Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The last goodbye: Barnet Tories' farewell to Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher: a nation mourns: but not Mr Shepherd

Mrs Angry had intended to wear her red dress to the full council meeting last night, as a gesture of eccentric socialism and general disrespect to Barnet's Tory councillors in the wake of Margaret Thatcher's demise. In one way it was appropriate, this dress, having been spotted by Miss Angry worn by Samantha Brick in a feature in the Daily Mail: suitably Tory, then - but will it make me as beautiful as Samantha Brick, worried Mrs Angry? Her daughter made a face indicating a certain degree of reservation on this point. Hmm, no, maybe the pink one then. And off to the Town Hall.

The meeting commenced as usual with the trumpery of tricorns, footmen prancing about with the mace, the ceremonial entrance of the Mayor, squeezing the last drop of grandiosity out of his nearly completed year in office. After the usual invocation by his Chaplain, Rabbi Shochet, asking the Almighty to, by some miraculous means, imbue our councillors with a respect for God and all mankind, to work in peace and harmony, and to pursue the ideals of democracy, liberty, and freedom for all, like Baroness Thatcher, well: we all sat down,arms folded, having been told that the meeting would be extended to allow councillors to pay their tributes to the memory of Finchley's former MP. Mrs Angry sighed, and waited for the onslaught.

The Mayor had a special memory of Margaret. Once he was at someone's house, and was standing by the fireplace, and someone came up behind him, and tapped him on the shoulder. 'Excuse me dear', said Mrs Thatcher, and then, then she bent down to straighten the rug, as it had been 'rucked up'. Marvellous. Kind of like we had to straighten out the country, after she resigned, because it had been fucked up. 

Excuse me dear.

Still, in its way, almost as good an ancedote as the one about the old girl told by Brian Coleman in his latest blogpost, recalling, in between the usual name dropping references to obscure dead Tory freemasons and titled nobodies:

"... she never attended any event without ensuring she had spoken to everybody in the room and nipped into the kitchen to lend a hand with the washing up as well  . "You can never have enough tea towels " I once heard her remark at a Finchley Conservative Bazaar , somehow I cannot image David Cameron making that remark with total naturalness." 


For the Finchley housewife in need of teatowels

Personality cults flourish in only the most repressive regimes, of course: a necessary opiate of the people. Forget North Korea: here in Broken Barnet the cult of Margaret Thatcher thrives amongst the faithful Tories, bowing before her memory in ritual obeisance, and now entering a period of obligatory public mourning. All North Korean households are required to display portraits of the Kim family on one wall: in Broken Barnet, we were told by Cllr Brian Salinger, every household at one time had a portrait of Margaret Thatcher. He recalled one house which boasted a picture as big, he said, as the one of Her Majesty here now, above the Mayor - we all looked up, above the very seat where Thatcher sat on election nights to make her acceptance speeches. Was her ghost hovering in the chamber now? Mrs Angry thought it unlikely.

The tributes continued, all trivial recollections by the older Tories of Finchley and Golders Green, of meaningless conversations with the dear leader, magnified into ancecdotes of massive totemic significance: all perpetrating the same myth of a woman of great charisma, and, as the steely, starchy Helena Hart insisted, rather unconvincingly, of warmth and compassion ... she, Helena, a long serving Tory councillor,  had been described as an unreconstructed Thatcherite. I was then, she said, am now, and always will be. This, thought Mrs Angry, is undoubtedly true.

The loyal Tories all referred to Mrs Thatcher's apparent prodigious memory for people she had only met once or twice, investing in her a quality which was probably better explained by a clever agent slipping her the nod, in the manner of a fake clairvoyant's sidekick, planted in the audience. But the effect still lingers: a breathless admiration for someone who would appear to have done very little for Finchley, other than pop in for the odd cup of tea with Herbert and Doris, as Cllr Salinger recalled, and inspire one local party worker to name her new born baby after her, poor child, after having to apologise for turning up to meet her, in labour, in a - oh dear - a Labour red dress, and then rush off to hospital. 

Tory leader Richard Cornelius said, in his usual disingenuous way, that Margaret Thatcher had had 'a truly frightening grasp of detail'. Yes, indeed. He dismissed the Heath government as 'an unfortunate interlude'. He also thought that she and Ronald Reagan had really had something quite special together, although some people sniggered about it. Mrs Angry sniggered about it.

Old timer John Marshall, former MP for Hendon, old enough to have been a pallbearer at the funeral of the Duke of Wellington, told a story about Mrs Thatcher remembering who his wife was - often a difficulty for Tory politicians - moaned about various Labour prime ministers and Red Robbo and all that sort of stuff, and thought her privatising everything was awfully good, and gave as evidence that she was a good Christian the fact that she had paid for a new communion rail in the Wesley Chapel. To get into the Tory section of Methodist heaven requires a certain amount of financial commitment, it seems, and you will then be guaranteed an eternity spent in the presence of people like Thatcher, and Brian Coleman. May God have mercy on your souls.

Mrs Angry thought about another anecdote about the late PM, told to her recently. Here is the censored version. 

Apparently, some time in the mid eighties, Mrs Thatcher's watch was sent to be serviced by a jeweller in Hatton Garden (no, I know what you are thinking, not Richard Cornelius) ... the watch was returned, but not before an unexpected embellishment to the inside of the case by the naughty jeweller: the inscription of a hammer and sickle - and some rather irreverent misuse of the watch, which Mrs Angry had better not divulge. Amusing to speculate whether this is true, and if her delicate wrist was moving in perfect synchronicity with the symbols of communism, is it not ...?

All throughout the testimony from councillors, residents in the public gallery sat sighing, tutting, and yes, more sniggering. 

Mr Shepherd arrived and proceeded to sit in the front row, eschewing his usual reading matter, the Morning Post, for the Socialist Worker, and its own front page tribute to Thatcher. Libdem Jack Cohen referred to Mr Shepherd's appearance in the footage shown here of the 1987 election announcement, in this very chamber, with Lord Buckethead (apparently a cousin of the Barnet Bugle) narrowly missing out to the Prime Minister, by a few thousand votes.

Lord Buckethead

Labour leader Alison Moore did her best to be polite and respectful without entirely overlooking the alternative history of Thatcherism, but really it fell to Mrs Angry's local councillor, Irishman Jim Tierney, to tell it like it really was, and unpick the threads of the mythology of her statesmanship.

He poured scorn on the infamous Francis of Assisi moment, words that were nothing more than a mockery: where there is discord? She was a strident, dominant figure, who wiped out the mining communities (John Marshall was heckling, by now) - her attitude to the IRA and Sinn Fein prolonged Ireland's suffering, stalling needed discussions, she did nothing to resolve the problem. In the end, there was so much discord, and despair.

And, he pointed out, she was despatched by those honourable men in grey suits - Mr Clarke, Mr Lilley, Mr Major. It was, he said, a shabby end.

Geoff Cooke also spoke about the real legacy of Margaret Thatcher: he referred to her achievements in the face of a continuing prejudice against women in the Conservative party, Rubbish, muttered one or two of the token Tory women councillors, after checking with the men that it would be okay to say so.

He pointed out that cuts in military funding sanctioned by Mrs Thatcher had actually led to a reduction in the patrolling that might have prevented the Falklands Invasion and subsequent war. 

She had been, he said, remarkably lucky in the timing of events beyond her control, but playing out in a sequence favourable to her - the conflict between the Trade Unions and the labour movement, the coal strike: how fortunate she had been to benefit from oil revenue, but it had been squandered by her. 

As for selling council houses, on the cheap: look at the consequences, the deliberate social engineering, and worst of all, the consequences of Thatcherism here in her own consituency, in Broken Barnet: look how hard it is for those in need to get a council house.

It was time then, to be upstanding, for a minute's silence in respect of Finchley's former MP, and our former PM. Mrs Angry remained seated, and thought about the real inheritance she left us, the communities damaged by the very qualities her admirers praise her for: her iron will, her ruthlessness, her complete indifference to those in need, whose vulnerability she despised, and exploited. 

Back in her own Town Hall, last night, her bereaved colleagues, revived by an immersion in the spilt blood of her own reign of terror, proceeded to carry on her work here, with renewed vigour, and a sense of triumphalism. It was an ugly, ugly sight.

An ugly, ugly sight: Thatcher's heirs, the Barnet Tories, supporting welfare 'reform'

After a speedy but characteristically incendiary question and answer time, the meeting moved on to leader Cornelius' motion on welfare reform, something which he welcomes. To Barnet Tories, whose views are informed by that distorted view of reality filtered through the headlines of the Daily Mail, all those in need of such support are scroungers, lacking in aspiration, who choose not to work, or exaggerate their disabilities.

