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This guy's bonkers. Could prove to be a big problem in the next couple of years. Still free speech and all that.

This man is an embarrassment to bot the Conservative Party and the gay community. There's a very big difference between being a 'loose cannon' and a 'maverick'.

Coleman must go!

Coleman is an arse, completely out of touch with the electorate and arrogant to the point of sheer bloody-mindedness.

He regards his position of Chairman of the Assembly as authority to abuse taxpayers' money with a cab fare bill greater than the whole of the rest of the GLA members put together.

He is an embarrasment to the Party and should be de-selected forthwith for the next GLA elections and stripped of the Conservative whip in the GLA.

"He has also suggested Edward Heath undertook cottaging."

What a wonderful turn of phrase. I would certainly imagine that if the sulky Heath had cottaged he would have undertaken it rather than enjoyed it. For comparison, use "undertook" with any other sexual practise, and you might get an idea why this is funny.

Of course they did: if govts don't condemn decades of slaughter then why should individual athletes? The government of a country is supposed to represent the population and take its lead from the the mandate of the people. Eleven years of suffering for a vote of 23% is pitiful -and they've also made such damaging changes to our Constitution.

The ethical foreign policy of the Labour Party was soon found to be hollow - what will the Conservative Party actually do? Forget the tabloids and the broadsheets. the spin & the glamour and just do the decent thing - cancel all the laws and regulations introduced since 1973 and start from the very beginning. At the very least, just review the laws brought in since 1997.

Has he infected Boris with garbelitis? I see Boris is making exuberant statements about Climate Changes and his unstinting acceptance of the Stern Report as is?

Suggesting the athletes chose which country to compete the Olympics in is akin to pretending those brave soldiers chose which war to fight in. This is the politics of stupidity.

I agree with you Susan! And what an inappropriate idiot Coleman is!!

"Highly paid athletes"? In what world does he live. Most of these medal winners have just enough money to get by.

The man is a fool and an embarrasment. No doubt he will be campaigning for all Chinese goods to be banned from Britain.

On the one hand Coleman is an ass for spouting off like this. On the other, this article veers very close to homophobia and Militant-esque witch hunting in smearing him as a "loose cannon" and seeking to place his sexuality in the sphere where small-minded bigots can use it as a stick to beat him with.

The fact that Boris Johnson has been buttered up by the Chinese authorities in the past week makes no odds. China still is, as Brian Coleman says, a brutal dictatorship where dissidents are tortured and murdered, and where Solzhenitsyns do not exist to expose the horror because China has more closely achieved the '1984' dysopia of oppressed citizens loving the Motherland than Soviet Russia could ever have hoped to achieve.

On balance, much more power to Coleman's elbow.

"Highly paid athletes"? In what world does he live. Most of these medal winners have just enough money to get by.

Posted by: YourNameHere | August 29, 2008 at 19:50

Most of the top athletes earn hundreds of thousands in prize and appearance on the grand prix circuit. The top tennis players and footballers who played earn millions too.

I think you should do some research before you make a fool of yourself again Libertarian.
None of our medal winners were tennis players or footballers and only four were track and field athletes. None of them were remotely in the millionaire class.

What is Spellman going to do about him?

Good for him!

Libertarian - you ready think the swimmers, divers, gymnasts, rowers and cyclists get paid a lot of money? Total respect to them all for sticking with something and getting to the top with so little finanical reward.

He does seem to get himself in a pickle rather a lot doesn't he? Maybe he enjoys it. Whatever the cause, I'd boot him out mercilessly for the greater good.

Overpaid athletes? That’s a bit rich coming from the man who receives close on £30,000 from Barnet Council, £50,000 from the GLA and another £7,500 or so from playing Fireman Sam.

I'm no huge fan of Brian's and have no interest in debating the 'Chinese human right abuse' aspect of his comments on this string. I suspect most of us, including Brian, will agree anyway.

I do though believe (assuminging the attributed quotes in the report above are accurate) that although he's waded in far too deeply by personalising his comments against our superbly performing athletes over the past month or so ago in China, that he's correct in the other fundamental point that he's (perhaps rather awkwardly) trying to draw out.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, our 'heroes' are dying and being serious injured on foreign battlefields without any significant public thanks, praise, recognition or support.

