@paulwaugh this whole expensive farce and a split jury delivering a pointless verdict .Sadly accidents happen people need to move on
Clearly the rather badly educated Brian Coleman doesn't realise that the verdict of unlawful killing categorically proves that this wasn't an accident. Accidents are unavoidable. The jury found that there were mutiple failures which caused this terrible tragedy. It was entirely avoidable.
Whilst any sane and caring person would clearly be offended by Mr Colemans guff, there is a far more serious matter to consider. Brian Coleman was appointed by Boris to be the chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning authority (a post with a huge salary). Coleman only lost the post when the electorate of Barnet and Camden sacked him in the 2012 GLA election. Brian Coleman was a central part of the Conservative party machine. (After losing the GLA election, Coleman disgraced himself further and was charged with assaulting Helen Michael in the street. He spent six months lying to the police about it, before he was exposed as a liar by CCTV footage in open court. The local Conservatives refused to suspend his membership when he was charged. It was only when head office got wind and acted that he was forced out). Brian Coleman was the man chosen by Boris to implement his cost cutting agenda for the services that protect London.
I find Colemans comments even more distateful given the fact that he was in charge of emergency planning in London. It shows just how little consideration the Conservatives have for the population. When Coleman was running Londons emergency planning, his main policy was one of running down the fire brigade, shutting fire stations, getting rid of fire engines and waging war on the staff. It is no surprise therefore that Coleman sees a massive corporate failure of badly managed emergency services in South Yorkshire as an "accident". It is clear that when people die as a result of the cuts Coleman initiated, he will just excuse this failure as a "sad accident".
Brian Coleman has done us a big service just before the election. He has taken the opportunity to remind us what the attitude of Boris Johnson, Zac Goldsmith and the rest of the London Conservatives is to the issue of emergency planning. They cynically excuse avoidable tragedy as unavoidable accidents. Although Coleman wentfrom the role in 2012, Boris has made no attempt to reverse his disasterous cuts. Zac Goldsmith has never said that he would reverse the cuts. In fact the Tories have sought more cuts from the emergency services budgets.
In Barnet & Camden Dan Thomas is currently trying to pick up the £50K a year job as local GLA rep for the Tories. He is a man with close ties to Brian Coleman. They both sat in the Barnet Council cabinet together (until Tory HQ forced them to suspend Coleman). Despite Brian Coleman lying to the Police for six months and only changing his plea to guilty in court, when the evidence was compelling, Dan Thomas has never apologised to cafe Helen Michael, who Coleman attacked for the support he and his Tory colleagues gave Coleman.
Thomas is a close confidant of Coleman and the two often swap warm, self congratulatory tweets. Here is one recent example.
In reply to Brian Coleman
Dan Thomas knows exactly what Coleman is like. He was in the Cabinet of Barnet Council for years with Coleman, as Coleman lost charge after charge for bring the Council into disrepute. He clearly wishes to be publicly associated with this insensitive, convicted criminal. Of course the people of Barnet and Camden are free to vote for Mr Thomas if they want, but I'd rather hope that most would hold their nose and give the flag bearer for Coleman politics a wide berth.
The London Conservatives have a record of running down emergency services. They make ever more wild accusations about Sadiq Khan and are doing their best to smear him with charges that he poses a threat to London. You don't have to be a genius to realise that by scrapping fire engines and shutting fire stations, there is a real threat. One which Zac Goldsmith and Dan Thomas will simply write off as efficiency. My father was an accident investigation officer for the RAF in 1944-46. He once told me that he'd never seen a plane crash that was "simply an accident". There was always a chain of events and a number of failures which together cause the accident. Serious fires and accidents will happen, but the amount of pain, damage and death they cause is directly affected by the response times of emergency services. That is why London needs people running it who understand that corporate failure in emergency planning results in tragedy. I sincerely thank Brian Coleman for reminding us so vividly that the Tories in London just don't understand this. The inquest wasn't a farce. It was necessary to help prevent such failures occurring again. It is beyond comprehension that Boris and the Tories let a man preside over Londons emeregency services who simply dosn't understand this.