Alison Moore ripped through these prejudices with her own ruthless efficiency, pointing out that most of those in receipt of benefit are either in work, or elderly. It does not matter how many times you present the truth to Barnet Tories, however: they will simply look on blankly, unable to adjust their minds from a default setting of bigotry. They like to think about benefit claimants being workshy, lacking yes, aspiration, wanting something for nothing - like themselves in their performance as councillors, in fact. Cllr Rowan Turner declared that claimants should attempt to lead 'fulfilling lives': Mrs Angry took the opportunity to remind the councillors of their own self awarded benefit, ie the big fat pay rise they voted through as soon as they came to power in 2010. 

Labour's Gill Serjeant wanted to tell a story for the simple minded Tory councillors. It was about someone called Mrs A, she said - hello: that got everyone's attention, especially Mrs Angry. Mrs A was separated, with two children, and ... hold on, thought Mrs Angry ... but no, this Mrs A was a worthy woman, who left the house every morning to work as a carer, long hours, long journeys, struggling to support her family on low wages, but still in need of support in the form of benefit. It was a typical tale of our times, in fact, but fell absolutely on deaf ears: again, the Tories looked unmoved, bored: Gill sat down.

Next up - Bedroom Tax. Oh hell. Alison Moore tried again, valiantly. But the deeply unforgiving Tom Davey, who is Cabinet member for housing, would probably be the last person on God's earth to show any sympathy for those affected by this terrible policy. In written answer to an earlier question on housing allowance he had said:

 'A large number of people believe the taxpayer should subsidise them to live in areas they cannot afford to live in, which is resulting in increases in claimants, This is grossly unfair to hard working taxpayers who live within their means.' 

Davey is hard working: he is employed by British American Tobacco, and he lives within his means, with his mum and dad.

Have you got a room at the Ritz? enquired Mr Shepherd, safely returned to his usual pose, behind the Morning Star ...

Labour's councillor Sodha explained what it is like, from her experience as the parent of a disabled child, to need the extra space provided by a seemingly spare room. Davey appeared to be amused. Mrs Angry made an observation that was rather rude, at this point.

The matter of Barnet's disastrous LATC, 'Your Choice Barnet', a company set up to make profit out of providing care to residents with disabilities: yes, only in Barnet would they set up such a scheme, in the face of all warnings of the risk of failure, and then have to bail it out to the tune of £2 million in the first year. Cllr Rajput, to the accompaniment of shouting from the public gallery,  thought we should be 'pleased' with Your Choice. The disastrous failure had been planned, as part of their cunning scheme. It would make a profit in its third year. 

Mrs Angry was so incensed that she collared Cllr Rajput after the meeting and politely gave him the benefit (after careful assessment) of her opinion about this scandalous state of affairs. He was somewhat of a loss as how to respond. Perhaps that is because there is no honourable response to make.

The evening ended on a combative note, and too much yelling by Mrs Angry, provoked by a councillor who has been much overlooked, of late: yes, Brian Coleman. His questions are largely ignored, now, and motions not seconded by his former Tory colleagues. This is clearly galling. For some reason, at the end of last night's meeting, he wanted to raise, very crossly, the issue of a proposed fee for independent members of the new standards panel, which of course deals with complaints about members - a process with which he is not unfamiliar.

Why, he demanded, outraged, why should such a person receive a fee for their efforts? A magistrate ... a magistrate, he declared, with a gobsmacking example of Freudian slippage, or just perhaps a recently found interest in the duties of such a position, received no such payment.

Oh, how we laughed. Councillor Coleman is of course due to appear at Uxbridge Magistrates Court, on May 3rd, in order to answer charges relating to an alleged assault, which he denies.

Coleman distinguished himself yet again last night: enraged by heckling from the public gallery he spat out an accusation that Residents Forums had been censored because of the behaviour of, yes guess what, 'the sad, mad and bad' ... what about the old hags, yelled Mrs Angry? The Mayor, this time, took no time in censuring Coleman for his repeated insult. It seems our Brian has learnt nothing from his recent experiences, however, and will continue to behave in this way.

The meeting ended then. It had been a very long meeting.

It was of course Margaret Thatcher who first opened up council meetings to the public, and gave residents the right to attend such events. Here, in her own Town Hall, we do our best to take full advantage of this right, and hold our elected representatives to account. 

Our Tory councillors, her successors, resent this bitterly, and do everything they can to resist the scrutiny of residents. It's no good, though: Coleman's reign is over, Margaret Thatcher is dead, and soon Thatcherism, and this Conservative administration, will also be a thing of the past. 

It's only a matter of time, Margaret.


Mr Mustard said...

Talking of scrutiny Mrs Angry I asked to speak at Cabinet Resources Committee. Denied. Apparently my questions will suffice without my insight!

Anonymous said...

I'd forgotten that Cornelius labours in Hatton Garden. Perhaps he can get to the (ahem) bottom of the story.

Might he have been a communist sympathiser in his youth?

[Commenter no.2]

Mrs Angry said...

I doubt that he would be much help, commenter 2: most Barnet Tories don't know their arse from their elbow, after all. And we were all communist sympathisers in our youth, weren't we? Or is your guilty secret that you, in the youth you did not spend at FCH, were a young conservative, and had a picture of Winston Churchill by the side of your bed? Perhaps you still do?

Anonymous said...

At Eton we were quite free to decide where we belonged politically. We could choose either party: Conservative or National Front.

In those days 'Unison' was an organisation worth joining, being Ross McWhirter's private army rather than a bunch of moaning lefties.

Are you satisfied with that answer?

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Ah yes: Ross Mc Whirter ... giving your age away now, commenter 2 ... nice man: wanted all Irish people in London to be compulsorily registered. Freedom for right wing Tories is freedom for themselves and nobody else, of course. He came from round here, in fact, Winchmore Hill: shame he is no longer with us to enjoy the current council administration, of which he would have heartily approved. As would you, clearly, now that you have, since last week, lurched so alarmingly to the right. Although, frankly, they are not really your sort of people, being rather common, oikish Tories, rather than to the manor born, like yourself, Lord Snooty.

Anonymous said...

I might start enjoying life out here on the far right. It is so much more comfortable to dismiss than to listen.

What nonsense all those other opinions are!

[Baron Commenter no. 2]

Don't Call Me Dave said...

As you have seen fit to publish a “Thatcher, Milk Snatcher” picture, it is only right and proper to point out that it was Harold Wilson’s Labour government in 1968 which stopped free milk for secondary school children. This affected far more pupils than Mrs T’s subsequent decision to stop milk for 7 year olds. But you Socialists never like to let facts get in the way of a good smear.

You are so consumed by hatred that you forget that more people admired, supported and VOTED for Mrs Thatcher than any of the Socialist opponents she ever encountered. Certainly, you make more noise than those of Conservative persuasion, but that does not make you right. What it is about democracy that you hate so much? Could it be that you detest the fact that not everyone sees things through your rose tinted glasses? The fact the other people have the temerity to think differently is an anathema to you, and rather than succumb to the will of the majority, you choose to instead subject opponents to ridicule and vilification.

Lady Thatcher won three General Elections. She defeated Socialism wherever she found it. Just get over it and stop trying to force your minority views on the rest of us. Socialism destroyed this country, however much you mare care to bleat the opposite.

Mrs Angry said...

DCMD: oh dear, you are in a very grumpy mood ... still, I've managed to push Walter Mitty/Commenter 2 from one political extreme to the other in the space of a few days, perhaps I can do the reverse action with you?

No one at secondary actually WANTS to drink milk, or needs to, whereas seven year olds do need to, especially of they are from poorer backgrounds. Personally I hated the stuff and would sit crying over the carton every day, so that should have made me a big fan of the Snatcher, and a staunch Tory. That went well, didn't it?

Lots of people voted for Hitler too: that's what happens with despots initially, when still at the charming liar stage of their careers. Do you approve of that democratic decision by the German people?

Thatcher won the third election thanks only to the Falklands factor. She was detested by the majority by then, thanks to the poll tax, and the destruction of our industrial base. She didn't defeat 'socialism' - she picked fights and didn't care about the human cost. You have a privileged background and have no real understanding of the impact of her policies on so many areas north of Watford, or the long term effects on the country.

Your chum David Cameron did not win a majority and is only in government due to an alliance with the craven libdems: presumably you do not want him to resign in favour of a test to see if he really has a democratic mandate from the people?

People can think and say what they like, but the general rule of blogging is, I think, unless Hacked Off has decided otherwise yet, that I may say what I like here,and express my own views, and that, DCMD, is what I shall continue to do.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

You are, of course, entitled to your views and factual accuracy has never been a prerequisite for any of your posts. But to compare Thatcher with Hitler is deeply offensive and you should be ashamed. But you are a Socialist, so you won’t be. You are so consumed with hatred for the democratic right that your default setting is to attack the messenger. You make assumptions without any evidence to support them. How much easier it is to make a personal attack on me than deal with the reality that Mrs Thatcher had to face, namely a country that was on its knees due to the failed policies of successive Socialist governments.