The recent (well deserved) acclaim being heaped upon our (generally well supported) returning sporting superstars sits in very uncomfortable contrast to this.

The balance really does need to be considered and addressed.

Colin Smith @ 22.20

Hear, Hear Sir!

Highly paid athletes?

They don't even have money for a Cab. They can't even claim it on expenses.

They are not football players. These people who went to the Olympics are Athletes.

Of course they are not Heroes like our soldiers. We should be so proud that they have achieved something which has not been achieved for a century.

The openly gay Mr Coleman is widely regarded as a loose cannon

That's an understatement! Ridiculous uninformed prejudiced comments. How do these people get selected?

While Coleman's article is OTT, why are the athletes automatically freed from any responsibility for their actions? Each athlete that competed in the games willingly took part in an extended advert for a vicious and brutal regime. With the exception of the diving urchin, the members of the GB team were all adults and it is not unreasonable to question their priorities.

Also, I agree with WHS that the tone of this article is unfortunate to say the least. The fact that Mr Coleman is "openly gay" (He doesn't even try to hide it? The shame!) doesn't really have a great deal to do with this issue, does it?

I'm puzzled by the last para of this posting, I must admit.

Exactly what does his sexuality have to do with this moronic outburst?

He seems to have really bad foot in mouth disease. I'd never ask a sportsperson to boycott the olympics. Ask them to chuck 4 years of their life away, in many cases. No!
Boycotts are for the public and politicians to do as they see fit.
As a Consevative activist I'm annoyed by what he has said.
I'm also annoyed by people bringing up his sexuality. Imagine this...

'The openly straight Boris Johnson has distanced himself from Mr Coleman's remarks.'

I'm sorry, but I just can't take Coleman seriously anymore.

Not after his absurd taxi bill. Conservatives should stand for value for money - it's absolutely core to what we stand for.

He should use his Travelcard.

I read the description of his being "openly gay" as the background to his allegation that it is homophobia, and not the fact that he is, quite separately from his sexual preferences, an embarrassing loon, which has kept him from higher office. As for China: yes, its human rights record is dreadful. But why expect athletes to occupy the moral high ground when their governments continue to behave as though nothing is wrong?

I still think he likes the swimming team in speedos...

No, he isn't high quality. Have the GLA Tories (plus Boris?) ever been?

Brian Coleman- you are an embarrassment to the party. I can't believe I voted for you in the London elections.

Our Olympic swimmers, cyclists and rowers annual incomes probably add up to about a third of what this pompous parasite spends on taxis in one week. The other week, he even had the gall to write in the local paper defending his use of taxis at our expense by saying "if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys"

Of course our Olympic medal winners are not heroes in the sense that our Iraq/Afghanistan servicemen are, but they have brought more enjoyment, fun and pride to this country than the fat waste of space Brian Coleman has.

Coleman, China exists. Its economy will be double that of the USA by 2050. Europe will be half.

Your small mind will fit well inside
a tiny EU region of the least successful economic zone in the world, where human rights matter not a jot, where children are taken away from their families to meet government targets, where paedophiles and violent criminals have 'human' rights, and are allowed to walk the streets to murder and rape your children. I'd much prefer to trust the orderliness of Chinese tradition, than basketcases like you whose PC small-mindedness has taken over and destroyed British culture and society. Shut the fuck up.

Coleman, China exists. Its economy will be double that of the USA by 2050. Europe will be half.

Your small mind will fit well inside
a tiny EU region of the least successful economic zone in the world, where human rights matter not a jot, where children are taken away from their families to meet government targets, where paedophiles and violent criminals have 'human' rights, and are allowed to walk the streets to murder and rape your children. I'd much prefer to trust the orderliness of Chinese tradition, than basketcases like you whose PC small-mindedness has taken over and destroyed British culture and society. Shut the fuck up.

What a raving moron! People like him are an embarassment.

Brian this was an appalling thing to say and in my opinion quite untrue! It is not the athletes' fault that the Games had to take place in a country where they have scant regard for human rights or civilized behaviour and they did us credit - every man and woman of them!!
Kindly engage brain before opening mouth in future!

I both live in a cottage and have met Edward Heath but never in the same context.

