LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
2 June 2012
I'm All Right Jack

I tried not to succumb to a Union Jack beanbag chair enhanced by a corgi soft
toy and a portrait of the Queen circa 1953 cushion with my newly acquired
Jubilee mugs.

Umbrellas, shopping bags, puzzles, playing cards, pens, knickers, sewing
thimbles, enough tea towels that you could use a new one every day for the
next 6 months, napkins, balloons, chairs, bottle openers, biscuit tins, door
stoppers, trays/plates/bowls/cake stands, commemorative marmite (MA'MITE),
fairy cake toppers and flag sticks, tea bag tins, lapel pins, posters, coins,
calendars, phone cover cases. If you can imagine it, someone else has as well
and it has been covered with an image of the Queen, her corgis, the Union
Jack or all three. Possibility a blue or pink jelly mould of the Queen's head for a
mere £10 was hard to resist.

I'm exhausted, but I do believe there are a few more thrilling options: more sick
bags like those available for the Royal Wedding which would be good to have to
hand after consuming Coronation chicken ice cream - yuck, a solar powered
nodding plastic corgi that cooperatively nods its head when...if the sun shines.

By all accounts the total value of brand-monarchy is more than £44bn with
£18.1bn worth of assets and £26.4bn from tourism. The Jubilee will contribute
£2.4bn minus £1.4bnin costs.

The Queen's preferred dogs are whippets and lurchers - not corgis. Oh dear.
Brand panic could destroy the cushion industry.


U Turn If You Want To

Static caravans, pasties, charitable donations, skip tax. OMG. I have whiplash.
"We're listening to you." LOL...George. Oh George. Is this the Plan B every
economist has begged for? This government 'a shambles'... more a political
comedy and not a very amusing one at that. 4 U-turns in 5 days, 36 in 2 years.
Oh dear. An ideological crisis for the toffs. Plan A, the total dismantling of the
moral, ethical, human-oriented foundation is clearly not as easy to execute as
the posh boys had thought. More chaos to come. CallMeDave's ex-best friend
spin doctor strategist barefooted, Steve Hilton has announced that he has done
a double U turn. His plan A was to go to America for a year. His latest plan B is
he's not returning. Our plan B is to have CallMeDave and George follow.


Book Me In

Evil idiot 1: "Set your alarm for 1AM."
Evil idiot 2: "Don't forget your balaclava."
Evil idiot 1: "And matches."
Evil idiot 2: "Matches? We're burning the building down?"
Evil idiot 1: "Well. Perhaps only the contents."
Evil idiot 2: "I'm so excited I could wet myself."
Evil idiot 1: "Now there's an idea. Save it for the fire."
Evil idiot 2: "After come to mine and we'll read Fahrenheit 451 together over a
bottle or two of bubbly. I'll add it to our expenses."
Evil idiot 1: "Brilliant."

Okay. The evil villains didn't burn the books, that we know of, but the Brent
council members sneaked into the Kensal Rise library with the aid of at least 15
security guards and utterly unbelievably, 12 police at 2 AM to totally dismantle
and destroy the beloved library by stealth. Charming. This is the very library
opened by Mark Twain in 1900.

Six other libraries were 'dismantled' last year. The library annihilators walked off
with books, photos, furniture, plaques  - the plaque remembering Mark Twain
and murals - murals - of Alice and Wonderland and Treasure Island.
Apparently a significant council member, Mo Butt (I promise I am not making
that up) had promised the save-our-library campaigners not to remove the
murals until they had met with library's owner, All Souls College, Oxford.

The library's campaign leader, Margaret Bailey's response: "It just seems
super-vindictive and super-nasty. It's pretty deceitful really." Pretty deceitful?
Calculatingly cunning, conniving, deviously dishonest, duplicitous. The
spokesman for the council: "The council has committed to contacting All Souls
College on behalf of the friends of Kensal Rise Library to enable discussion
between the two parties." Adding, "On the advice of the police, the council
removed its property from the building."

Celebrity supporters included Zadie Smith as well as authors Alan Bennett,
Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Pullman, Sir Michael Holroyd were unable to affect
the desire of the council to close it down. Campaigners had worked out a plan
to run the library without council funds. Margaret Bailey: "They could have
given us that library at any time over the last 18 months with All Soul's blessing."

Gareth Daniel has been Brent Council's Chief Executive since 1998. He's in
charge of an annual expenditure budget of £1 billion. He's cutting costs of
£50m  2010-14. Gareth's salary is £194,550. Pay rates for his staff range from
£86,466 to £140,508.

Evil idiot 1: "What's that? What's going on out there? It's the middle of the night."
Evil idiot 2: "Look. There are at least fifty people outside holding torches - and
books."
Evil idiot 1: "Goodness me. What do they want?"
Evil idiot 2: "You don't reckon they are holding their library book club do you?"
Evil idiot 1: "They wouldn't dare!"
Evil idiot 2: "Where would they ever obtain the books?"
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