Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Official Launch Party, A brush with Herbert, The Appeal, The Waltons & Dirty Tricks. Plus Wirral Foulkes Up over Library Closures Fiasco

By Jove Missus, here I am back from Cannes in a brand new Chronicle. A chronic extravaganza of mirth and comment with a cutting edge.

Yes, that’s right, Chronic the edge-blog.

The Capital of Custard year is behind us and we look to the future of our great city, reborn, renewed, regenerated and being architecturally ransacked for a quick buck by mindless speculators thanks to our idiot planners and so-called learning establishments. All out to make a killing. They probably will with some of the rubbish they are building. Just as well nobody wants to or can afford to live in them.

Well the new Blog - this Missus, you are looking at it now - was announced at a spectacular 10minute celebrity packed launch ceremony at Herbert’s new Slappy Hour Bar.

Isn't he looking fabulous Missus?
It was scheduled to last for the whole evening but when I saw the price of the drinks I had no choice but to set off the fire alarm. Well I’m not paying those prices for Jimmy Corkhill, Barry Butler, Caroline Huge and the cast of Redmond’s Wooden Blokes, just so they can get their gobs in the Echo. At least Kerry Kattomeat brings her own. I told them it wasn’t safe to go back in and the night was ruined. All the freeloaders can clear off, I said.
Cast of Holly Oaks at the launch night

But I’ll tell you what Missus, that Herbert’s as mad as a hatter; it must be all the hairspray he breathes in. We’d only been there a few minutes - just standing at the bar asking if he had any nuts - when he comes charging over and starts hitting us with a sweeping brush, saying we are not allowed to stand and we all have to sit down! I wouldn’t mind but a few minutes later he did the same in the urinals. Burst in like a madman, “Don’t you dare wee up my Italian marble stalls” he was screaming, “go and do it sitting down in the cubicles.” The next thing you know, one of the bar staff is in there, drying them off with his sleeve. I’m glad I didn’t have any nuts now.

Now before I get to the main points, just to put your minds at rest - following the MIPIM report - Mrs Hewitt is now back after her month in the Bastille, after her drugs arrest. “Mipim The Mule” the local papers called her. Fancy the French customs accusing a woman of her standing (4ft 10ins in her surgical stockings) of being a drugs runner. She has enough problems getting to Boots and back for her Fibrogel.

Nearly a month it took for the police analysis to come back, and of course, as we all knew, it wasn’t heroin at all – the idiots – no it was cocaine. Anyway they released her after they tracked down the man she bought it from. He was very nice about it when they put him in the cells with her. I think he fancied her a bit, kept trying to give her a kiss through his mask. Mmm I could just eat you darling, he kept saying. A charming chap, went by the name of Harry Ball, a lecturer, she said.

Mrs Hewitt's Cell Mate Harry
Well at least she's out now. I told her at the time, I know France is expensive but 300 Euros for a few bags of Canderel was way over the top. She should have realised, her and her slimming. She already looks like a cotton bud in a hat. But anyway, she lost over 3 stone in the prison, so that was good but now she’s gone back on Sweetex.

Well, a few things have been happening recently it seems, the big one, although you’d never know it from the Oldham Hall Street crew, was the appeal result in the case of Councillor Mr Stan Hertz and the Walton’s. Despite all the crocodile shoes and alligators (I’ll get the proof reader to check that) he failed to have his conviction overturned after being previously found guilty of breaking the Allotments Society Election regulations.

Now I don’t know all the facts of the case, but I believe Mr Hertz carried out an undercover dirty tracks campaign against the archrivals from the New Lobelia Allotments Society in Belladonna Vale. He couldn’t have chosen a more loved and popular family for heavens sake; the Walton’s ?? They used to have me in tears every week in their telly programme, that and the other one that I was in with Craig Charles; The Little Ward On The Priory.
How could Hertz make such vile accusations? Claiming Mrs Walton used to leave meetings early to go and show her bloomers while Barn Dancing, that John (Pa) Walton was so unpopular at the local Hog whistling stadium, that he couldn’t get a partner? What did he hope to gain by this? And what I want to know is, was he acting alone, was it his idea or did anyone else know what he was up to? After all, he has some notable defenders on the Allotments Board, that otherwise he has taken for right mugs. There’s the chairman himself, Waron Brambles, the prospective mayor Muck Spreader, and the man hoping to get on the National Allotments Committee, Collie Elderflower. I wonder if anyone else knows anything? Probably little Weed, especially when he got caught. Yet in spite of two court decisions Bramble’s is still having none of it – banging on about personal integrity - makes you think. Hertz is after all a conviction politician.