Many of the protestors on the street last week were not even born when Thatcher had to face down the likes of Red Robbo, who single handedly tried to destroy British Leyland. The industrial north was dying. Anyone with any intelligence could see that. But Socialists believed (and clearly still do) that throwing good money after bad solved all problems. It didn’t then and still doesn't. Of course there were losers at the time, but you conveniently chose to ignore the fact that without the economic reforms of Thatcherism, the entire country would have been reduced to an economic basket case.

It was Labour which humiliated this country, being forced to go to the IMF to be bailed out. But that doesn’t concern you. Socialists think that money grows on trees at the end of the garden. You don’t actually think, or care, who has to pay the money back. What difference does it make to you if your grandchildren have to pay the bill for your profligacy?

And since you have mentioned the Community Charge (Poll Tax), you seem to forget that it was actually included in the Conservative Party manifesto, so Thatcher had an absolute right to introduce it. With hindsight, it is clear that the execution was wrong and she was very badly advised not to have realised that a tax which was not based on an ability to pay was bound to cause problems. However, the rating system it sought to replace was equally unfair. It unfairly penalised single people and allowed loony left councils to spend bucket loads of other people’s money on crackpot schemes such as lesbian awareness courses and other such tripe.

You are aware of my views on Cameron, yet have wilfully misrepresented them here. But, again, that is the way of the Socialist. Why let facts get in the way of your obsessive delusions?

Anonymous said...

Dearest Dave (if I may call you that),

Speaking for myself, I enjoy being ridiculed and vilified, as it reminds me the happy years I spent with my governess.

Might you be one of those namby-pamby rightwingers who believes that the state should protect you from hurt feelings?

Finally, I don't remember Mrs T having gained the majority of votes. In fact, that was the genius of it all: dictatorship by the minority.

[His Lordship Commentator no.2]

Mrs Angry said...

Inaccurate, offensive, shameful, obsessive and delusional. Yep, that's me.

Actually, no it isn't.

The ref to Hitler was in regard to how a democratic vote can result in a government that moves to extremely unpopular and even despotic behaviour.

Pointing out that you are from a privileged background is not a personal attack: it is the truth, and is hardly 'an attack'.

The industrial north was NOT dying: it was killed. The mines in Durham, for example, that closed still have thousands of years of coal left, and would have provided employment for generations into the future.

'Lesbian awareness courses': what?

I really cannot remember your views on Cameron, so would be hard pressed to misrepresent them.

And now I must go and rescue the dinner.

Mrs Angry said...

You enjoy being ridiculed and vilfied? Oh, Commenter 2: I think you must be the perfect man for Mrs Angry. Stop spending your pocket money on sweets and come (back) to Finchley ...

And yes, indeed, Thatcher never did have the majority vote, did she?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Dear Anon

No I don’t believe that the state should protect people from ‘hurt feelings’. Quite the opposite, in fact. I believe that the state should butt out of the lives of its citizens. It is a Socialist belief that all must have prizes, and nobody should ever lose. Mrs Angry is entitled to her revisionist views of history, but that does make them right. This is my general gripe with the hard left - they simply cannot accept alternative points of view.

It is a fact that Thatcher won more votes than the Socialists who challenged her. I don’t remember any of the loony left complaining when Tony B Liar won a landslide majority with some 40% of the vote. But of course, it is different when Labour wins. Different rules for the left, you see.

How convenient that Mrs Angry has forgotten my views about Cameron. It is not as I have published them on-line since he became party leader or anything like that. But as I have said ad infinitum, ad nauseam facts are not relevant to the Socialist’s cause.

Mrs Angry said...

DCMD: I love your references to Socialists with a capital S, reminiscent of Brian Coleman's love of Inappropriate Capitalisation. If I am hard left now, that is the consequence of my life's experience, not a fixed point in my views: although perhaps we are expected to become more conservative as one grows older, my sympathies are moving back to and beyond the mark of my younger position. I cannot see any other honourable course to follow.

On the plus side, I think we can agree on Tony Blair: there - consensus at last. A happy ending.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, David. She's not only angry about the Tories. She is also angry because her Labour Party has been infiltrated by Kirby vacuum cleaner salesmen (yes, everything falls into place now, doesn't it!).

Now! Can we all also agree about Nick Clegg? Good.

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Oh dear: I am afraid I am puzzled by your comment, Commenter 2: what is a 'vacuum cleaner'? Perhaps you are confusing me with another famous Finchley fishwife. Housewife. Mrs Angry has a low level of competence in household management, and not enough tea towels.

Get the thing about Nick Clegg, though. And yes, yes, yes.

Mrs Angry said...

I fear I have stunned you into silence with my slovenly confessions, Commenter 2. I did scrub the kitchen floor today, in a half hearted way, if that makes up for it. Anyway, you will be amused to know I am now getting peculiar blog searches for Margaret Thatcher's watch - your fault. Even if you made the whole thing up, it is now a true story, I think.

Anonymous said...

Not at all. I have staff, so have no idea how the vacuum cleaner machine operates.

It's not about the gadgets themselves (shiny, heavy, expensive, inefficient), but about the sales staff and their methods[see New Labour].

The watch story is second hand for me, and third hand for you (no watch pun intended). It may not be true, but it is exactly as told to me - perhaps slightly garbled through the passage of time. The essentials are the same though.

Anyway, I am grateful for your help. It is a story that the world needed to hear.

Mrs Angry said...

Hmm. Seems to me that the salesman is the archytypal character of the political age. In Mrs Angry's deck of tarot cards, at least.

Anonymous said...

Mrs Angry: I really do wonder why you must encourage all these male commentators on your blog: and they are all men, I note. The ladies probably have something more useful to occupy their time, and quite frankly I think you should find something more useful to do with yours: have you no ironing to do?
You boast about being unfamiliar with the workings of a vacum cleaner, which should be a thing of shame, madam, not something to show off about. And I can only agree with 'DCMD' that your political views are offensive in the extreme. Lady Thatcher was the finest woman that ever set foot on this earth, and she was also an outstanding wife and mother: I have seen many pictures of her standing by the kitchen sink, washing up, like any other housewife, which is commendable. I don’t know about vacuuming, but being a True Brit, I am sure she would have preferred to use a Dyson, if not a hoover, not one of these American imports.
I see the conveniently anonymous 'commenter 2' is a Socialist, despite being an old Etonian, as well as holding an unhealthy interest in ladies bottoms. This is only what one might expect from our decadent upper classes, I suppose, but disappointing, all the same. I am more of a leg man, myself, although I enjoy the sight of a matronly bosom, especially if the lady is a member of the Conservative party, and wearing hand knitted lingerie. Well: I shall stop there, I think, except to say that if you are free on Saturday night, I have two tickets for a commemorative showing of ‘The Iron Lady’ at the Chipping Barnet Conservative Association fundraising evening. I am happy to pay my own bus fare, unlike commentator 2 who, I would suggest, is something of a bounder. Brian.

Mrs Angry said...

Dear me 'Brian': or is it DCMD, or Commenter 2? Longest comment ever, I think: please use paragraphs in future.

I am not sure we are well suited, despite our mututal interest in knitted underwear. But you are right: I should try try harder to emulate the Iron Lady, in the kitchen, if nowhere else. Think I may be washing my hair on Saturday night, although it was kind of you to ask.

You can't trust an old Etonian, can you, socialist or tory? All of them bounders.

Anonymous said...

My staff tell me that Dysons are made in China, or somewhere out that way. They also tell me that a Dyson should never be emptied when the wind speed is above 3mph. Bagless technology, you see!

True patriots, including old and young Etonians, insist their staff use Numatic vacuum cleaners - designed and manufactured in the UK. More practical than Dysons, and more durable. Each in the series is named after a British monarch; Henry being the most popular model. They have eyes. Numatic employs no door-to-door salesmen (whose techniques might later be applied to politics)*.

Lord Dyson? Why no Lord Numatic? It's a scandal.

Brian is very badly informed, and is no sort of patriot. The first he knew of Lady Thatcher was the headline on his copy of The Sun. What was it, Brian? THATCH DISPATCHED IN RITZ BLITZ.

Something like that.

[Lord Commenter no. 2]

*I believe Glotech at Tally Ho stock Numatic products. Not for Mrs A, obviously.

Mrs Angry said...

Oh dear, Commenter 2: how long have you been under the impression that inanimate objects are endowed with human attributes? Vaccum cleaners have eyes, do they? Do you worry that they are following your every move? What would your shower head have to say, if it could talk? Or your watch?

Mrs Angry's head is awhirl, like a Dyson, with interesting thoughts.

I do hope you have not upset Brian, with your impertinent Socialist humour.

PS. I see that Numatic offer a scrubber/dryer as well: do you find this product satisfactory?

