FOI: Barnet Council’s press office not interested in Brian Coleman’s biting blogs

THE one thing that you might fairly assume about Brian Coleman is that the thing he’d hate more than people talking about him is… yup, people not talking about him. His incendiary blog site is a picture of provocation. One of his biggest hits was a full cast profile of all of the Conservative councillors in Barnet, mostly in unkind terms. It rolled straight into the local papers and the Standard.

The former Camden and Barnet assembly man uses the King Of Bling Is Back blog to remind people he’s still there… always there. And the sad thing for his former Tory colleagues is that he is probably still the politician most likely to get Barnet some press, even if it’s not the sort of press Barnet would want. It’s coverage that is hard to miss.

Yet, if you ask Barnet Council if they monitor Bri’s blog, they insist not. In fact, according to a response to a Freedom of Information request I sent their way, nobody in the council’s press office has made any mention of the blog at all. The communications team “do not hold any information within the scope of your request”. I hope Mr C isn’t too crestfallen at that.

Seems odd though, that nobody in the press office has even taken a glance at Coleman’s online efforts – it all being about Barnet, after all – or raised any mention of it all. The response also implies that nobody in ‘comms’ batted an eyelid when the Standard ran that large page lead specifically on Brian’s blog, despite it presenting council life in Barnet in such chaotic and divided terms.

I had asked for any emails, documents, minutes held up at the council in relation to the blog. A further search of the rest of the council’s inboxes was deemed impossible under the FoI’s cost limits. Apparently it would take each member of staff half an hour to tell us whether they had ever emailed anything about Brian blog or raised it any meetings.


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