Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Follow my leader, says Mrs Angry
Sshh ... it's the middle of the night ... Take Mrs Angry's hand and come with her, up, up into the inky black skies, and let us fly over the silent streets of Broken Barnet.
Look down below - see the residents sleeping soundly, curled up in their beds, dreaming of a better life, far away from the daily grind, the relentless drive for efficiency, in this our beloved, successful London borough.
And now - what do we see, as we peer through the grimy window of a certain charity owned first floor flat in Finchley Central, - in the feeble light of a flickering candle, here is a familiar portly figure, in a threadbare nightgown, kneeling devoutly by the side of his bed, hands clasped together and eyes raised beseechingly towards heaven.
Hush, hush, whisper who dares,
Councillor Coleman is saying his prayers ...
Can you hear?
"I want to be leader of Barnet Council. I must be leader of Barnet council. Please make me leader of Barnet Council ... "
What was that? A noise in the dark corner of the room ...
"Who is there?" demands Brian. A figure steps out from the shadows. "Who are you?"
"I am the Prince of Darkness."
"Peter? I thought I told you never to ... "
"Mr Walkley, I really must protest at this unwarranted intrusion ..."
"Old Nick ..."
A smell of sulphur fills the room. Brian thinks ruefully about his indigestible lunch with the men from AssetCo, who had the cheek to ask him, in the light of the shares crash, to pay the bill and even worse, if he could start sending them hampers, for a change.
"I see: I assume you've come to offer me a deal for the sale of my soul?"
The devil shakes his head. "Soul? You having a laugh, Coleman? You're on your own, now, pal. No: I've just come to give you a word of warning ..."
"Be sure of what you wish for, Brian, lest it come true ..."
Oh, dear: whatever does he mean?
And where now? Ah, look: we are in Hampstead Garden Suburb ... see the defaced CPZ notices, and the torn up Conservative Party membership cards? Here's Saif Gaddafi's house, the cause of so much anxiety to local councillor, anti squatting campaigner, and deputy Leader of Barnet Council, Andrew Harper.
And here is Andrew's bedroom window: shall we? Uh oh: there he lies, still awake, stirring restlessly in his Austin Reed pyjamas, tossing from side to side all night long ...
Not only is he deputy Leader, he is the acting Leader, and Cabinet member for Education, Children and Families, don't you know, and the ever increasing demands of his portfolio are never far from his thoughts: always with him, last thing at night, and in the morning, well: you can imagine, can't you, ladies?
Andrew wants it badly. He must get it. He will do anything to get his hands on it. He wants to be Leader, too: desperately.
Will they vote for him, though? Some nasty councillor is going around saying he isn't up to it. Some say he has made such a cock up of the MetPro mess, it shows he would make a hopeless leader. Disaffected back bench Tory councillors don't want a One Barnet hardliner in power. How can he persuade them to support him, without backtracking and looking even more desperate?
Ah well. Enough: time for one last flight over the rooftops of Broken Barnet, one more visit to another Tory councillor. Here we are in Totteridge, where residents sleep safely in the knowledge that Barnet's own former security company, MetPro Emergency Response, is on constant patrol, up and down the Lane, not filming anything.
See, clutching his duvet under his oddly saturnine chin, and grinning in his sleep with that inappropriate expression of mirth that seems to be permanently tattooed on his face, here lies Richard Cornelius, side by side with loyal wife and fellow Totteridge councillor Alison Cornelius, like a knight and his lady on a medieval tomb.
Councillor Richard Cornelius is dreaming of winning the leadership contest. It might be awfully good fun: and think of the money. If they would appoint Alison to deputy leader as well: double whammy. He knows he isn't the brightest button in the One Barnet box: but then he doesn't really want to be in the One Barnet box, because, frankly, he doesn't understand the One Barnet concept. Who does?
Other councillors may not want to understand it: Richard does, but just can't see how it all works. He likes to sit on committees and smile, and nod, and ask disingenuous questions, and make silly remarks - yes, go on, you remember - such as telling us how many people have thrived on a background of poverty ... Councillor Cornelius's dopeyness makes him the perfect compromise candidate for the Tory party leadership contest, therefore: sound old school Tory views, a lack of rigorous intellect, a cheery smile, a willingness to do as he is told. But will he stand?
And what, you may ask, do you think, Mrs Angry? Which candidate do you endorse?
Oh, come on. The man who would cause his own party the most embarrassment, and provide the bloggers of Broken Barnet with a never ending supply of entertainment: there is only one choice. There is no alternative.
Don't worry, Brian: I'm backing you, all the way - and here is Mrs Angry's official endorsement, sealed with a kiss - come here, don't be shy ... no, no: don't run away ... see - you don't need 'Bing' Crosby working on your campaigns, when you have Mrs Angry and all the Barnet bloggers behind you!