1) Another letter to a local free paper:
Attending last Thursday’s meeting of Southend Council I was filled with pride to observe that the agenda were preceded by a prayer led by an Anglican chaplain. Some loony-liberal PC-apologists might say that this makes a mockery of the supposed separation between Church and State as well as undermining a fundamental precept of our multicultural 21st Century in which Christianity is expected to compete fairly with other faiths (or the renunciation thereof) in a free and open market of spiritualities: but by Golly some of us still remember what it means to be English and I for one am not afraid to stand up and sing the National Anthem every now and then. God save the Queen! God save Southend Council!
2) Another e-mail exchange:
AGENT OATH: Have a good one at the council meet tonight mate – what’s it all about Alfie?
MERCURIUS: Weirdly enough, what it seemed to be all about was the fact that Belfairs Golf Club is infested with cheats who use the facilities without paying. I mean, there were a few other bits as well: the proceedings were opened with a nice prayer from a nice chaplain, then there were debates, some of them got positively wild but there was always the Town Clerk on hand to dampen everyone’s enthusiasm with reminders that the policies being debated have been set down by central government and so are not up for debate. Oh and the theatre part of Focus is going. No more Focus Youth Theatre! But it’s being replaced with a “performance area” which could be a genuine improvement, or it could be they’ll screw this up too. Oh and Tesco’s, who made a pledge to fund some affordable housing in the area, I think that may have been part of the condition of them being sold a bunch of land in Short Street?, anyway they’ve reneged on that and how the councillors fussed and tutted! Oh and there are weedkillers that can’t be used to clean weed-infested areas of Westborough ward because they’re banned under EC regulations, so then the question arose of why other perhaps wealthier areas don’t seem to be having any hassle getting their weeds cleared? The Lord Mayor, who is so out of her depth it isn’t funny, stood up at one point to be photographed receiving a certificate – and promptly fell over. One of the… councillors, I think it was a Labour dude, distinguished… himself by reading out all his comments off a sheet of… paper and he paused at the end of every line regardless… of punctuation. Oh and there was a good bit too when the Labour lot – this was one of the first council sessions since the election, of course – stressed the importance of setting aside mere trivialities of who belongs to what political party and instead working together TOGETHER for the benefit of the town THE TOWN! and the boss Tory pretended to think it over and then he ROARED, RARRRRRRRRRRR! But yeah, mostly it was all about Belfairs Golf Club and how they can make themselves more money.