Here's a question for you. What is a higher priority for the London Fire Brigade
a) Attending to a house where a Mother with young children thinks the Boiler is about to explode.
b) Providing a nice story for a Conservative MP's website & publicity material.
Well I know what I think is more important. What does Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority think ?
a) "It is an utter disgrace that Lynne Featherstone rang 999 for fire fighters to come her home after she reported a knocking noise coming from her central heating system."
b) "I am delighted that under my leadership, all Barnet Residents are entitled to a free Home Fire Safety Visit. Theresa has led the way in having one and I would encourage all Barnet Residents to do likewise. "
So what is the difference between Lynne Featherstone and Theresa Villiers. Villiers is a colleague of Brian Coleman. She's the MP for Chipping Barnet and the Shadow Transport spokesperson. Lynne Featherstone is a Liberal Democrat MP and an opponent of Brian Coleman. Brian Coleman is prepared to sacrifice issues of public safety to score cheap points at the expense of opponents. In this case opponents who were behaving rather sensibly. Lynne Featherstone details the incident in her blog - http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org/2008/12/brian-coleman-and-fire-brigade.htm . I found this whole story completely disgusting. The crass sexism of Coleman's comments were appalling. I would go as far as to say he brought his committe into disrepute and should be sacked from his £25,000 a year post as chairman of the committee
So ask yourself this. If your neighbour in the flat above you thinks their gas system is about to explode and the neighbour below you want's a visit from the fire brigade to advise them on home safety, which would you rather they attended to first?
Don't get me wrong, I think it is good that the Fire Brigade do home safety visits. I even think it's good that Theresa Villiers used her website to get a bit of publicity for herself and the brigade to publicise the service - http://www.theresavilliers.com/article/?id=367&PHPSESSID=95f90abf3176c5d36cd5f0593e719a50 - I just can't stomach the way a man in public office twists the role to help his friends and harm his enemies.
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