Mrs Angry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

My good lady wife is not permitted to use electrical appliances - especially battery operated devices - but I do allow her the use of a vacuum cleaning machine. I can recommend the Numatic industrial wet vac, which allows a continuous suction and discharge operation: always a bonus, in my view.

As for Commenter 2 and his champagne socialism: what can one say? Is there anything more repugnant than a man who has had the privilege of a public school education, but expunges all class loyalty in the lingering embrace of Socialism? Look at that fellow Orwell: given a scholarship to Eton, and ends up writing scurrilous nonsense for Tribune. The ingratitude of such people speaks for itself. Brian.

Anonymous said...

These days, Old Etonians suffer great oppression; 'the hatred that dare not speak its name', as Anthony Seldon put it. That's why am forced to pretend I was educated at FCHS.

I had wondered whether you were another Brian, but as you mention your wife, you can't be.

[Commenter no.2]

Anonymous said...

And now, not content with promulgating your left wing propaganda through the means of this comment thread, you must drag my wife into your objectionable campaign. Not content with insulting, and sponging bus fares off, the so called 'Mrs Angry' who, although politically naive, is harmless enough, bless her, and only in need of the firm guidance of an enlightened man, you seek to direct your unseemly attentions to my own dear spouse. Have you no shame?

As you are an ex public school boy and clearly keen to disguise your over privileged upbringing, no doubt adopting a suitably 'mockney' accent into the bargain, I might speculate that you are either a government minister, or a member of the Rolling Stones. Equally shameful, in my eyes.

Another Brian? I suppose you are referring to Brian Coleman, a great statesman whom I happen to admire for his forthright, robust views, and his immensely insightful blog. I believe he did not attend Eton.

Mrs Angry said...

Ah: so you were lying, Commenter 2, about attending FCH? What a shocking admission. How can we believe anything you say? Perhaps you made the Hatton Garden story up, too. All attention seeking behaviour: is it a cry for help from Mrs Angry?

Anonymous said...

I take it, judging by your admiration for Mr Coleman - and the fact that you are aware of the Rolling Stones - you can't be the other Councillor Brian (the married one).

But enough about you! I'd like to talk about myself.

My education has been nothing but a curse for me, closing more doors than it has opened. Racked with the shame of privilege, I wander the world alone.

'Self-radicalised lone wolf' is how I describe myself (on my Linkedin profile). But 'radical' is a much misunderstood term. My personal philosophy is encapsulated in the words of the great Mao Tse Tung (Mao Zedong for the reactionaries at the BBC): "Don't call a meeting in a hurry if the preparations are not completed".

Wise words indeed! Are you reading, Barnet Council?

[Comrade Commenter no. 2]

p.s. For Mrs A.
As Mao says: "If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticised, because we serve the people".

Mrs Angry said...

For Commenter no 2, whose public school decadence is not disguised by his apparent revolutionary zeal:

As Mao says "Inevitably, the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie will give expression to their own ideologies. Inevitably, they will stubbornly express themselves on political and ideological questions by every possible means. You cannot expect them to do otherwise ... Mistakes must be criticized and poisonous weeds fought wherever they crop up".

Madame Mao/Mrs Angry hopes that your re-education via the robust criticism of Broken Barnet will encourage the correct line of thought to be replanted in your obstinate reactionary head.

Anonymous said...

Lone wolf? A wolf of some sort, that much is clear. Your insinuations about my marital status are repellant: I can assure you that my marriage is not some sort of sham, and that my spouse and I enjoy full physical relations at regular intervals: at least once a year, on my birthday. And on the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, which is why I was unable to comment further last night.

Perhaps if you spent less time ingratiating yourself with lewd minded, intellectually challenged, and feckless female bloggers, you might aspire to the same domestic idyll as myself and my lady wife.

(Mrs Angry: I still have a spare ticket for Saturday night, and there is a happy hour in the Association bar from 6-7, if you care to join me: but please tell anyone who asks that you are my niece,or personal assistant). Brian.

Anonymous said...

I don't quite know how to put this, Brian...

You keep on about the Conservative Association, but might you not be better suited to the Con Club down the road? More your type of people, if you know what I mean: Dyson owners; people who show off about their sex lives; happy hour afficionados. It's next door to a Toby carvery - your sort of thing perhaps.

Not that they wouldn't make you welcome at the Association. They are generous in that respect.

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

I wouldn't want to come between you two,as it were, but just to point out that the Conservative Club is I believe closed, and has been for some time. It would appear that they are running out of members, in the this former stronghold of the Barnet Tories. Such a shame.

And, see: this is what happens, Commenter 2, when we tell whopping great lies, and rely on google earth to back us up ... tssk, standards are slipping, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

I think you are referring to the Red Lion public house, Commenter 2, and yes indeed, this is a hostelry that is not unknown to me: the lodge meets there every other week. I took my spouse to dinner there only the other night, but we were obliged to miss the dessert trolley as my wife had become intoxicated, and was making unsuitable suggestions of a personal nature to the waiter.

Speaking of which, again you make unnecessary reference to my intimate relations with my lady wife: I can only imagine that this prurient interest indicate certain feelings of inadequacy on your part. Don't think I have not noticed you trying to butter your way into Mrs Angry's affections: your time at Eton may not have entirely prepared you for success with the fair sex, so,if you need some manly advice on the subject, I am prepared to tip you the wink. Brian.

Anonymous said...

The lodge? But that's forbidden by the Church![P2 excepted, of course.]
Sadly, the SVP isn't what it was, and many like you have chosen to do their networking amongst those devil-worshipers - mostly high street solicitors and planning officers, actually.

You are Roman Catholic, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

About this Saturday evening rendezvous that Brian is proposing:

Does Mrs Angry have a copy of She was poor but she was honest in her collection of 78s?

She'd do well to give it a listen - and of course to refuse all offers of port wine.

Mrs Angry said...

Hmm: is this still Commenter 2? Mrs Angry is in fact a very bad catholic, and a very sinful one. Not devil worshipping, but very nearly as bad. Angels, nuns, priests, godparents: all weeping in heaven, as we speak.

You are confusing Mrs A with Brian,however, and clearly she has no idea about his religious principles, or lack of them. Perhaps he is an atheist, humanist, or worse still, a methodist?

As for Mrs A's evening with Brian: yes,generally in life she gets all of the blame, and none of the pleasure, but in these circumstances, it would probably take more than one glass of port wine.

And Brian: interesting use of the word 'butter'- Freudian slip? Did you mean worm? Oh. Or were you thinking Last Tango in Broken Barnet? Tut tut.

Anonymous said...

Sorry! That was me, at both 14:35 and 23:21.

My question about faith was aimed at Brian. I'm thinking he may be Jewish, though not at all observant. Or possibly Hindu. Are there Hindu freemasons?

But you, Mrs A - a bad Catholic? Aren't we all just humble workers in God's vineyard?

[Commenter no.2]

Mrs Angry said...

I was always taught, Commenter 2, that one should never discuss sex, religion, or politics, and this is a principle to which I always try to aspire, in my blog.

Unfortunately, I have never managed to put this into practice, as of course these are the only subjects worth thinking about.

Yes, I am indeed a very great sinner, despite - or perhaps because of - the dubious benefit of years of convent education.

I imagine you being an Etonian socialist, Commenter 2, means that you must be an atheist, but a high church Anglican one, rather than a Catholic version. Catholic atheists are usually very cross, and prone to going on tv and twitter in order to make everyone else cross too, have you noticed?

Anonymous said...

I'll have to think about that. It's true, Catholic atheists are an awkward lot; but it's the Catholic 'rationalists' that seem most resentful of all. You'd think they'd be delighted to be free of their imagined shackles.

If I watch TV and sign up for Twitter, will I learn more about these unhappy people?

As for Etonian socialists: that phase only lasts until the inheritance arrives. Then we revert.

[Commenter no. 2]

p.s.What happened to Brian. Will you be seeing him later? Good luck!

Mrs Angry said...

Hmm. Well, I am very tempted, obviously, to take Brian up on his offer, being short of any alternatives, but ... I am not used to this internet dating business - what do you think I should wear, Commenter 2? Something tarty and obvious, or matronly and modest? Katie Price, or Margaret Thatcher? Or Samantha Brick? Difficult call. I note he has gone very quiet, though: hope this is not an ominous sign. He might stand me up: always a horrible experience.

Are you expecting an inheritance, though, did you say? That makes you so much more interesting. Miss Angry has often suggested her mother needs a generous benefactor, preferably someone who is willing to buy her (ie Miss A) a Chanel handbag to ingratiate himself with her. Her mother has lectured her about her materialist views of life, of course.

Anonymous said...

Mrs Angry: I am afraid there may be a slight problem tonight. My lady wife is a jealous and frankly unreasonable woman, and has become suspicious of my sudden interest in your blog. She has insisted on accompanying me this evening, and is very keen to meet you. I hope this will not cause any difficulty. I shall check her handbag for blunt implements before we leave home. After a few barley wines she is likely to start a fight, become insensible,and fall asleep, and then perhaps, if you are lucky, we can become better acquainted? Brian. [Or is it Commenter 2?}

Anonymous said...

