened by your comment. ThanksMash

  5. Although Justin has directed his comments towards Lynne, I would like to make my own contribution about Neville’s comment in regards to Tottenham constituency. These comments are simply distasteful. They quite rightly require unequivocal condemnation from all sections of our community and the distancing from the Haringey Liberal Democrats. Obviously if this person has spoken on behalf of the local party; such comments require a clear and unbiased apology. Let me make it absolutely clear, Tottenham is part of our community; it is a part of our community which has the potential to manufacture leaders, regardless of the social dilemmas faced by so many ordinary families. We should never undermine the potential of any section or ward within this community. Let us rather focus our efforts in helping to improve this community, by providing greater opportunities for young people, increasing the number of people in employment, ensuring that there is a transparent care service provision in place, and lastly let there be opportunities for all local people. I also accept that we need to direct a greater degree of our resources towards wards that require extra provision and support. Tottenham has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the borough. It has one of the highest levels of social deprivation and an area plagued by a range of other economic and social issues. Let us stop making ridiculous comments which do little to improve the area, but take responsibility in making Tottenham a better area. Let us be responsible in helping to build a better and more vibrant Haringey.ThanksMash

  6. Oh Brian. Really. Does the weekend’s poll rating really need your woolly-think snobbery to make it any worse?I (young white over-educated female etc etc) have regularly meandered through Wood Green after dark and found nothing wrong with it a doze on the night bus couldn’t cure, and I worked for a time on one of the most allegedly dangerous estates in Tottenham with no problem at all. Is it that I am not, by Brian’s definition, a decent person? Ah I know, it must be because I didn’t finish my PhD, anti-social crack-whore that I am.I am not saying for one moment that these places do not have enormous problems or that they do not experience high-violence flashpoints, and nor I imagine is Lynne. But for god’s sake, insofar as your politics allow you, get a grip on the daily reality of life as it is lived by most people.

  7. Haha that’s excellent. As a lifelong left/green voter today I voted for Boris and Conservative, including Coleman. I confess I felt slightly sick as I left, but I did it because our neighbours are all benefits claimants, receiving over a thousand pounds a month in housing benefit to pay their rent. They’re quite capable of working, but instead the state has indulged their antisocial behaviour and lifestyle decision not to work, to the point where they have lost all sense of right and wrong. Something has gone very badly astray with the welfare state, we have created a monster, and it is time for people to be told that Haringey is a disaster area, full of people paid to live in some of the most expensive housing in Europe but choosing to do nothing with their lives, except ruin other peoples. You underestimate the impact of antisocial behaviour, and frankly, suddenly, I feel that a worn out tory toff – however revolting I would find him socially – reflects the views of a simple working person who wants to live in a decent society where people work.