Barnet Mayor Attacks Bloggers

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 107 months ago
Barnet Mayor Attacks Bloggers

Barnet_Arms.jpg
Image by jovike under a Creative Commons licence
Brian Coleman, Barnet's new Mayor, used his swearing-in last night to have a pop at bloggers:

There are a few people that I would not like to thank. Those bloggers that think anyone involved in civic life, whether it is an elected politician or professional officer, is fair game for personal abuse and whose mission it is to undermine and denigrate. Whilst mayor of this borough I will not tolerate anyone in this chamber or outside who regard it cool and trendy to undermine democratic institutions, and I do not have time for those who have community criticism rather community service.

Hmm. At a time when the country's in a writhing outrage over MPs' expenses, brought to light not by transparency and fair play by elected politicians or professional officers but by investigative journalism, taking the opportunity afforded by a public ceremony to hit out at your detractors might be a teensy bit out of step with the public mood. We're not comparing ourselves with the Telegraph, but we do think Londoners have the right to know about things like, ooo, £10k taxi bills and serial trips to Cyprus. It's called democratic accountability, innit?

So if there are any bloggers in Barnet who write about politics because they think it's cool and trendy (excuse us while we pause for a laughter break) be warned: Brian Coleman's on to you.

Last Updated 20 May 2009

Caroline

Sounds like a bit of whining to me. Come on Coleman, everyone knows that blogging was "cool and trendy" back in 2005. Now it's more of an unstoppable force. Here's hoping that the new mayor starts an anti-blog blog because that would make for some good reading.

markle

Clue for Mr. Coleman - if you don't want bloggers to 'undermine' you, stop giving them something to lambast you about.

Not every AM attracts the same level of scrutiny or criticism as you do, so maybe look at your own behaviour and figure out why. (Clue: Disproportionately high expenses).

Chris Nee

I don't regard it "cool and trendy to undermine democratic institutions." But it's nice to have another useful and powerful check on our politicians.

It seems to me that bloggers are, if anything, more likely to focus on specific incidents than buy into the wider hysteria. That means politicians who aren't morally bankrupt will likely escape all criticism, reflected or otherwise - at least on the blogs.