Which makes about as much sense as Brian Coleman.

Too late to discuss what he was actually saying. His choice of words or his timing stink. But he's not too far from putting his finger on something true. Everyone who took part in the Olympics made a bargain with their conscience in order to do so (we don't outsource our conscience to the government). I'm sorry if it's considered bad form to point that out.

The openly gay Mr Coleman ... etc etc ... I think an undergraduate student of literature could deconstruct the language of the opening of this paragraph, as well as its subsequent content, to show the intent (whether conscious or not) quite easily; I don't think it's a noble one.

Ah, the benefits of Cameron's "Diversity" come home to roost

For a conservative to attack world leading British athletes over competing in an olympics is very annoying.

Firstly, politics is at its worst when the olympics are implicated. From Munich to Moscow and LA, all were tainted by people who like to use a sporting event for political means. The olympics is a global institution that does a damn sight more to promote world peace than the UN.

Secondly, at a time when the left are working night and day to undermine British values and identity, Conservatives should always remain loyal to the ambassadors of Britain, our athletes lead this cause and deserve our unstinting support, and we should never attack them en-mass like this.

Coleman's judgement should be seriously called into question; whether he should be in such an important position, in the Assembly in the run up to 2012 given these remarks. IIf it were up to me I would demand his resignation.


He gets £87,500 for doing what exactly.

Well, he could have put it better but I have a sneaking admiration that there is ONE politician who shares the distain that many of us have with the way the Olympics have, through the ages, been used to strengthen disgusting dictatorships. Whilst attacks on these athletes now is mistimed (should he not have said this before they went?), he is right that there are moral responsibilities on every one who takes part. It was slightly different because there was an actual move to have a boycott, and therefore unlike this time not going could be less justifiably described as a futile gesture, but personally I have never liked Seb Coe because he went to Moscow (against Mrs T's request) and the fact that he was able by some sort of celebrity worship to have secured a subsequent career in the Conservative Party has always been a mystery to me.

I have a feeling that the sort of views expressed by this eccentric loose cannon would have been voiced by a great many more people, including politicians, if London was not doing it next time. That co-opted us, certainly any London Mayor whatever their private views, into not rocking the boat. It's yet another reason why I would have been much happier if we didn't have the bloody thing coming here in 2012.

So I can't join in the general lynch mob on Mr Coleman on THIS matter, although I am sure there are a lot of other things he has done and said that may be reprehensible.

I would take the views of someone like Brian Coleman slightly seriously if he advocated hurting the Chinese in their pockets by introducing economic ,culteral and travel sanctions but of course he won't do that. He just takes the easy, lazy way of trying to get some other people to make a symbolic but completely futile gesture of not going to the Olympics which of course as we all know would achieve absolutely nothing.
Mrs Thatcher is someone I too admire hugely but she had no interest whatsoever in sport, (the sporting legacy of the Thatcher government was truly lamentable) and her attempt to coerce British athletes not to go to Moscow a huge error. Seb Coe and the others had my sympathy then and now.

The point is, though, Londoner that irrespective of one's own personal views on the matter he has damaged the Conservative Party with his comments! On the local radio yesterday for a few hours the main headline on the news was this story and it would make many doubters or non-Conservatives think that ALL Conservatives held his view and that we as a Party were anti the athletes! Not true at all and this has undone in one stroke all the good work done by Lord Coe and his colleagues - AND Boris!

He has a point though. A week before the olympics started, the BBC were showing normal Chinese people having their heads kicked in by police because they would not leave their home. Their homes were then bulldozed. The olympics is only a sport - is it worth so much human misery.

He just wants attention

he always has

the real problem isn't his sexuality,

it is that he is a out, openly stupid man.

Malcolm - maybe the fact that Mrs T had no interest in sport enabled her to take a more objective view. You only have to look at football, from the club owners to the fans, to see that sports enthusiasm often drives rationality out of the window.

I agree with Sally to this extent: because our man, Boris, has a major responsibility for the Olympics, whether he or we like it or not, there is a certain obligation to try to treat the stinking thing with respect, which, as GLA Chairman of the same party at the Mayor, Coleman should have bought into.

Coleman's GOT to go!:



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