Barnet Rotary Club defends decision to make Brian Coleman president

Times Series: Coleman Coleman

Rotarians have defended their decision to elect convicted criminal and disgraced former councillor Brian Coleman as president.

Mr Coleman, who has been embroiled in controversy on various occasions in the past ten years, will be Barnet Rotary Club’s president until 2015.

Both the club and Mr Coleman have faced criticism since the announcement was made on Monday night after the former councillor mocked a cancer patient on social networking site Twitter.

But past president Scott MacLachlan told the Times Series: “We know he’s had a chequered career in politics and attracted a lot of criticism in the past, but that’s his political life.

“We separate those issues. Rotary is a non-political organisation.

“We have people of all colours and creeds, we don’t discriminate. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to join. He’s got good contacts and has brought in some interesting speakers.”

Mr Coleman was expelled from the Conservative party last year after he admitted to assaulting Cafe Buzz owner Helen Michael in North Finchley High Street.

He was also hauled in front of the council’s standards committee following complaints about offensive emails, and forced to write a letter of apology.

After tweeting about his appointment, Barnet blogger and prostate cancer patient Roger Tichborne replied saying it was a “sad day” if the club supported criminals.

Mr Coleman replied saying “with your constant attacks on the Mayor and me, it must be the hatred in you, rather than the cancer which is eating you”.

Mr Tichborne then told the Times Series, Mr Coleman was a “buffoon with verbal incontinence” and called for the rotary club to review its decision.

Speaking about the comments, Mr Coleman told the Times Series: “I feel sorry for him. Go away you obsessive man and get a life. I suppose I should feel flattered.

“The man’s so full of hate – for me, for the mayor, for the council. I’m sure if he let all that go, his life and his health would improve.

“The ego in me says I’m delighted to have all this coverage, but the sensible part of me thinks it’s stupid.

“I’m not part of the council anymore but they treat me like a celebrity. I just want to fade into the security of a private life.”

When asked if he thought his comments to Mr Tichborne were appropriate given that he is a cancer patient, he replied: “Yes. You’d think his family and friends would tell him – and that Musgrove woman (fellow Barnet blogger Mrs Angry) – to stop.”

Comments (11)

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3:57pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

A chequered career???

This man has a conviction for the common assault of a female resident in a high street, in broad daylight, when he was parking illegally, rather than use his own half baked parking payment scheme. He then lied to the police about the assault, until CCTV proved what had actually happened.

Does the Rotary Club condone violence against women? Does it allow the election of officers with a criminal record? Are they not subject to CRB or disclosure checks, bearing in mind the charitable work the organisation promotes? How does it think the election of such a man reflects on the reputation of the Rotary movement?

I most certainly shall be boycotting all of their charitable collections while Coleman is still in post, and I imagine many people will feel the same.

Despite his comical pretence at wanting to 'fade into a private life', Coleman is an obsessive attention seeker, and has now sunk to an all time low by taunting a man over his illness.

Such distasteful behaviour speaks for itself. This tedious, infantile man should apologise at once to Mr Tichborne, and to the Rotary club - although I'm not sure they deserve it, if they insist on tolerating his offensive remarks - then, quite frankly, he should do us all a favour, and himself, and shut the **** up.
A chequered career??? This man has a conviction for the common assault of a female resident in a high street, in broad daylight, when he was parking illegally, rather than use his own half baked parking payment scheme. He then lied to the police about the assault, until CCTV proved what had actually happened. Does the Rotary Club condone violence against women? Does it allow the election of officers with a criminal record? Are they not subject to CRB or disclosure checks, bearing in mind the charitable work the organisation promotes? How does it think the election of such a man reflects on the reputation of the Rotary movement? I most certainly shall be boycotting all of their charitable collections while Coleman is still in post, and I imagine many people will feel the same. Despite his comical pretence at wanting to 'fade into a private life', Coleman is an obsessive attention seeker, and has now sunk to an all time low by taunting a man over his illness. Such distasteful behaviour speaks for itself. This tedious, infantile man should apologise at once to Mr Tichborne, and to the Rotary club - although I'm not sure they deserve it, if they insist on tolerating his offensive remarks - then, quite frankly, he should do us all a favour, and himself, and shut the **** up. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 29

5:33pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Cadwallader says...

In all fairness to Rog - he doesn't hate anyone. Coleman must be confusing him with the thousands of Barnet residents who do hate him.
In all fairness to Rog - he doesn't hate anyone. Coleman must be confusing him with the thousands of Barnet residents who do hate him. Cadwallader
  • Score: 1

5:54pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Rog T says...