Exhibit A: Hertz's cunning disguise.
Anyway his defence was ridiculous. He admitted being there and having in his possession the nasty little pink notices, but he claimed he had found them. He siad he thought they were disgraceful so he was collecting them from letter boxes to take back to the compost heap, or their Head Quarters, as it is known. My cousins Reg and Ronnie, tried a similar defence when they said that; after noticing the bank door had been left open, they were putting the money back in the safe when the alarm went off. (12 years each)

Now on the night in question, the Walton’s, who had been singing bringing in the sheaves around the Pianola, received a telegram from Sue Ellen, who lived at the bottom of Walton’s Mountain. It said there was a critter dressed as Roy Orbison going to a Babe Ruth look-alike competition, a poking and a shoving evil little scriptures into the mailboxes of the towns folk.
Well John-Boy, Jim-Blog, Bob-a-Job and Pop all raced down the mountain and confronted Hertz asking him to stand still while they loaded a plate into the camera. After refusing to watch the birdie and preferring to fly like a chicken, -

Hertz got into a scuffle during which his trousers came off. It was noticed that he had bundles of the pink leaflets tucked in his underpants containing dreadful smears. I am not surprised. The actual crime committed was not the smears, but that the leaflets contained no publishing address and pretended to be from a fictitious floral society with the initials of what was supposedly, the International Allotments Group. (IAG) It turned out, like many criminals, that he was leaving a cunning clue and the initials actually stood for; “I Am Guilty”
So unlike him and his underpants, the Walton family are left without a stain on their character. My very best wishes to them.
As for Hertz, Brambles should get rid of him after bringing them into such disrepute, after all that's usually Muck Spreader's job. If I had my way, I’d do what they did to criminals in the 19th century and send him to Australia. That would teach them!

Now ladies and gentlemen, I turn my microscope to other pastures.

This new chronicle will be much wider than the goings on in Grotty Cash, by Jove yes. The Cannes jaunt has given me a taste for the wider world, new and exciting topics, exotic locations, the intriguing world of international politics in this globalised collapsing economy. I will be covering events and reports from mysterious far off lands and distant shores. So with that in mind, what has been going on in Birkenhead?

I thought Grotty Cash was bad enough with the Fireman in charge and the legacy of Sir Diddy, not to mention the little Shitzu or Rottweiler, or whatever they call him, that he left behind. But the Wirral is getting just as bad, they are being run by Duane Doberman from Bilko.
Councillor Foulkes-face

Cultural vandals, hell bent on destroying their public libraries and flogging off the buildings to save a few quid.

Once they are gone they are gone forever. Now don’t get me wrong missus, I know they are also looking to close some museums and leisure centres and seriously; do we really need a Guinea Pig Baths? That’s equal opportunities gone mad. Anyway, they’d probably drown in it and you’d have to fish them out with a net. What psychological damage would that do to little Johnny or Kylie; seeing their furry little friend gasping it’s last breath? Actually there would probably be a queue of the little buggers, lobbing them in or skimming them like stones.
Oi! That’s a rabbit go on clear off. Terrible, it’s probably the RSPCA trying to get that shut down.

The Leader of the Council; Mr Foulkes Books, has been attempting to get his so-called a Strategic Arsehead Review through, with backing from the Wirral Glib Dums, who jointly run the administration. I understand, he also has support from the Head of Hoodies and Leisure Services, Executive Director, Mr A Dullard, who thinks because he never uses a library that we don’t need them. Well I don’t use your office mate, so why don't you go and sit on the pavement instead, while I turn it into a betting shop.
It’s not been an easy ride for Labour/Liberal Democrat joint administration; trying to railroad this decision through, and many of the Lib Dems are revolting. Well don’t worry, so are the ones in Liverpool! By Jove!

Did they learn nothing from our year as Capital of Custard? What a marvellous idea, to close down a dozen libraries, some of which are in the most deprived areas and in "The National Year of Reading” as the protest signs outside the Town Hall highlighted.
How can you do this? The leader was asked. He looked puzzled by the signs. “ Reading?” He said, “..that’s a festival isn’t it what’s that got to do with the Wirral?”

He went on; “We have widely consulted on this, why only a few months ago we organised a mass public meeting in the sauna cabin at West Kirkby Concourse at 3.00am. Only nine people bothered to turn up to the meeting, and yes there may have been a couple more who wanted to get in but there simply was not enough space and besides, they probably couldn’t get through the five hundred people locked outside, at least not until we set the police on them.”
The leader claims he even made the effort to go outside and talk to them in the open air and reassured them that; if they didn’t let the council members leave, he would order the police to use water canons. “..and we have a whole bloody swimming pool full in here” he said. (For now anyway)

Now unfortunately the crowd turned ugly – and then they jostled and pushed him as well. He ended up being backed into the pool before he finally agreed to another meeting. They do put that dye in the water, you know?
He made a solemn promise to give the protesters a chance to properly present their objections and then he'd close all the libraries.