Brian's feeble attempt to pass himself off as Commenter no. 2 will not succeed.

I would go to Barnet tonight and challenge him myself, were it not for the fact that I have been barred by the Chipping Barnet Conservative Association from ever entering the premises again. They took exception to my rendition of Joe Hill, and rejected my efforts at atonement (Giovinezza - to restore political balance).

Come to think of it, the name Commenter no.2 is attached to some sizeable gambling debts. I'd be delighted if Brian would step into my shoes.

[The real Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Oh dear, Commenter 2.

I have just returned from Chipping Barnet.

I sat in the bar of CBCA for an hour and a half, but no Brian. A few Tory councillors offered to buy me a port and lemon, but I felt their intentions were not entirely honourable and I declined.

Should I have offered to pay his bus fare, do you think?

The showing of The Iron Lady went very well, but perhaps I should not have joined in the question and answer session afterwards, and told everyone your story about Margaret's watch. I was chased down the hill, all the way to the tube station, by a mob of baying tories, and was obliged to jump over the ticket barrier to escape them.

I wish I could tell you why your reference to Giovinezza is quite so timely, but possibly the explanation is not suitable for this venue.

I hope you have not gambled away your inheritence, like a regency fop: this would be most disappointing, even though Mrs Angry is find of the occasional flutter herself.

Anonymous said...

And Brian had the cheek to call me a bounder! Still, I expected as much.

You had a lucky escape. From the baying mob and from Brian.

Most unusual that the Tories were offering to buy you a drink though. Usually they prefer to receive than to give. Indeed, a prominent Barnet Tory was famous for it: hanging around at the bar in the hope that someone would buy him a drink.

Did you meet the impressive Underhill councillors there tonight? Not quite their patch, I know, but somehow I can't imagine them at the BSCA or the Dollis valley Rainbow Club.

About Giovinezza. What a shame you can't tell us more.

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Hmm. Do you prefer to give, or receive, Commenter 2? I imagine you to be of a generous nature, but perhaps I am wrong.

I see you have been looking up alternative social clubs in the Barnet area now. In your shy way, I think you are trying to find places to take Mrs Angry, aren't you? BSCA ... an active, sweaty evening of badminton? No: Mrs Angry prefers a more leisurely game of shuttlecock.

Yes, about Giovinezza: well, perhaps one day you will come out of hiding and Mrs A will tell all ...

Anonymous said...

In fact,Mrs Angry, I must explain that my non appearance last night was entirely due to a chance encounter I had as I stumbled out of the Red Lion on my way to the CBCA. My wife, thankfully, had become preoccupied with the attentions of a double glazing salesman from Stevenage, and I therefore took the opportunity to slip out to meet you, after a visit to the gents for a squirt of mouth freshener, and to wax my moustache.

As I ambled up the road, out of the shadows appeared a frankly rather scruffy looking fellow who introduced himself as [Commenter no 2]. There followed an exchange of some unsavoury language,in the course of which I am afraid to say your honour was impuned, but then, after a gentlemanly fist fight on Hadley Green, we adjourned to the Mitre for a drink.

A couple of hours later,during which time we agreed that women are the curse of the male species: well - things moved on, shall we say, and now we have agreed to move to the New Forest together,start a new life, and open a B&B.

I hope that you will wish us well, and let this be a lesson, to you Mrs Angry, in future, not to play with the affections of random strangers ...


Anonymous said...

I have no comment to make about the veracity of the above account, apart from this: I am extremely upset at being described as a 'rather scruffy looking fellow';it was quite irresponsible for Brian to blow my cover in that way.

Exactly how many 'rather scruffy looking fellows' are there wandering around the borough?

I'll tell you.


I'll not be able to show my face again in these parts - or in the New Forest (wherever that is! Sounds like a Christmas tree plantation). Can you afford the exemplary damages, Mrs A?
[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Well, I have been called worse things by Tory councillors ... 'old hag' ... eccentric socialist.
Can you imagine,hag, possibly, but being described as eccentric? Shocking, don't you think?

Luckily I do not have to pay exemplary damages, even though I am an irrelevant publisher, as I have signed up to Hugh Grant's Royal Charter for Obedient Bloggers. I really wanted a kitemark from Lord Hunt, tattoed on my rear, but this will have to do.

Anonymous said...

'Old hag'? That's so transparent. He is ashamed to admit - even to himself - his true feelings, and so retreats into childish insults.

Has he ever been seen with a lady friend? No? Well, there you are then! He's waiting for you to notice him.

What a handsome couple you'll make.

What's his name, by the way? And what are his prospects?

[Commenter no. 2]

p.s. Are you confusing 'irrelevant' with 'irreverent'?

Mrs Angry said...

Mmm. You were meant to say something on the lines of: 'old hag'? That is simply preposterous, Mrs Angry.

Oh well.

Yes: Cllr Coleman - another Brian. You probably have not heard of him. He keeps a low profile.

But perhaps you are right. I have often observed him watching me covertly across a crowded council chamber. I expect the only explanation can be that he is besotted with me, but too shy to admit it. This happens all the time, of course.

His prospects are not awfully promising, to be frank,at the moment - but I will be in court on Friday to support him in his hour of need. I think he will be grateful.

Mrs Angry said...

The sound of one hand clapping, Commenter 2: oh dear.

Mrs Angry must accept her hagdom, then, and resign herself to a lonely old age filled with good works, and knitting.


I hope you and Brian will be very happy. I would offer to come and stay in your b&b, but I think the New Forest is horrible, and too near to Bournemouth,aka Watford on Sea, full of retired Tory councillors.

Anonymous said...

In fact, Mrs Angry, Commenter 2 and I have just returned from a 'mini break' in Bournemouth, on which I had hoped we would get to know each other rather better.

We had a very nice room in the Comfort Inn, with a lovely view of the bus station.

Sadly Commenter 2 has turned out to be something of a disappointment in certain respects.

I am afraid he is nothing but a big tease.

I have returned, therefore, to the arms of my dear lady wife, who is, frankly, rather less inhibited in her affections.

Mrs Angry said...

Commenter 2: Mrs Angry cannot possibly publish that comment, and you are being very naughty. I think there is a grave risk of causing offence if I do: people in Cricklewood can be very touchy, you know. Boris Johnson can never step foot there, ever again, after his remarks about the Irish.

You are right about the New Forest, I think, but my dislike is based on the horrible flatness and wrong sort of trees. Like - eurgh - Norfolk.

Despite Brian's rather cutting remarks, I am sure you are not really so disapppointing: no need to be shy, Commenter 2: Mrs A is very understanding - and easily pleased. Never been pleased in a Comfort Inn, mind you.

Anonymous said...

Oh for heavens sake, Mrs Angry, "Commenter number 2", and even "Brian"- I refer you to Andrew Marvell, and "the graves a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace ..."

'A well-wisher'

Mr Anon

Anonymous said...

A kind thought,Mr Anon, but it isn't going to persuade virtuous Roman Catholics such as we are (I can't speak for Brian; he is suspected of being Jewish or Hindu). We disdain a roll in the hay, for we shall spend eternity in the loving arms of Jesus.

I remember my RE lessons at FCHS as if they were only yesterday. Or is that False Memory Syndrome? I'm not sure now.

Marvell was MP for Hull. It makes you wonder: what on earth did Prescott say to persuade his own coy mistress?

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Mmm: thank you, 'Mr Anon', and your useful advice. Do any of us actually exist, do you think, or are we characters in someone's imagination?

That is indeed a beautiful poem. Wonder if it did the trick, with the coy mistress? Would have thought so. Probably in Ye Olde Comforte Inn, in some flea bitten four poster ...

Mrs Angry said...

oh: I see you slipped in between us, Commenter 2, as it were: very sneaky, and spoilt my sequence.

I see you are now blocking your memories of your time at Eton, and have returned to FCH. (Please note in your fumbling for authenticity, no one uses the S.) I am glad to see you allow this imaginary education to guide against impropriety in later life. But how very bourgeois of you.

Do you know, I'm not sure Prescott's mistress was awfully coy, and perhaps did not need very much persuasion. A lot of imagination, possibly, and an interesting ceiling.

I don't think anyone wants to roll in the hay, do they? Rather itchy, and undignified. The sort of thing they do in the New Forest, when they think no one is looking.

I think I agree with Mrs Patrick Campbell, who longed for the peace of the double bed, rather than the hurly burly of the chaise longue. I believe she also approved of anyone doing what they liked, as long as they didn't do it in the street, and frighten the horses.

Anonymous said...

Commenter 2, I see that, having spurned my advances, you have reverted to trying to seduce every susceptible woman in North London, and possibly most of the Home Counties, confusing them with poetry and religious fanaticism.

