Sunday 3 April 2011

Coleman & Crow: Birds of a Feather

Last year, on 1st April, Don’t Call Me Dave posted a spoof picture of Tory Councillor Brian Coleman’s head superimposed onto RMT Union Boss Bob Crow’s body.

The two men might be poles apart politically, but they do seem to have a lot in common. They are both political bullies who antagonise their own natural supporters as well as opponents.

They both earn obscene amounts of money at the expense of ordinary hard working people. Coleman earns in the region of £114,000 a year and Crow around £133,000. Both men additionally claim huge amounts in expenses.

Now it seems there is something else they have in common. Brian Coleman lives in a flat owned by the Finchley Methodist Church, where the rent is set by the rent officer. It has three rooms, kitchen and bathroom/wc and costs Cllr Coleman £546 per month. Bob Crow lives in a housing association property - a three bedroom end of terrace house in Woodford Green at a rent reported to be just £150 per week. Both properties were intended for people on low incomes.

Of course, neither Coleman or Crow have done anything illegal. They are within their rights to take advantage of a stupid system that allows people to remain in subsidised housing, even when their circumstances have changed. The government is now looking to close the loophole and remove this anomoly, so that cheap housing can be provided for those in genuine need.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps told the Daily Mail: “With nearly 5 million vulnerable people languishing on housing waiting lists, I would have thought a highly paid union baron would feel somewhat awkward taking advantage of publicly subsidised housing.” Someone should tell Mr Shapps about our Brian.


Mr Mustard said...

1. Please don't mix weeks and months. I have to get the calculator. £150 a week is £650 a month so Crow pays more !
2. Crow - Birds of a feather - ho ho. Is it still April Fool's Day. Is this a spoof ?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Mr Mustard, I am assured you can do simple mathematical calculations in your head. Nonetheless, I apologise for being too lazy to compare like with like. Yes, Mr Crow pays more - but he has a substantially larger property. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or patience to calculate their respective rents on a comparable square footage basis.

No, this is not a spoof, but like the Monty Python character, Mr Smoketoomuch, I never noticed the problem with the headline until you pointed it out!

baarnett said...

Feel free to correct me someone, but I beieve that the average subsidy for social housing from the rest of society is about £35 per week, per property.

I know of a family (not in Barnet) that is now quite wealthy, and has the income to go on expensive holidays, but lives in such subsidised housing.

But maybe we shouldn't throw out babies with bathwater - that family is also articulate and public-spirited - it holds the local estate together, which might go downhill like others nearby.

Mixed communities are best - although I begrudge them the £35 subsidy each week.