The Barnet Rotary club miss the point. It is fine for ex councillors to do the job. If Brian Coleman had not got a criminal conviction last year for beating up a woman it would not be an issue. Sadly he has. Not only that but he lied about the incident to the police. He is totally repentant. This is the issue. Coleman confuses my disgust at his behaviour with a dislike for him. Let me make something crystal clear. I have 2 daughters and I don't want thugs like Coleman institutions like the Rotary club sending out the message that violence towards women is ok and socially acceptable. I saw Helen Michael 5 mins after Coleman assaulted her. She was in a complete panic. Until Coleman displays remorse he will have to realise that the people of Barnet will react rather badly to his ego and vile actions
The Barnet Rotary club miss the point. It is fine for ex councillors to do the job. If Brian Coleman had not got a criminal conviction last year for beating up a woman it would not be an issue. Sadly he has. Not only that but he lied about the incident to the police. He is totally repentant. This is the issue. Coleman confuses my disgust at his behaviour with a dislike for him. Let me make something crystal clear. I have 2 daughters and I don't want thugs like Coleman institutions like the Rotary club sending out the message that violence towards women is ok and socially acceptable. I saw Helen Michael 5 mins after Coleman assaulted her. She was in a complete panic. Until Coleman displays remorse he will have to realise that the people of Barnet will react rather badly to his ego and vile actions Rog T
  • Score: 26

8:08pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Jimbokav1971 says...

I have sent the following message to Barnet Rotary Club.

I am simply astonished that a group like the Rotary Club of Barnet would appoint someone like Brian Coleman as President. I am struggling to put into words quite how flabbergasted I am that you can think that it is an acceptable appointment, and that your position within the local community will not be impacted negatively as a result of this. Are you even aware that quite separate to his appalling recent political record, he has a very recent conviction for assault against a local businesswoman? How does that sit with the goals and values of your group?. This man is simply just the most disgusting example of everything that is wrong with modern society. He seems to have no acceptance or compassion for others and on a continual and ongoing basis he is again and again insulting and abusive to others. (Note his recent tweet ridiculing a cancer sufferer). You must surely appreciate that you cannot appoint a person like this in such a prominent position, without serious damage to your own reputation. I am astonished that your members are in agreement to this and urge you to reconsider this outrageous appointment.
I have sent the following message to Barnet Rotary Club. I am simply astonished that a group like the Rotary Club of Barnet would appoint someone like Brian Coleman as President. I am struggling to put into words quite how flabbergasted I am that you can think that it is an acceptable appointment, and that your position within the local community will not be impacted negatively as a result of this. Are you even aware that quite separate to his appalling recent political record, he has a very recent conviction for assault against a local businesswoman? How does that sit with the goals and values of your group?. This man is simply just the most disgusting example of everything that is wrong with modern society. He seems to have no acceptance or compassion for others and on a continual and ongoing basis he is again and again insulting and abusive to others. (Note his recent tweet ridiculing a cancer sufferer). You must surely appreciate that you cannot appoint a person like this in such a prominent position, without serious damage to your own reputation. I am astonished that your members are in agreement to this and urge you to reconsider this outrageous appointment. Jimbokav1971
  • Score: 20

8:11pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Derek Rocholl says...

Sorry Barnet Rotary Club but until you rescind his appointment as President of your Club I will not contribute so much as further penny to anything the Rotary is doing anywhere. Look at your own website and reconcile your support for Cancer Centres with Coleman's latest outburst. The appointment of this man as your President has brought your club into disrepute and tarnishes the exceptional reputation of the Rotary movement as a whole.
Sorry Barnet Rotary Club but until you rescind his appointment as President of your Club I will not contribute so much as further penny to anything the Rotary is doing anywhere. Look at your own website and reconcile your support for Cancer Centres with Coleman's latest outburst. The appointment of this man as your President has brought your club into disrepute and tarnishes the exceptional reputation of the Rotary movement as a whole. Derek Rocholl
  • Score: 25

9:01pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Barnet Parker says...

Apparently Rotarians operate a Four-Way Test which is an ethical guide for use in for their personal and professional relationships. Mr Coleman's lists his profession as political consultant on his twitter account so it's not possible to separate his political or Rotarian lives. The test requires them, before they say, think and do anything, to consider:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Quite how Mr MacLachlan has applied the test by appointing someone as president who assaulted a local business woman and denied it up until the last possible minute escapes me. That the same individual uses someone's illness to abuse them hardly constitutes building goodwill and better friendships> If either of those actions are beneficial to all I'm a banana.

