Sunday 17 July 2016

Blessed Punishment Beatings Continue

The Blessed Authority was rocked again last week with the news of a third Member assassination.

Following on from the evictions of Alan The Hammer and Wee Jimmy Day, blonde Swedish bombshell Henna Larsson was sensationally removed from the planning committee after she disagreed with a planning officer. 

"It's my own fault" she wept in an interview later. "I'm so used to being able to speak openly as a democratically elected councillor that I forgot all about the Blessed Special Status and accidentally corrected a junior planning officer when she was wrong. I realise now that this was foolish of me and that my duty to protect the Blessed Reputation transcends trivial things like public interest or telling the truth."

Lord Peterson of Hickling, Blessed Planning Chair, confirmed the sudden eviction. "I can't see why anyone's surprised" he said. "Her card's been marked since she said we should talk to those blasted ferals last year. She really does need to understand that we have our own way of doing things here. If an officer says something wrong, then they can't just unsay it can they? That would be quite potty. And having these so-called elected Councillors running around pretending that this is a democracy - well it's simply intolerable."

Blessed members, however, expressed their disquiet after the meeting. "There was no warning of this in the agenda," said one, "so it was a bit of a surprise when the Blessed Leaders suddenly dumped it on us. I did think it a bit odd that we'd received a flurry of Henna's private emails the night before, but didn't expect another execution so soon after the last one. I wonder who'll be next?"

In a blow to the Blessed Elite, members agreed to hold open Henna's post so that they could find out whether she'd actually done anything wrong. "That's ridiculous" snapped Granny, "she's disagreed with planning officers AND me for heaven's sake. How much more evidence can they want?"

In other appointment news, there was joy for Granny as her pet poodle "Round of Drinks" Bilson was rewarded for his unwavering loyalty by being confirmed a complete "Member" by the Secretary of State, though this was tempered by the disappointment of losing her chief whip, the shouty Dick Nigelson. "The bastards. Well I'm keeping my Blessed Sweater, at least" he shouted, as he stomped out of the room for the last time.

Thursday 7 July 2016

New censorship code to ban member-officer friendships

Blessed members will this week consider revised staff / member protocols designed to prevent leaks, stifle debate, and ban 'improper' friendships.

Notable amongst the changes is a prohibition on members being 'friends' with staff on social networks.

The rule change will be embarrassing for Blessed Chair Granny Spokesperson, who famously owns a boat in joint names with a senior officer (pictured above). Although the arrangement was considered to be "just about" within the rules by 2 ex-Monitoring Officers, it is clearly a breach of the new code which aims to prevent cross-fertilisation between officers and members.

I'm In The Mood for Dancing

The new protocol is said to follow the Nolan Principles of conduct in public life, whilst also incorporating the Pikeman Principle which recognises the "special qualities of the Blessed Authority". This permits officers to ignore the nationally-agreed principles "where appropriate", to prevent Members from opposing bad decision making, or exposing unlawful or incompetent behavior.

The first Nolan principle, for example, requires members "to act solely in terms of the public interest". But Pikeman Principle #1, which calls on members to "publicly defend decisions made by the Authority", automatically takes precedence where there is a conflict between the two.

Don't Make Waves

It's been confirmed that any officer opinion is now classified as a "decision of the Authority", making it a code of conduct offence for a member to disagree. The principle is reinforced in the newly revised Blessed Staff Handbook, which says that officers must never back down or apologise, even if they are wrong.

The new code is intended to come into immediate effect, though it "may take some time to work the gremlins out" acccording to a Blessed Spokesperson.

"It's collective responsibility gone mad" said one former member.