Coleman briefly raised on high

First published in News by

Right-wing commentators have had a field day since Councillor Brian Coleman declared that Barnet would become a ‘hump-free zone' within five years.

Tom Utley, writing in the Daily Telegraph, couldn't contain his excitement.

"We have reached a turning point in British history," gushed Mr Utley on Saturday last week, “and hardly anybody seems to have noticed: as I write, contractors for Barnet Council in north London are at work, flattening every one of the 1,000 speed bumps in the borough."

No-one is noticing, Mr Utley, because it's not happening.

Not that that deters him. "It is, perhaps ...the most glorious moment of hope for British freedom since Monty defeated Rommel at Alamein," he said.

As laurels decended on Mr Coleman from the Tory press, council leader Victor Lyon was apparently none too chuffed with his junior colleague effectively devising a new policy off the cuff. He has since firmly underlined the existing policy of reviewing each hump on a case by case basis and keeping the ones where they are proven to be effective.

The Telegraph may have failed to notice that Brian Coleman was, to put it kindly, stretching the truth about the council's policy, but Richard Littlejohn, at The Sun, did not. Initially describing Mr Coleman as a hero, on Friday last week, he wrote: "Pity that the Barnet plan has now been overturned.

“The council leader put the kibosh on it because he hadn't been consulted by the transport chairman [Brian Coleman].

"It's not only at national level where the Tories have the capacity for squabbling themselves into oblivion."

But the final word has to go to Mr Utley, who reaches a magnificent rhetorical crescendo. "We must erect a statue of Brian Coleman on the vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square — and flatten every speed bump in the land."

Far from being his Trafalgar, speed humps may yet turn into Mr Coleman's Waterloo.

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