Saturday 14 June 2014

Council of Despair - A Gala Evening

The dignitaries were all in place, the auditorium awash with floral frocks, pin-striped suits and glittering municipal chains.

Mrs Muriel Chippings, dressed in a stunning ensemble of badger pelts and puce chihuahua furs, took to the microphone to deliver her opening address to the illustrious assemblage.

"It is with some considerable pride as leader of this great authority for the last quarter century that I welcome you this evening to the magnificent new Robbie Savage Auditorium in the Alabama Center for Divine Retribution.

“Not only do these wonderful facilities include this state-of-the-art auditorium and the popular ice skating experience, but the centre also serves the community in other ways, including the new Jagerbomb Bar and an increasingly popular foodbank.

“I am pleased to announce this evening that after a full consultation with our public relations specialists, the Halelujah Foodbank has been re-branded Pam’s Pantry, a service we set up with the Reverend Bonnett to help those who are too bone idle to go and get themselves a job, with nutritious boxes of pop tarts, spaghetti hoops, pot noodles and instant whip being handed out to provide all the ingredients for a feast.

“It is also with immense satisfaction that I welcome back my good friend and aide Mr Teflon who has been the victim of a vile and scurrilous campaign by sections of the press and even, I am ashamed to say, some members of this authority.

"It is only fitting that we should commence this evening's gala celebration with a reflective thought for the day from the Reverend Eli Bonnett.”

Multi-coloured lights flashed, and dry ice momentarily obscured the stage as the loudspeakers played a dubstep version of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus before the Reverend strode up to the microphone.

“AAALLL RIGHD! I said, AAAAALLLL RIGHD-EEE! Trimsaran ROCKS! Welcome one and all to our new auditorium. As some of you know, none of this would have been possible without the tireless support of our friends in the front row down by ‘yer, and it is with that thought in mind that I ask you to thank the Lord Almighty for the deliverance of my very good friend Mr Teflon from the evil clutches of those interfering auditors who were doing Satan’s work by casting doubt and planting nasty suspicions in the minds of the good folk of this county.

“Be gone Beelzebub, and let us give thanks to the Lord for sending us Mr Teflon. Amen.”

Returning to the microphone, Mrs Chippings peered over her diamond encrusted half-moon spectacles before resuming her address.

“Some of you may be wondering why I am standing before you this evening rather than Kevin who, as you may know, is temporarily occupying my office. Let’s be honest and acknowledge that although he has done his limited best, his best really has not been good enough, and so this arrangement will last only until the next defection or by-election.

“Be that as it may, Mr Teflon simply could not find any time on the agenda for one of Kevin’s, erm, speeches, but I’m sure that if he could speak to you, he would tell you that he has been making some hard decisions.

“But now, we move towards the climax of what Ms Klebb from the Press Office has described as this evening’s "glittering cavalcade of bardic brilliance” with the unveiling of an exact replica of Dylan Thomas’s writing shed. It is a mobile shed. On wheels. Handcrafted, painted and assembled by local craftsmen employed by B&Q  in Johnstown, another demonstration, I might add, of our commitment to local business.

“Part-funded by a modest EU Regional Development grant of £372,769, which I myself approved, this shed will tour the schools of the county and be an inspiration to our budding bards for generations to come.

“But before I have the pleasure of revealing this masterpiece of reproductive shed-craft, I shall hand over to my fellow Executive Board member, Mrs Tremble, who has devoted her not inconsiderable literary talents to writing a more contemporary version of one of Thomas’s dated works. Even more fittingly, Mrs Tremble is responsible for Bugger All, or as Dylan Thomas preferred to call it, Llareggub.

Mrs Tremble made her way to the stage to the accompaniment of Take That’s “Greatest Day”. 

“Dylan Thomas was born 100 years ago and died in 1953, so it is not surprising that Under Milkwood has little relevance to the modern, progressive county we have become under the leadership of Muriel and Mr Teflon. Mrs Organ Morgan’s general store closed down years ago, and we all now enjoy the benefits of shopping at Tesco and Asda. The old village school was rationalised under our Modernising Education Programme, and is now up for sale as a private residence.

“Captain Cat fell foul of the bedroom tax and was assessed fit for work by Atos. The post office closed a while back, and Willy Nilly the postman was made redundant. Most of the gaily coloured houses were sold as holiday cottages, and Ocky Milkman now lives in an older person’s bungalow.

"There is also no mention in Thomas's work of the wonderful amenities we now enjoy at Ffoslas and Nandos in Eastgate.

“It was therefore quite a challenge to bring this work up to date.”

Mrs Tremble cleared her voice and began to read in tones reminiscent of the Queen’s 1955 Christmas broadcast from Balmoral:

To begin at the beginning.

It is spring, moonless night in the small town, now lit by

energy-saving street lights, the one-way streets silent,

and the doggers’ wood limping invisible down to the

sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, turd bobbing sea.

(continued on page 94)


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Mildly amusing but what strikes me is the sarcasm that you seem to utilise from time to time.

The councillors we have could not be considered to be professional politicians but they have put themselves forward for election and are actually elected.

You are obviously and intelligent man - you seem to have an opinion on everything (invariably slanted towards Plaid) so why don't you stand for the council on a Plaid ticket.

You could grace the people of the county with your wit and wisdom.

What about it - instead of sarcasm are you up to make a real difference ?

Cneifiwr said...

But would you vote for me?

Cneifiwr said...

But would you vote for me?

caebrwyn said...

Excellent Cneifiwr, spot on.

Anonymous said...

I might do but i don't think you have the balls !

Come on - cut the pretentious (I think I'm a leader writer) crap and stand for election.

Cneifiwr said...

As far as I know, it has not become mandatory for you to read my pretentious crap.

Secondly we are really fortunate here to have an excellent county councillor and a superb MP and Assembly Member. And when Rhodri Glyn steps down, Adam Price will be our man in Cardiff Bay.

Balls or no balls, there are no vacancies.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't got the balls? How do we know Cneifiwr is a male?

Anonymous said...

No vacancies, no guts, just pretentious (I wanna be a sketch writer) crap.

Does anybody else agree I wonder ?

Cneifiwr said...

Anon @10.09 Last time I checked they were still there, although there is one branch of Merched y Wawr who remember me trying to infiltrate their ranks as Anne Robinson wearing a red wig, little black dress and tights on a quiz night.

Redhead said...

Remember Mae Rose Cottage who swears that she will sin until she explodes .....

Blodwen said...

Anon 15 June 11.19 I think you'll find that the answer to your question is a resounding "NO!". Most of us who read this blog do so in order to find out what is actually happening in this godforsaken county and we admire and respect Cneifiwr and other similar bloggers for the public-spirited and well-researched information that they give us. So go back to playing with your toys (or yourself) and stop reading if it annoys you so much.

Anonymous said...

Blodwen - fully agree with your comments. We rely on Cneifiwr to shear away the onion layers of spin and hypocrisy emanating from the council press office and other propaganda statements that the gagged press re-gurgitate verbatim from county hall spokespeople.