Well as usual the pretence of consultation took place, the all too familiar cavalier attitude towards the people they are elected to represent. This was almost a book-burning mentality and a complete disregard for the workforce and all those people who rely on the libraries. What about the children doing school projects, toddlers going to the story time - I hear Jackie Collins and Stephen King are very popular with the kiddies - or those using a computer they otherwise can’t afford?

There’s also the elderly folk who like to pop in and annoy the staff, but at the same time, no matter how annoyed, the staff will check to see if they are ok or give them a call if they’ve not been seen for a while. Si I suppose the've only themselves to blame. There are also people who just go in as a place to get a warm and feel safe, a chance for some quiet reading. It’s more than just the normal borrowers, libraries are often part of the community, sometimes the only part left.
“Sod ‘em.” That was the message, all neatly wrapped up in the pretence of building a modern Library Service for the 21st or possibly 22nd century. The public didn’t appear to buy the arguments though and about 20,000 more had signed the petitions against the closures than had voted in the elections. A clear message you may think – to think again.

This of course is the same outfit that couldn’t even be bothered to fix the roof of the main Central Library for about five years, until it nearly fell on somebody’s head. A lovely 1930s neo classical style -
- building left to rot until they were forced to take action. And so ladies and gentlemen, there we were with a cultural hit list put together by the Wirral illiterati. (I hope I’ve spelled that right) These are the same cheeky buggers who like to look down on Grotty Cash.

And why are they doing it? Well one of the reasons is a projected £16 million budget deficit in the next year. Is that all? £16 million? Well we all fell about laughing at that. We had £64 million deficit mate, and only three pounds twenty seven in the reserves!
Amateurs, that's all I can say. They say the closures will save them £3million, but they also list a £12million backlog of repairs on top of the deficit.
So, within this strategic review, once they have shut them all down, they claim they will then invest £20 million in the new services. Now I am no mathematician, and I’m sure there must be more to it but does this add up right? Has our former financial supremo and marathon runner, Phil Hasitall got a new job with them? Has Wally Bradlow, the leader of Grotty Cash been advising you on balancing the budgies, as he calls it? Well he is a previous award winner for his administrations financial skills, and that’s from the National Audit Murphy Commission, no less.

So they need to save £3million by shutting them and then promise to put in £20million investment. By Jove, that’s clever! I went to the last public meeting, disguised as a certain Welsh windbag and I made a brief speech that I think has since had a major impact. Here is my speech.

“Where is the promised £20Million coming from? I'll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with phoney consultations. They are then pickled into a rigid dogs-dinner, a con, and you go through the years sticking to that, out-dated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour/Lib-dem council—a Labour/Lib-Dem council—hiking taxes to scuttle round a city handing out voluntary severance notices to its own workers. I'm telling you - and you'll listen by Jove - you can't play politics with people's jobs and with people's library and leisure services.”

It was all too much for one local, Derek from Hooton, who walked out saying he was moving to Cyprus.

I do hope that some of my readers will forgive the paraphrasing of the welsh weasel, Neil Comb-over but I can now tell you that at the 11th hour, thanks to my intervention and a few thousand protests, I suppose, as staff were just about to be handed their severance cheques or sent packing to Ellesmere Port to continue throwing books on the bonfires, my message was picked up by International BSN Rescue and Thunderburnham was Go!

Yes, Missus, diddy Andy Burnham ( an appropriate name) the Custard Secretary. He has stepped in at the 11th hour. So your Barbara Cartland’s are safe – for the time being. A complete halt was ordered as part of a national review of library services putting a stop, for now, to the cultural devastation across the Wirral. By Jove! Well done barmy Burnham. Shove that up your back catalogue.

Of course the problem now is that they had been so busy forcing the staff to close the libraries down before anyone could stop them, they had started giving away or selling off books, shelves, tables, chairs and anything else they could flog in some of them. Direct instructions from the top. So now madam, if you want to pop in for a book, it’s best to bring your own - and take a deckchair as well just in case. A very modern approach, and better still they can’t fine you!

Maybe the Fireman isn’t so bad compared to Private Doberman. Ahh I am just being silly now, nobody beats our Wally. They might even make a fine double act though.

Private Doberman can burn the books and Fireman Wally can put them out with a little squirt, oh no I forgot; the little squirt had to stand down after losing his appeal.

You couldn’t read about it! Well not if they’d had their way.

Tatty Bye Everybody Tatty Bye!

Be nice to each other