Musings from a Marginal

Life and times of a Constituency Organizer including the rizograph problems...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

That was a FOX!!!

No, I know what you're thinking, I haven't sunk quite that low yet.

Still as value for money goes I think we could be circling the drain here, still lets see where we end up shall we? Besides as I've said before this is free, you damn sponges!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah!

I saw A FOX tonight!!! Straight up! A Frickin' FOX!!! Going through the bins!!!

I always used to laugh at those stories of city kids gawping wide-eyed at sheep and cows when they were allowed to pollute the countryside but how the nature worm has turned!

Of course, I have seen a Fox before (I refer you to the from the countryside bit above) living in Oulton for a year (tiny village) and Burston when I was wee (another tiny village) and having had Grandparents in the country I am aware of British nature and always have been. BUT this is why I was so shocked to see a Fox in the middle of the Town, and not just 'see' but almost sodding well TRIP OVER the bugger! I know there are these hoards of 'Urban Foxes' now but still I had no idea they were so ridiculously unperterbed by people! He didn't bat an eyelid! Just looked at me before continuing his meal. I mean I could literally have reached out and stroked this thing (not that I would, I'm not THAT stupid). You'd never get that in the country. They shit themselves quicker than you can blow your bugle and shout 'Tally-ho!'

But there it was, going through the bins, and he was big fella too with a big bushy tail! I suspect that if Roald Dahl's 'Mr Fox' character - the debenair, clever and outrageous country gent - had a illigitimate East End half brother it would of been this Fox.

I suspect he'd be called Dave.

Dave from Camden (or Caaaamdan as the locals seem to refer to it) doesn't take any shit. I suspect that's why him and Mr Fox don't get along too well, leading to why he never visits in the book. Their relationship probably took a wrong turn when Mr Fox got tired of his brother refering to him as 'Foxy' and his brother's diet of 'last night's kebab' as opposed to stolen chickens probably didn't sit too well with him either. To be fair I imagine Dave probably didn't enjoy his brother's haughty manners much and as the only people who drink stolen cider in London are homeless he probably thought Mr Fox was a 'dodgy fella' anyway.

But if he did turn up in the book he wouldn't of taken that shit from the farmers, trying to starve all the animals, not a chance. Sod burrowing into the chicken hutch, he'd of lifted the farmer's tractor keys and gone for a spin before ramraiding the barn with it. Had they still been 'askin for it' he'd of bottled 'em. Probably using one of their own bottles. Job done.

Probably wouldn't of made quite as good a book though.

Anyway's other than my thrilling encounter with nature not alot to report. Friend visited at weekend and I got drunk, work keeps oscilating between plain sailing and 'Icebergs ahoy!' with alarming frequency and I'm ticking off the days till payday - 16 to go, winner! Now I have to go, I can hear something and I think its Dave getting larey around my bins, where's that damn Bugle?!?!?!?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Intermittent service has been resumed!

As you may of guessed by now, frequent posting is not a strong point of mine...

But there again out of the three other blogs I've ever laid eyes on in my life the funniest was easily the one that was updated the least often. Its quality not quantity people and failing that... sod off!

However sometimes I do feel the pressing urge to write, and tonight is one of those moments, mainly due to my wannabe-racing driver of a Bus driver who was delighting in danger tonight! Health and Safety be damned! This Bus WILL do 60 in a 30 mph zone! Thats not a traffic island, its a chicane!!! My life attempted to flash before my eyes but it wasn't able to keep up.

So having survived the bare-knuckle ride and - on the plus-side - having arrived home early I felt the need to document my latest exploits.

Many things have gone on in the last couple of weeks that - had I the time, energy or sobriety to write may of been of interest. My exploits at a by-election in Harlow, my exploits in Islington which led me to passing out in a friends flat allowing others to play Buckaroo on me and the first major event that I've organized- the CLP Curry Club last week which went rather too well! However none will now get the attention they deserve. They have been cast onto the floor of my internal editing suite, binned by my internal focus groups, dropped by my internal scheduling manager, and viciously censored by my internal Mary Whitehouse.

And so instead I'm going to write about an analogy. Thats right, an analogy!!! How exciting does that sound!!! God, I should make you PAY to read this!!!

It came to me last week when I was in abitof a funk, myopically watching rubbish on the television but then it came back to me yesterday in a strategy meeting in Parliament. And of course I blurted it out and got a laugh... One of those 'was that with me or at me' moments that seem to litter my existence (don't think I don't realise!!!). Hence why your getting it. Funny, some people come out of near-death experiences and determine to break records or save the rainforest, not me writing rubbish, THATS where the action is!

You see it strikes me, in a loose (and in many instances a highly inaccurate and libelous) kind of fashion that the political knifefight of Constituency Campaigning is abit like Blackadder and the First World War...


Sorry, just taking a moment to think how utterly apt AND sensitive this is to be writing about at THIS time of year!