As a matter of fact, I was until recently a practising Methodist. Unfortunately it occurred to me eventually that no matter how hard I practised, I just could not get the hang of it.

I have now seen the light, and become born again in the eyes of the Lord, and saved my soul for eternity. I was persuaded to this end by the words of St Paul, with whose firm views on women and slaves I can only concur, although my wife is proving curiously reluctant to submit to my will as he dictates, and only this morning, can you believe it, refused to iron my copy of the Daily Mail, before breakfast?

Anyway: I trust she has now laid out my pyjamas,and turned down the bed covers, as I must retire early tonight - up early in the morning to offer moral support to a friend of mine who is in a spot of bother over in Uxbridge. Brian

Anonymous said...

I am delighted, Brian, that you have seen the light. But try not to take too much notice of Paul - a middle aged unmarried man (funny he never married!),who wandered about Asia Minor accompanied by the young 'virgin' Thecla, lecturing on sexual abstinence and performing magic tricks.

When I was living amongst the eco-terrorist community, I met many show-offs like him . They attach themselves to radical causes such as Occupy, anti-roads protests, Friends of the Earth and Woodcraft Folk. Always there at the front, stirring up sedition, usually they turn out to be undercover police officers.

I am something of an expert on St Paul. Again, it takes me back to my time at FCHS (S is for School, Mrs A!). In my RE exam I wrote at length about St Paul's letters to the Theodolites. As I recall, it wasn't possible to fail a CSE.

Shame about your wife, but it is not an uncommon story these days. Wasn't it part of the wedding contract, that she vowed to honour and obey you? Seek legal advice.

You can put it down to political correctness gone mad. And the malign influence of Glenda Jackson.

It saddens me to read of your friend's troubles. Does he pray? (it is a he, isn't it?) I'm sure he is quite devout, being a friend of yours. Let him know that I too will be praying for him.

God bless.

[Commenter no. 2]

Anonymous said...


With regard to your troubled friend: were our prayers answered?

[Commenter no. 2]

Anonymous said...

Commenter 2: I have on many occasions knelt before my friend and indeed at other times engaged with him in prayer: neither activity appears to have brought him relief of any sort, but especially from what we heard in court today is the deep 'anguish' he is forced to endure from those who campaign against him.

As we left court today I noted a shameless woman identified as Mrs Angry continuing her diatribe against this fine man,to fellow travellers from the BBC, in cahoots with another member of the monstrous regimen of women that comprise much of the so called Barnet Spring. It was a shame that Mrs Angry had not thought to visit the hairdresser before her appearance on national tv, or to curtail her virago like tongue, don't you agree?

I note that Mr Coleman's barrister was quite rightly instructed to have her thrown out of her seat in the court, where she was pretending to write shorthand notes, but was in fact writing a shopping list and drawing a picture of a basket of kittens.

Mrs Angry said...

Well, Commenter 2: Mrs Angry is pleased to see you well acquainted with the works of St Paul. Your reference to the theodolites, of course, suggests that you were indeed one of the woodwork boys, if not woodcraft boys, in the time you spent, inside your head, at FCH.

Mrs Angry was not a member of the woodcraft folk, or the brownies, or the girl guides as she refused to contemplate the idea of wearing uniform, earning washing up badges or indeed doing as she was told by the local guide leader, who was rumoured to be a man, and certainly had a moustache.

Thank you for explaining that S stands for school: I had not realised, because no one who goes there uses the s: and indeed I am very slow on the uptake, and was the only pupil at St Michael's forced to do maths cse: and you are right, it must be impossible to fail, as Mrs Angry wrote only her name on the paper and coloured in some topological drawings, then sat back and received a Grade 3. Plus a lifetime's inability to add up, subtract, or multiply.

Interesting to see you have added membership of the eco terrorist movement (cue more visits here now from certain quarters)to your fantasy biography. Do you still wear your hair in dreadlocks?

I had forgotten about Thecla: left to be eaten by wild beasts, but saved from the aggression of the male beasts by the female ones. Rather apt, at the moment.

Talking of which, you really should have come to court yesterday, Commenter 2: it was a thrilling experience. Still, it was a lovely sunny day, wasn't it, and perhaps you preferred to go for a long walk in the country, and enjoy the sunshine?

Mrs Angry said...

Oh dear: has Mrs Angry frightened you, Commenter 2, with her pysychic powers?

Don't be scared: her all seeing eye is a gift that must not be taken for granted, and she is mindful of the need for tact, and discretion ...

Anonymous said...

Well, yes. I am getting a bit worried by your psychic powers, and those of Brian. Some of your observations have been spookily accurate - almost as if you know exactly who I am.

Scruffy fellow, dreadlocks, Eton, Woodwork, fecking liar, Tory, champagne socialist.

The net is closing in.

Mrs Angry said...

Well, I can't speak for Brian,of course, Commenter 2 - (it is Commenter 2?) - but ... you are painting an irrestible picture: a complex and somewhat contradictory character, true, but aren't we all?

Look at Mrs Angry - quick, before she becomes too famous to speak to you - sometimes she thinks she does not exist, but is a figment of someone else's imagination.

As for you: dreadlocks, I can visualise clearly, but I forgot to ask about your tattoes. Are they visible? Or only on closer acquaintance?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mrs Angry said...

Commenter 2: are you deliberately trying to get me hauled up before Hugh Grant and his censorship tribunal? Clearly, after a career spent as a police officer/eco terrorist your knowledge of the laws of libel are limited, so you cannot be expected, perhaps, to know that comparing you know who to that person would very possibly get Mrs Angry into trouble ... which may well be your cunning plan, of course ...

You are absolutely right about one thing: how did you know - I never write shopping lists, and I am an impulse buyer ... spoooky. Have you been following me round Waitrose?

As for our disgraced councillor Coleman: funnily enough, I was engaged in a heated debate with some other residents of Broken Barnet, after the trial, confessing that I feel sorry for him. At a safe distance, and as long as his behaviour is safely contained, that is.

Perhaps that is the essential difference between someone like him, and the rest of us - that we can feel compassion, and he cannot, or chooses not to.

And yes, nothing would infuriate the man more than knowing Mrs Angry feels that way about him, would it? Don't tell him, though.

Anonymous said...

I see Leveson is already casting a dark shadow over your blog.

All I did was compare the relationship between a local convict and his friend with that of a sixties cultural icon and her spiritual advisor.

Nothing libellous, I think, even to a sensitive flower such as himself.

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Cultural icon. Hmm. Your reference to a local convict and his friend puts me more in mind of Magwitch and Pip, in Great Expectations. Do you recall how ravenously hungry the poor fellow is, at the beginning of the story? The appetite of one who fears he may never be taken out to lunch again, on expenses.

Transportation is an option for punishment we no longer have,sadly, but being sent to the Antipodes might well have been an appropriate punishment in the recent case.

Great Expectations, the Lean film version gave the infant Mrs Angry dreadful nightmares, after seeing Miss Havisham catch fire. Now Mrs Angry is in danger of turning into Miss Havisham.

Such is life.

Anonymous said...

I was supposed to read Great Expectations for my English Literature 'O'level (at FCHS. Remember?). But I didn't bother, and gained the coveted 'Unclassified'.

Consequently, I have only a vague idea of what you are talking about.

About libel and that sort of thing: This piece - can we call it an article? - has now dropped down to the second page. We can say anything we like about BC; he's not likely to read it.

You go first!

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Are you saying that no one reads my older posts, Commenter 2? Rather hurtful. Of course they do: some of the least likely - at least in my estimation - are the most popular, for example the ones with portraits of ladies in New Orleans, taken by Mr Bellocq. I say ladies: they may not have been at all times entirely ladylike in their behaviour, unlike Mrs Angry.

Oh, let's not talk about BC: let's talk about you, Commenter 2. How shocking to hear that you were so rebellious at FCH, when you were not there. If you had been there, you might even had a taste of the Tolley, which you cannot identify, because you have no idea what it is ...

Actually, I was supposed to read the world's most boring book, ie Nostromo, by Joseph Conrad, for A level, but didn't bother. I went for an interview at a university and read a chapter of the passnotes sitting in the room outside, and winged a marvellous performance, implying an extensive knowledge of the turgid prose and tedious plot (all about a ship carrying bird poo) resulting in an offer to study there, which I did not take, as it was in Swansea, and one has to draw the line somewhere. Also not reading the books was a slight drawback, in that it meant that I could not think of anything much to write about in the exam, and got a terrible grade. It would seem we have some traits in common, Commenter 2.

In fact, my school career, as relived in this blog, would appear to have been entirely spent either in tears, or staring out of the window and not listening to the teacher.

Perhaps, Mrs Angry, you should think about that, and why that was so.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, Mrs Angry, you should think about quite a lot of things, and ask why they are so, and then we would not be burdened with them in the process of reading this equally turgid and tedious weblog nonsense.