If the only positive thing that can be said about Coleman is that he's good at finding interesting speakers for meetings then I'm forced to conclude that The Rotary Club is just an upmarket glee club for bored business people and therefore no longer worthy of my charitable considerations.
Apparently Rotarians operate a Four-Way Test which is an ethical guide for use in for their personal and professional relationships. Mr Coleman's lists his profession as political consultant on his twitter account so it's not possible to separate his political or Rotarian lives. The test requires them, before they say, think and do anything, to consider: Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? Quite how Mr MacLachlan has applied the test by appointing someone as president who assaulted a local business woman and denied it up until the last possible minute escapes me. That the same individual uses someone's illness to abuse them hardly constitutes building goodwill and better friendships> If either of those actions are beneficial to all I'm a banana. If the only positive thing that can be said about Coleman is that he's good at finding interesting speakers for meetings then I'm forced to conclude that The Rotary Club is just an upmarket glee club for bored business people and therefore no longer worthy of my charitable considerations. Barnet Parker
  • Score: 20

10:03pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Well said, everyone. Let's hope Barnet Rotary Club come to their senses and remember the principles on which their movement was founded. Unless they do, frankly no decent person will wish to have anything to do with them. We have moved far away from the times when someone can behave as he has and continues to do and take any sort of office or role in the community, whether as an elected representative or for charitable body.
Well said, everyone. Let's hope Barnet Rotary Club come to their senses and remember the principles on which their movement was founded. Unless they do, frankly no decent person will wish to have anything to do with them. We have moved far away from the times when someone can behave as he has and continues to do and take any sort of office or role in the community, whether as an elected representative or for charitable body. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 19

10:35am Thu 10 Jul 14

shirleykosky22@gmail.com says...

why is this 'man' being given so much publicity, he is revelling in it as usual, the Rotary Club needs to take a proper look at the past behaviour over the other attitudes to people, before deciding he has not done anything wrong.....he also needs to realise illness has no respect for anyone, age, gender, race religion so he could be hit at anytime with a health problem!

He is clutching at straws being in the Rotary Club as he has lost so much politically!
why is this 'man' being given so much publicity, he is revelling in it as usual, the Rotary Club needs to take a proper look at the past behaviour over the other attitudes to people, before deciding he has not done anything wrong.....he also needs to realise illness has no respect for anyone, age, gender, race religion so he could be hit at anytime with a health problem! He is clutching at straws being in the Rotary Club as he has lost so much politically! shirleykosky22@gmail.com
  • Score: 12

1:43pm Thu 10 Jul 14

dawboy says...

Unfortunately the Rotary Club appear to have ignored a simple basic fact. By associating themselves with and defending Brian Coleman they have effectively placed themselves in the same category as him. One bad apple in a barrel turns a barrel of good apples bad.
The Rotary Club will not receive one penny of donations from me whilst they continue to proudly associate themselves with this repugnant has been.
Unfortunately the Rotary Club appear to have ignored a simple basic fact. By associating themselves with and defending Brian Coleman they have effectively placed themselves in the same category as him. One bad apple in a barrel turns a barrel of good apples bad. The Rotary Club will not receive one penny of donations from me whilst they continue to proudly associate themselves with this repugnant has been. dawboy
  • Score: 14

7:02am Fri 11 Jul 14

Mr. Datchery says...

Headlines from the Hendon Times
"Disgraced former Barnet councillor Brian Coleman mocks cancer patient"
"Barnet Rotary Club make Brian Coleman president"

Extract from Rotary International's web site
"We are community champions who stand up for our communities both locally and overseas. We support those who need help, we strive to improve lives and we bring about positive change in our neighbourhoods."

Beats me.
Headlines from the Hendon Times "Disgraced former Barnet councillor Brian Coleman mocks cancer patient" "Barnet Rotary Club make Brian Coleman president" Extract from Rotary International's web site "We are community champions who stand up for our communities both locally and overseas. We support those who need help, we strive to improve lives and we bring about positive change in our neighbourhoods." Beats me. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 9

9:50am Fri 11 Jul 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

Does Rotary International offer a prize for the club with the world's stupidest members? I cannot think of any other reason why Barnet Rotary Club would have elected the execrable Brian Coleman as its president.

Picking such a repulsive loser as figurehead is unbelievably dimwitted and shortsighted. His election will seriously tarnish the club's reputation for charitable work, since his long history of contemptible behaviour towards others suggests that he is himself completely lacking in charitableness.
Does Rotary International offer a prize for the club with the world's stupidest members? I cannot think of any other reason why Barnet Rotary Club would have elected the execrable Brian Coleman as its president. Picking such a repulsive loser as figurehead is unbelievably dimwitted and shortsighted. His election will seriously tarnish the club's reputation for charitable work, since his long history of contemptible behaviour towards others suggests that he is himself completely lacking in charitableness. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 13
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