Friday, 27 April 2012

Cut and dice: Mrs Angry audits the auditors. Eventually. Part One.

Sigh. I do not want to write this. It's bad enough I had to sit through it all, and now I have to think about it again, and that is just too much. And I have a headache, thanks to Mr Gerrard Roots, curator of the now closed Church Farmhouse Museum, and fellow blogger Mr Mustard both plying me with drink last night. But here you go.

Mrs Angry arrived early for last night's Audit committee meeting, and therefore wandered into the library next door to the Town Hall, where she - please take note, Councillor Rams, this is how it works - where she looked at some books, and a display on Charles Dickens and his connections with the borough, which reminded her that while she was at the Dickens Exhibition at the Museum of London, the other day, (very good, go and see) she had thought with a pang of regret how nice it would have been to have an exhibition on the same theme here, in Broken Barnet, if only the Church Farmhouse Museum had not been shut & put up for sale by well, by you Robert Rams, in fact.

Yes I know that is a long sentence but I can't be bothered with punctuation this morning. Except: damn, I can't quite help myself.

Anyway, then, Robert Rams ... then: Mrs Angry borrowed a book. No, really - it's quite the thing, you know, reading. You must try it some time, before all the libraries are closed & Amazon runs out of books. What did she borrow? Nothing by Mills & Boon, your favourite publishers, because she still has a copy of 'Beth and the Barbariian', from the pop up People's Library ( on again tomorrow for all interested*see below) to linger over.

Beth looked at Uzziah. He was wearing the black silk pantaloons and black leather bolero he'd worn the first day she'd arrived, though without the cummerband this time. (Mrs Angry likes a man in black silk pantaloons, don't you ladies? Shame about the cummerband, though.) Uzziah looked deep into her eyes, his glittering black eyes showing how much he desired her. Not that she didn't know that already. She could feel the evidence brushing against her thighs.

Goodness me. Clearly he did bring his cummerband after all.

But anyway: no, as Mrs Angry has no heart, and does not believe in happy ever afters, she has given up on love and romance and turned to reading more worthy literature. And knitting. And she found an interesting book last night on - get this, Robert Rams - on the subject of listening. 'Sinister Resonance', the mediumship of the listener, by David Toop. The idea being that sound is a form of haunting, a ghost, a presence, something that is, and is not, of this world.

Difficult concept, listening, and hearing, especially here in Broken Barnet, where our elected representatives keep their hands over their ears, and the only discernible sound is the whimpering of the world ending, as the One Barnet apocalypse draws ever near.

As she left the library, two interesting things caught Mrs Angry's wandering attention. She spotted the dandy like figure of Barnet's commercial director, Captain Craig Cooper, the genius who has presided, and still presides, over what passes for our procurement and contractual processes, here in Broken Barnet, staring up at Hendon Library and pointing things out to a companion. Mrs Angry's heart sunk: he had the air of a suburban estate agent showing a new property to a potential buyer. Is Captain Insensible now thinking about flogging off this library too? Or has he just found the bill for it stuck down the back of his filing cabinet, along with the one for North London Business Park, as noted in last night's audit?

As she left the library, Mrs Angry noted, above the door, a latin inscription.

"Non minima pars eruditionis est bonos nosse libros"

Not the least part of erudition is to be acquainted with good books, see, Robert? Not sure what the latin for not the least part of philistinism is to prefer to shut libraries and museums and sell them for development rather than value them as repositories of learning and culture, but no doubt there is a motto somewhere that will fit nicely above the door, when you flog off the next one.

Ok, I have put it off as much as possible. The Audit meeting, then.

Who did we have? Chair, Libdem councillor Lord Palmer. Only one opposition councillor, Geff Cooke. Tories: Hugh Rayner, bit late, looking for somewhere to park, probably. No permit anymore, as you know. Remind us why, Hugh? Given back to Mr Lustig? Did you say sorry? Tut, bad boy. You too, Brian? No? Who is this in the film, then? Your twin brother, the bad one, the one that Lynton Crosby keeps in the cellar? Mmm.

Please remember you are here to present an audit, Mrs Angry, and be serious. Yes. So also there were Tory Cllr Khatri and Mayor Elect Brian Schama. And there, right there, at the far end of the room, gazing fondly at Mrs Angry ... the external auditor, from Grant Thornton, Mr Paul Hughes.

Mr Paul Hughes is an old colleague of Mrs Angry's, of course: in fact, she has taught him everything there is to know about audit, although he does not like to admit it. She has also taught him, or so it appeared from last night, to stop fidgeting with his pens at public meetings, which can be something of a distraction, as you can imagine.

Mr Hughes, it would appear, has been receiving advice from Rupert and James Murdoch's body language coach on how to behave when attending a crucially important committee and trying to look relaxed, not at all cross and entirely innocent of any blame.

So - no funny business with his pens, as far as Mrs Angry could tell, anyway, although he did leave the room half way through the meeting. And he was wearing a rather striking, and slightly disturbingly flesh pink tie, which came in for some sly fondling during the more awkward parts of the evening's entertainment.

Oh look: it's lunchtime. Will stop there for now. More later: warning - may contain audit content.

* People's Library 11-1pm tomorrow, outside Friern Barnet Library - and rumour has it the BBC's One Show is coming too ... please come and support the Barnet fightback against our idiotic Tory council. I might even give back Beth & the Barbarian, if you do. Form a queue, ladies.


Mr Mustard said...

I have a feeling that in part 2 Mrs A we will find out that Captain Cooper will wish he had locked himself in the library, with or even without a patented Palmer piss pot. In the slightly naughty words of Private Eye, when it comes to procurement he really is piss poor. Funny how Ms Meeks was warmly welcomed and there wasn't any mention of Mick Stokes who was himself warmly welcomed a few months ago. Will Ms Meeks find it too hot in the Cooper kitchen? I'll bet she does.

Mrs Angry said...

Ms Meeks appears already to be very good at talking in the right sort of hypnotic tone, & with great authority about the usual load of One Barnet balls and she will fit in nicely. I think Mr Mick Stokes has been airbrushed from the recent pages of the history of Broken Barnet. Did he ever exist? Or did we imagine him? A warning from history, Ms Meeks.

Mrs Angry said...

I feel moved to share with you the amusing searches I spotted on this post today: one by the Government of South Africa needing guidance on dealing with internal audit (hope it helped) and er, ha ... Austin Reed. Perhaps they are headhunting, Capn Cooper? For the Regent Street window display?