I really am not sure why I bother reading it, except that I find it enormously exciting, especially the pictures you mention, for their historic and artistic content, being a keen amateur photographer myself.

I am a great admirer of Joseph Conrad, and see nothing dull in a brisk, manly novel set at sea,with no smutty love scenes, a good deal of moody introspection, and a very interesting sub plot involving the transportation of guano, which of course was once a very valuable commodity. These days we have no need to import the stuff as we manufacture enough of it ourselves, especially here in Broken Barnet.

As for Commenter 2, perhaps if he had applied himself a little harder at school, he would not be in the sorry state in which he clearly finds himself now, a ne'er do well intent on staining the virtue of decent women, without even the price of the bus journey home.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mrs Angry said...

You've done it again: stop it. Unless you want to pay my exemplary damages - I've just cottoned on to who that priest was. Tut, Commenter 2.

Here is a thought: why not start your own blog, and put these remarks on there? I don't suppose you would consider such a course of action, though. What with failing the Eng lit o level and all.

More later - I have to go and have words with a teacher. Not at FCH(S).

Anonymous said...

Mrs Angry: I feel that I must, as a man of the world, and indeed one who considers himself to be a gentleman, warn you, in your state of innocence, of the dangers of social intercourse with men of the type of Commenter 2. Clearly he is not what he seems, but is trying to lure you into his 'honey trap', in order to ruin you, and bring ignominy and a premature end to your blogging career.And perhaps a fate worse than that. Certainly I suspect that he is working on behalf of others who wish for your downfall. He is a proven liar, and a fantasist, with an unhealthy interest in the sexual peccadillos of others. I wonder what unwholesome secrets and desires lie festering in his own dark mind? The man is a scoundrel.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear!

Both the priest and the author to whom I referred are dead, so cannot be libelled. And anyway, I wrote nothing about either that could be described as libellous if they were alive.

I simply recounted the general topic of a conversation that I had.

As it happens, both the priest and the author are now known to have been pederasts. Never mind the legality of it; surely there isn't even a moral case for protecting their reputations.

You really are worried about Leveson, aren't you!

[Commenter no. 2]

Anonymous said...

Funny how Brian's comments never get deleted. Is it because you are especially fond of him, or is it that his comments are so dull that you consider them to be libel proof?

[Commenter no. 2]

Anonymous said...

Further to my previous comment...

I don't mean to say that Brian's comments are dull (far from it! I find them absolutely fascinating). I merely wondered whether Mrs A considers them to be so, or if not dull then uncontroversial.

We know how kind hearted she is. She has told us as much many times before. Perhaps it is out of a sense of pity that she entertains Brian's cries of anguish.

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Goodness me, Commenter 2: I come home to find you have been a very busy boy, chewing your pencil with much thought.

I think it would be better if you bowed to Mrs Angry's legal expertise, as clearly you know nothing about the law of libel.No doubt this is not of any importance in your working life as - well, what? A vacuum cleaner salesman? A ballet dancer? A long term interim consultant? Or perhaps you live off your private inheritance, and spend all day in the bookies?

Mrs Angry is more concerned about the implications in the case of the living, and would remind you of one word: Pinocchio. Nuff said?

Mrs Angry is not especially worried about Leveson: she is too busy worrying about everything else in her life to care, but she has always been very careful and kept a beady eye on blog comments.

Are you jealous of Brian, and my indulgence of his views? I think you are. I imagine you are used to being the centre of attention, Commenter 2, and possibly something of a big head. This is unfortunate. Clearly you need someone to correct this regrettable tendency. I am more than happy to continue to play that role.

Yes, many people think Mrs Angry is very angry, and mean, but really she is as weak and timid as a kitten. Or even a basket of kittens.

Mrs Angry said...

I hope you are not sulking, Commenter 2. Mrs Angry does not like sulky men. Very tedious. I say these things only for your own good, as a critical friend. Or perhaps you are now racked with remorse for your jealous outburst. That would be understandable. but Mrs Angry is fond of all her commenters, as a mother loves all of her children,or indeed the Almighty and his sinners here on earth: diffently, but equally. There, there x

Anonymous said...

If I had to criticise you, Mrs A, I would say that you are too kind, too selfless, too forgiving; the embodiment of the hymn sung at my primary school: 'They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love'.

(Though for me the beauty of the lyric was slightly tarnished by the knowledge that the headmaster had a cane hidden up his sleeve. Shall I name him?)

Notwithstanding an impressive brace of CSEs, the most important legacy of my secondary school (Eton or FCHS? I can never remember!)was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I hope that explains, if not excuses.

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Hmm, yes do name the headmaster: I see now you are trying to lay a false trail by implying you were at primary school post 1968, when that ghastly happy clappy hymn was written, which would mean you were rather younger than I would have guessed ... but perhaps you were just something of a dunce and made to resit the year about ten times?

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive, Commenter 2.

Yes, I am kind really, which is why I am corresponding with you, as I am sure no other woman would be so foolish. And/or desperate.

Anonymous said...

Oh, but I can't name my headmaster, can I? Too much of a clue.

It's a shame, because I could share some unsubstantiated gossip about him (which you'd have to redact).

We had two other hymns at our school: 'Sing Hosanna' and 'Lord of the Dance'. The performance of these was torture. For the first, a substantial minority was incapable of singing the final '..sing Hosanna to the King', without adding ''..of kings. And for the latter, at the end of the chorus half the school were embarking on the next verse while half began to repeat the chorus until one by one their voices fell away.(Dance, Dance, wherever yoeerhhmmm...)

A sensitive boy like me is irreparably damaged by such things.

Still, I should be grateful I wasn't sent to St Columba's. There, I'm told, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart led the singing of 'Sons of God', with ghoulish emphasis on ' his body, drink his blood..'

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Ha: name the school then? And the era in which you were there?

In fact your shameless fibbing is proven by your poorly researched choice of hymns, Commenter 2.

St Columbas is not a primary school: one of Mrs Angry's friend's sons goes there ..

The horribly cheerful hymns are far too happy clappy for a Catholic primary school in the dark ages when you would have been a naughty, if sensitive, schoolboy. And if you had been to a Catholic school you would be immersed in the tradition of ghoulish hymns bathed in the blood of our faith.

I must thank you, though: looking for examples of such maudlin tunes has been a curiously enjoyable nostalgic trip. Mrs A's very pious mother used to embarrass her at mass singing this sort of thing very, very loudly, in the Irish Catholic tradition whereby the faster and louder you are in prayer or singing, the easier it is to be fast tracked to heaven. I hope it worked.

Here is a favourite: be warned, the beginning of the footage may induce you to think you have died and gone to (Catholic) heaven too.

This experience will be a penance for lying about your school years, the equivalent to three Hail Mary's and an Our Father.

Not sure the woman playing the cello should be sitting like that, so immodestly, in front of the fathers. Or are they brothers? Redemptorists, anyway: let's see if they can redeem you.

Anonymous said...

I know St Columba's isn't a primary school. I only mentioned it because I remembered what my friend had told me about that hymn.

Thanks for the link. The cellist seems to be entirely out of place. I think she may be a prisoner of those four men.

Women playing cello? How we laughed at the music teacher's risqué joke about that. (Yes, at FCHS, but I won't tell you his name. Only that I respected him because he seemed to resent being there even more than the rest of us.)

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Your friend? Local? Catholic upbringing? Do tell us more. We may be acquainted.

What could be risque about playing the cello? The oboe, possibly, depending on the colour. Please explain. Mrs Angry is very innocent.

I don't think they had music teachers at FCH until recently, due to the hideous cacophony that adolescent boys make when engaged in such activities.

Perhaps you are thinking of your time at Eton, when no doubt you were taught by the Master of the Queen's music. Did you stay behind after class for extra tuition? Were you a boy soprano?

Anonymous said...

Of course I should have explained that while we obediently laughed at the joke, like you we were very innocent and didn't know what on earth he was talking about. In fact I still am too innocent. "The thing between her legs"? "Scratching"? "Stroking"? Is Mr _____ drunk? we wondered. Surely not!

You're right about the cacophony though. That's why 'music' lessons were conducted(?) in the most remote building.

[Commenter no. 2]

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say I have been too distracted by the need to counsel a dear friend in his hour of need, to join with you, Mrs Angry, in this theological debate. I see that, regrettably, you have wasted no time, in the absence of my guiding influence, in advancing the cause of papism.

The only hymn, in my opinion,that is of any real merit,is the one which contains the following sensible admonition:

″The rich man in his castle
The poor man at his gate
He made them High and lowly
He ordered their estate″

This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Conservative party is central to God's plan for the human race.

That said, He appears to be encouraging us now on an unexpected diversion in the direction of UKIP, and indeed my friend is considering standing as their candidate in his ward at the next election, for the good of the people of Broken Barnet.

