Thursday, 5 January 2012
Mrs Angry predicts ... a doomed face saving exercise in Broken Barnet
Mrs X: Mrs Angry: are you feeling refreshed after your Christmas and New Year break?
Mrs Angry: I am not, thank you for asking, Mrs X, but never mind, my psychic energies are simply buzzing with activity, and I have many predictions for the New Year ... and now my spirit guide is whispering something in my ear ... oh. How curious. Really? Mmm. Goodness.
Mrs X: What? Do share with us, Mrs Angry. We won't tell anyone.
Mrs Angry: Very well. This must not pass further than the imaginary boundaries of this post, but I can see a very interesting development in Broken Barnet ...
Mrs X: Go on, go on:
Mrs Angry: I see red faces at North London Business Park, and a good deal of grimacing, and hand wringing, and weasel words. I see a gathering of Tory councillors, and I hear a lot of argument, and hysterical outbursts ... and not all of them are from Brian Coleman ... look, a daring veteran councillor, dressed in a periwig, velvet breeches and buckled shoes, has accused him, in a petulant flounce, and a querolous voice, of upsetting all the Tory voters of Broken Barnet, and threatening his chances of re-election in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Dear dear. And see: hiding in the corner is a vintage clown, not laughing, but weeping into a spotted handkerchief. He doesn't want to be leader anymore, because people keep being beastly to him and blaming him for things. And over there, look: a senior council officer, in kitten heeled shoes, and a surprising interest in football, trying to be very, very helpful: that is touching, isn't it, Mrs X?
Mrs X: It is indeed, Mrs Angry.
Mrs Angry: Would you try to be helpful to Brian Coleman, if you were a senior council officer, Mrs X?
Mrs X: I would not, Mrs Angry. I would put all my efforts into being as disobedient as possible, spike his tea with salt, and trip him up with my size 9 kitten heeled shoes as he passed my desk, and then pretend to be sorry.
Mrs Angry: Probably not a good idea to apply for a job with the London Borough of Broken Barnet, then, Mrs X.
Mrs X: I would rather sell myself in the lowest brothel, in the filthiest street, in the worst slum known to man, or somewhere in Enfield/Southgate/Cockfosters ( If I wanted to, I would know who to ask, citizens - and you would be amazed if I told you how) ...
Mrs Angry: And if you did, Mrs X, would you be taking cash payment, do you think?
Mrs X: Hmm. Of course.
Mrs Angry: And not expect your clients to pay by card, or mobile phone?
Mrs X: That would be foolish. I imagine trade would drop off pretty quick, wouldn't it?
Mrs Angry: Ah, indeed. Parking, shopping, and f*cking: all much the same. Here in Broken Barnet, anyhow. Which is why our Tory councillors are so cross with Brian Coleman: business on the streets of our borough has disappeared, driving away the punters, and of course taking away a significant amount of their protection racket money income from parking. Oh dear ... is there a solution, a face saving solution that will be acceptable to Himself, the man who must not be challenged? Ah: what are you showing me, spirit guide? Is this ... a payment card? A card for poor people, or technophobes, or annoying old codgers who won't stay at home all day just to please Councillor Coleman? Something that can be prepaid, but still seems in line with Brian's fear and loathing of cash. (Rather like the Queen, and Mrs Angry, he does not carry the stuff, or come into close contact with it, unless it is stuffed under his mattress or sewn into his vest for safekeeping). And look: here in Mrs Angry's crystal ball is a helpful company that is very keen to supply the London Borough of Broken Barnet with this magic plastic cash susbstitute, if they can persuade certain senior officers of their marvellous idea ...
Mrs X: But Mrs Angry, many citizens, especially the elderly, simply will not want to use such cards. To introduce such a scheme will involve more wasteful expense, and why go to so much trouble & pointless bureacracy when we could simply just start using our cash machines again?
Mrs Angry: Don't be foolish, Mrs X. The machines are still there, strangely, despite RM Countryside being paid £80K to remove them, even though we have no contract with the company, and no proper competitive tendering took place before they were given the job . The removal programme appears to have been dramatically halted, in fact, for some reason. I would suggest that if the parking contract had been run properly and fairly, it would have been perfectly possible to require the tendering companies in ha - theoretically, anyway - competition for the business to maintain the meters and collect the cash as part of their lucrative deal. To do the sensible thing now, however, and admit they were wrong, and revert to including the option of cash payment method is quite impossible.
Mrs X: Why?
Mrs Angry: Absolutely no reason: except that it would be a major humiliation for Brian Coleman.
Mrs X: And?
Mrs Angry: And wouldn't we all enjoy that?
Mrs X: We would indeed, Mrs Angry.
Come on, Tory councillors of Broken Barnet - rise up ... yes, thank you, Councillor Harper, do sit down - you have nothing to lose but your council seats, committee posts and generous allowances if you do nothing, after all ...