Brian Coleman and his taxi bills

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Conservative GLA member Brian Coleman has been in the news a bit today, criticising Lynne Featherstone for calling out the Fire Brigade when she feared that her boiler might be about to explode after it started making loud noises and shaking the house. Personally, that’s exactly what I’d do in the same circumstances, and indeed that’s what the Fire Brigade has said people should do.

But what really intrigues me about Brian Coleman’s attempt to score a political point (and he really should know better than rubbishing the Fire Brigade’s own advice, what with being chairman of the Fire Authority) is his claimed concern about public money: “It costs £250 per hour for a call out and I look forward to receiving a cheque.”

Because, you see, this Brian Coleman is the very same Brian Coleman who runs up huge taxi bills at our expense on the GLA. As I blogged earlier this year about Brian Coleman:

Good news! Conservative London Assembly member Brian Coleman has cut his taxi bill by a fifth.

Bad news! He’s still racking up over £8,000 a year in taxi fares that Londoners then have to pay for.

P.S. He also gets a free travelcard.

P.P.S. Average taxi bill run up by other London Assembly members in the same period: £685.

One other fun Brian Coleman taxi bill stats: his taxi bill in April-December 2007 was just less than the taxi bill of all the other 24 GLA members plus the Mayor added together. Vroom, vroom!

Update:

Two interesting blog posts on this topic:

TrannyFattyAcid, who asked some firemen today on what someone should do in the situation Lynne found herself in. Their answer? Call 999.

London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, who was present when Brian Coleman raised the issue with the Commissioner of the Fire Authority. The Commissioner’s verdict? The Fire Brigade would have judged the call and only sent an engine if they thought it worthwhile.

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19 Comments

  • David Morton 13th Dec '08 - 8:25pm

    Com Res in tommorrows IoS.

    Con 37 No Change
    Lab 36 No Change
    LD 14 Down 3

  • David Morton 13th Dec '08 - 9:24pm

    You Gov in tommorrows Sunday Times

    Con 41 Up 1
    Lab 35 down 1
    LD 15 up 1

  • If Lynne Featherstone wouldn’t have called the fire brigade, and the boiler would have exploded, I’m sure Mr Coleman would have criticised her for not calling the fire brigade.

  • Before I say my piece, let me make clear that I am a Tory.

    I think that Ms. Featherstone did precisely the right thing and certainly what any sensible person would do (I hope) if their boiler started behaving in a similar way, unexpectedly.

    Perhaps Brian Coleman wouldn’t take the same actions. In which case, perhaps the people of London would be better off without him.

    I have no objection to politicians “making hay” out of the foolish, dangerous, illegal, immoral or plain idiotic actions of their opponents, but I have a huge problem with the idea that they start attacking something which is perfectly sensible.

  • I think both Coleman and Featherstone are complete idiots.

    The biggest issue is Featherstone’s stupid behaviour – remember it was only her daughter who actually had the intelligence to turn off the boiler and avoid the need for a genuine fire bridage call out.

    If someone doesn’t have the common sense to switch off a malfunctioning appliance and just panics instead how on earth would she behave if she was in government and actually faced a real crisis?

  • Not that it’s reasonable to expect you to be fair, being Liberal Democrats, but given Ms Featherstone’s net worth surely it was not out if the question for her to do what Cllr Coleman suggested and CALL A PLUMBER???

    Anyway, surely she has a big strong life partner of some description? Or being Lib Dem there’s a big element of indecisiveness in all this leading to what Lib Dems in similar public positions do when they cannot decide – waste public money.

    As for Coleman’s taxi bill – pots and kettles chaps.

  • Clegg's Candid Fan 14th Dec '08 - 11:01am

    Undeterred, Mr Coleman responded to the accusation of sexism by saying: “Would a man have called the fire brigade? I don’t know.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/3724065/MP-Lynne-Featherstone-branded-dizzy-airhead-for-calling-fire-brigade-to-tackle-boiler.html

  • David Allen 14th Dec '08 - 1:09pm

    Calling a plumber would have been a ludicrous waste of time. The crucial decision was whether or not to go back to a boiler that seemed to be on the point of explosion and switch it off. Being stupid, blokish and blase, I’d probably have saved my house by going for the switch. Being rational, Lynne put life before property. The fire brigade have said she got it right. For Mr Coleman to call her “dizzy” deserves one of those LDV awards for Sexist Politician of the Year!

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