Saturday 26 January 2019

Blessed Meltdown as Evictions and Gaggings Continue

The ethnic cleansing of the Blessed Authority has moved up a notch with the dismissal of Wilky O’Brian from the navigation committee and full Authority. Despite having more experience of navigation and engineering than the rest of the Authority combined, an “independent panel” decided that this was outweighed by his apparent inability to vote in the prescribed manner.

“Wilky supported an alternative candidate to me for the Chair” said Temper Turtle, “and didn’t vote for Jimmy Day to be evicted either. So that was that.”

Unsure how to deal with the recalcitrant O’Brian for his final meetings, the Chairs Group decided to stop him from speaking on any subject where he was known to have an opinion. “That will fix him” said Dr Pikeman. “He’s got an opinion on everything!”

And so, in a spectacular misrepresentation of the law of predetermination, Wilky was gagged during an already controversial debate on the display of vessel registration numbers, unable to intervene as the debate descended into disarray and confusion.

For years, some boats have been excused from putting numbers on their transom, as long as they have them on the bow or bowsprit alongside the tolls plaque. But with the plaqueless tolls system judged a success, blessed officers say that it’s now too difficult for rangers to identify yachts that don’t have numbers on the back.

“In the old days, rangers would just walk up to the front and look at the plaque” they explained. “But without the plaque, they have to, err, walk up to the front and look at the numbers instead.”

The Blessed Spokesperson went on to claim that rangers couldn’t identify a speeding sailing boat from behind. “The speed of our ranger boats is no match for a heritage yacht. It would disappear into the distance and we’d have no way of identifying it other than the name on the transom, the gigantic number on the sail, and the fact that the rangers know all the boats anyway” she said.

In their report, officers gave members the choice of recommending enforcement, or a warning letter followed by enforcement. A suggestion that the Authority should revert to the previous arrangement, instead of enraging stakeholders further for no reason, was dismissed on the basis that officers didn’t want to. “In any event” said the officer, “members agreed to ditch this arrangement in November 2017. Though funnily enough that’s not in the minutes.”

“Of course, minutes are not a verbatim record, though you can ask for the recording if you want” the officer went on. “But we take 21 working days to provide recordings - and as the monitoring officer only works one day a week - that’s 21 weeks, ha ha.”

New members of the navigation committee - invited to observe before their assimilation meeting - were left wondering what on earth they’d got themselves embroiled in.

Saturday 12 January 2019

Back to school for planners after fisticuffs

A fight broke out at yesterday's meeting of the Blessed Planning Committee, when two members accused another one of having a conflict of interest.

Uncle Paul Special Fried, chairman of the Blessed Society, was about to declare that he’d chosen not to speak on an application they’d objected to - even though he has every right to speak and indeed vote if he wants to - as long as he keeps an open mind.

Before he’d managed two words, though, Scottish new boy Keithy The Bruce threatened to give him a Glaswegian kiss if he didn’t “shut his mooth” and Granny Burgess leapt into the fray, confirming that Uncle Paul’s membership of the Blessed Society meant that he wasn’t allowed to have an opinion on anything. “That’s why I resigned from it, after they said those rude things about me” she said.

In the absence of “Man Thursday” Hairy Davies, or anyone else who actually knew the rules, it fell to Henna Larson to remind the antagonists firstly that pre-disposition doesn’t equal pre-determination, and second that the interests of other members are none of their damn business. If they’d actually paid attention at their planning committee training classes, she pointed out, they would know this. Chairperson Mel Rio de Janeiro, meanwhile, smiled sweetly as she looked on in total bemusement, not really understanding any of it.

“The Granny made me say it” said Brucey after the meeting. “She told me Uncle Paul had a conflict of interest and I just believed her. She’s made me look a right plonker in front of the others now.”

Back-bencher and control freak Burgess still appears to hold on to the reins of Blessed power and regularly attends all the secret briefing meetings, despite being sacked as Blessed Chair last year. “I keep having to wipe the rouge from Temper Turtle’s ear after she’s been whispering into it” confirmed his trusty sidedick, Dick Bileson.