Anyway, so me, I'm sort of the wise-cracking, damned-if-he-does-damned-if-he-doesn't Captain in the trenches. I know I'm stuffed win lose or draw, I know what I ask of my trusty Lieutenants and Troopers could be and regularly is a big sacrifice but I carry on banging my head into the wall. Then, you have the nutty Generals 20 miles behind the lines.

But before you get to them you have the Officers attached to the General 20 miles behind the lines. They sort of know whats going on, maybe they used to be there, they also know whats MEANT to happen and have their own opinions on how this is meant to happen. In other words they sift through your reports until they either A) find the ones that back up their point (see Sir, I told you he should of done it that way!) or B) ignore or skew what your telling them (enemy break through, NEXT; thousands dead, NEXT; Food bill down, ACCEPT; ooh the crossword!). At best they still complicate things and make more work for you (even when they are helpful, and alot of the time they are); when it all goes tits up though they can be about as helpful as an outbreak of smallpox in a Hospital. When allied to the insane Generals, who know what they WANT to achieve but who have usually lost sight of HOW this can be a rather unhealthy mix. And by unhealthy I mean abit like a Rum and arsenic cocktail with a Bleach chaser.

But it gets better!

Because on top of the insane Generals you get the clueless Politicians back home AND all of THEIR Advisors too! They have no idea how to get things done on the ground and no real clue of what their objectives should be, just an idea that once the battle has been won they can crack on! But of course that doesn't stop them sticking their noses in down the food chain! Abit like saying, 'make that Bleach a double will ya!'

But the really fun thing is that all this means is that due to all the different pressures and influences and balancing acts you never finish! Just like the First World War, every victory and every defeat which may seem so costly and hard won or lost at Trench level just add up to moving the drinks cabinet three feet closer to Berlin! Its never over. The next fight is always starting.

A friend of mine said last Friday, 'yeah but I've seen Constituency Offices, you don't do anything.'

I almost hit him.

Anyway thats enough for one post, like the late bus specialists at Transport for London probably say, intermittent service has been resumed...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

To be honest it's all a question of planning...

I should remember that myself more often.

I planned on getting out of work today at about half 6 but then dicked about on Facebook for twenty minutes. This led me to losing bus-roulette again...

Until 7 the 121 Bus is every ten minutes like clockwork but after 7 any timetabling is trusted at your own risk. You may as well be loading the gun, spinning the barrel and spitting in Ivan the angry Russian's face.

Tonight though the gun had been cocked a little early. I got to the bus stop at about ten to 7, and I had evidently just missed the last regular one because another one didn't come in the next half hour... At which point I decided to chance it. I jumped on the 289 knowing that I'd then have to jump off at a junction and run round the corner to get another bus, this would probably be the 313 and save me time BUT if I was unlucky it would be the 121 and so cost me more money for no time saving... I think we all know which way this is going...

Within a couple of minutes of getting to the second bus stop the fucking 12-fucking-1 turned up! So I paid twice for the privelage of waiting half an hour for the bus to take me home... I had successfully lost bus roulette once again and my commuting brains were splattered all over the Ivan's grinning face as he went through my pockets for vodka money... I always lose the bus game.

But at least I didn't lose the will to live like I did last night. Yep, thats right I was lucky enough to go to the Enfield Council Labour Group Meeting!!!!! Arrive early to guarantee disappointment!

The Agenda in a ridiculous fit of optimism predicted the meeting to end at 9.30. It didn't finish till about half ten. To begin with it was useful because it allowed me to put faces to the names I'd been harrassing on the phone for the last two weeks and also to make character-assasinating notes on them too! But after that was over I just had to endure...

It was about 9 when the issue of planning came up. They were discussing an opposition debate they were proposing on the 'Future of Enfield' and the 'Town Plan' when Planning itself reared its ugly head.

What followed was a series of diatribes on the issue, ranging from legal definitions and recitals of standing orders to vicious attacks on the 'depoliticization of the issue of planning' and heart-felt cries that Planning Policy should be at the very centre of Socialist thinking on the Council, and in the middle plenty of bickering about what a Socialist Planning Policy should consist of.

I admit to some depression when this was going on. I mean we all know what Councils and Planning means: giving or denying permission for Conservatories or Satellite Dishes. And 90% of the time this is the case.

But the sting in the Council House-shaped tail is that the other 10% is really important. It was Councils that scarred our towns with Tower Blocks in the 60s, its Councils who pedestrianize High Streets, inflict one-way systems, decide what shopping centres are built and which Housing Estates can go where and what they should contain. Local Councils shape our communities and one of the most profound ways they do this is through Planning.

So despite my utter despair part of me was quite proud that these men and women were using their free time to argue about the Politics of Planning. I can't imagine a Tory group doing that. It would get in the way of all the Claret sloshing and Public School petting...

Luckily after the meeting ended me and a few Councillors went to the Pub so at least this post has a happy ending.

Almost like I planned it that way...