As he often says: cometh the hour, cometh the man. Speaking of which, my wife is peering anxiously around the bedroom door asking for some panadol. Excuse me.


Mrs Angry said...

Poor Commenter 2: goodness me - that sounds rather alarming. This is the problem with single sex education, I fear. I hope that your technique has improved since then? And did you keep up with the cello?

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Brian. Both Mrs Angry and I have been praying (separately, it must be said) for your troubled friend. I suppose you could do the same, but is there, among your many Hindu gods, one who specialises in solving problems of the type that have beset that poor man?

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the greatest hymn of all:

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!

In pubs (Dutch owned, of course) across the New Forest they still sing that verse.


Bring me my Beer, O clouds unfold!!!

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

Funnily enough,Commenter 2, one of Mrs Angry's friends brought back a present from India with the image of Kali, suggesting she had certain characteristics in common. Might have a point.

Btw,in fact, Brian, Commenter 2 is fibbing again. We have been holding prayer meetings, accompanied by enthusiastic hymn singing, with the many admirers of your friend, in a phone box in West Finchley.

Bit of a tight squeeze, especially when trying to manoeuvre my cello into the right position.

Anonymous said...

Brian - you haven't fully explained the nature of your friend's troubles. But, reading between the lines, he seems to have been quite successful prior to his breakdown.

I'm thinking that this might be the sort of person who, having been so restrained in his career (I'm right, aren't I!), will now seek to 'express himself'. He'll swap his suit and tie, cufflinks and cropped hair for a kaftan, wrap-around shades, an ear ring and pony-tail. I've seen it so many times before.

You might find that he'll start learning jazz saxophone and - watch out Mrs A!- hanging around with women somewhat younger than himself.

There's no use trying to stop this, Brian. He has to work through it in his own way. Just be there for him when (if) he ever come back down to earth.

As for this phone box meeting - I'm trying to think of anywhere in West Finchley where there is a phone box deserving of the name. Are you sure we didn't meet in a portaloo? Easy mistake to make.

[Commenter no. 2 - Kaftan, ponytail, wrap around shades, but no ear ring]

Anonymous said...

I see nothing unusual, Commenter 2, on the coupling of a, shall we say, more mature man, and a younger woman in need of firm management and moral guidance. The benefits are manifold: my lady wife, for example, is younger than I, and much more supple. Painting the kitchen ceiling, retiling the roof, clearing the drains: these are all activities she embraces with ease while I sit and direct her from the comfort of my armchair. She is remarkably athletic, in fact - a boon to the older man, especially after I fell head over heels over the handlebar of our tandem bicycle,on holiday in Hunstanton, returning from a local hostelry, and broke my pelvis in several places, thus rendering me a little less enthusiastic in my movements than I used to be,frankly, when engaged in conjugal relations. (This is strictly between you and me,of course, as men of the world.) I had not been drinking to excess at the time,naturally, but was rather light headed, overcome by the heat and an excess of emotion.

I should say my wife took a different view, and was hard to convince, from my position on the ground, singing, that I really was in dreadful pain, the sort of pain that no woman can understand, despite their usual complaints about childbirth and all that unpleasant business.

Where was I?

F*ck knows.

Anonymous said...

"Suffering is the badge of all his tribe". That's what's said about the married man. Or was it about something else?

[Commenter no. 2]

Mrs Angry said...

And even more so the married woman. All the more reason to avoid the bondage of matrimony in the first place. Expect no sympathy, Brian, or anyone else, on that score,from Mrs Angry, who is minded to turn her back on the world and retire to a convent as soon as possible.

She looks forward, before that momentous day, to seeing you in your kaftan, Commenter 2, perhaps. In the meanwhile, she must thank you for making her laugh far too much in the course of your secret confessions.

And so to bed.

Goodnight, Brian, and goodnight Commenter 2. Talk amongst yourselves, while Mrs Angry dreams of portaloos, ponytails, cellos and bicycles.

Anonymous said...

While the poor woman is still, presumably, fast asleep, Commenter 2, perhaps we might have a word about her, man to man. I am frankly concerned about her state of mind, which would appear to be wandering, and ill disciplined. I'm not sure we should encourage her louche internet ramblings, frankly. Perhaps we should continue on a more uplifting blog, written by a chap, who knows what's what. We could talk about football,diy, bushcraft, the age of steam, potholes, manly stuff. What do you think?

Anonymous said...


Did you see the match? Manchester Rovers deserved every point they converted, but that umpire was an absolute national socialist...

Right! That should be enough to have seen off Mrs A.

I look forward to reading your new blog, but I'm afraid that I cannot contribute anything more than anonymised hate crimes.

Much of what you describe, though, is already being covered on the internet - for example by the heroic David Icke (former Coventry City goalkeeper, so definitely a real man!). He writes a lot about lizards, which I suppose you could describe as bushcraft, and quite a lot about sci-fi (boys' stuff).

If you do get this thing off the ground, I'd be delighted to offer my thoughts - measure twice, cut once; bananas aren't actually fruit; always count your fingers after shaking hands with a Greek; that sort of thing.

And about the mental state of Mrs A: As a Hindoo, you won't understand how damaged we Catholics have been by Catholic education. She has done really well, considering all things, and hides her alcohol addiction and self-loathing admirably - at least before tea time. I myself have usually stopped making any sense by breakfast time.

By the way, your challenge will be learning how to monetise your prejudices (just ask Mrs A!).

Good luck with your venture!


[Commenter no. 2]

Anonymous said...

And finally,

Mrs A. Don't worry about the previous post. Sport and politics mainly - nothing to interest you.

Thank you for your hospitality during these weeks. If I pass you in the street (I'm often in West Finchley on important business)I'll give you a wave. I'm the one sans ear ring, in the kaftan, travelling by bicycle. Naturally, for conveyance of the briefcase, my Royce Rolls will be following closely behind.

[Commenter no. 2: Post no. 99]

Mrs Angry said...

Mmm. I had to think very carefully as to whether to publish or delete, Commenter 2, but I have decided on the former, as you need a telling off. Unless, of course, you have actually lost any digits, or other useful appendages in some form of interaction with people born in Greece? Or intend to stand as a candidate for UKIP in your home constituency?

In fact, I must be tolerant and assume from your comments that your life has been warped by a childhood mispent reading boys' comics, with their trenchant, post imperialist world views, complete with stirring tales of soldiers in action, football, yawn (yes, Melchester Rovers, see) and casual racism. I know about this, of course, from many years of studying my brother's weekly copy of Victor and similar nonsense.

It is fair to say that my general attitude of disrespect for the male species is based on this experience, and has not been dislodged in later life. You boys.

But just a minute: now I am a drunken, self loathing shell of a woman, not even able to monetise my prejudices?

True enough: but unkind, Commenter 2.

I think I may be rather upset.

Mrs Angry said...

Oh: I see I missed a comment. Well, huh - now I am sulking, see, so you can go and boil your head.

Often in West Finchley on business, eh? Are you an odd job man named Tom?

That would explain a lot.

I'll be the woman lying semi comatose outside some local hostelry murmuring insults at passers by, but if I see you riding by on a bike I may well be tempted to push you off.

Brian was right: you are a scoundrel.

Anonymous said...

I did warn you, Mrs Angry.

Why not forget about Commenter 2 and his beastliness?

I am prepared to overlook your previous lapses in behaviour and offer you a more attractive proposition than a wave from a passing bicycle, and the sight of my not inconsiderable physique in a kaftan. Let me take you in hand, and see if I can make an honest woman of you.

Failing that, you may take me in hand and do what you will.

I'm easy, either way.

Mrs Angry said...

Thank you: in fact Mrs Angry is now retiring once more from the world, and starting a new life of exile, self denial, and spiritual reflection. Clearly there is no other dignified alternative.

Goodbye all.

Mrs Angry said...

Oh well: to hell with dignity. Bored.

A life of poverty, chastity & obedience isn't all it's cracked up to be. And grey isn't my colour.

As we have got rid of Commenter 2, Brian, shall we carry on, where we left off? Mrs Angry can't sleep, and needs diversion.

Tell us how your friend is doing, after his recent news. Is he still maintaining he was only trying to entice a female partner for the Argentine Tango routine in his rehearsals for Strictly? He is very light on his feet, for a man of his build. Very small feet, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

I have very small feet, as it happens, Mrs Angry, and I can assure you that that is significant of nothing whatsoever, although it is true that it meant I was able to borrow my wife's flip flops on our last holiday, when our luggage was left behind in Gatwick. I have to say I rather enjoyed the experience, and tried out some of her other items of clothing while she was out shopping. When she returned unexpectedly, my wife locked herself in the bathroom, and suggested from behind the door that I looked like Grayson Perry. I thought he looked magnificent at last night's BAFTAs, by the way. Wrong earrings, possibly.