Sunday 23 January 2011

The Long March to Finchley

The March to Finchley, by William Hogarth, 1750.

(If you look closely, in the far distance is the Arts Depot, and, just in front, look: we can see a couple of highwaymen councillors on Finchley common, demanding money with menaces!)

So: I was on this bus, the other day * (bus/public transport: explanation for Tory councillors -see below) going to Finchley central, from Tally Ho, see, and minding my own business, avoiding eye contact with fellow passengers, as you do, and thinking about nothing in particular ... suddenly there was a lot of shouting, and general commotion, between some yob in a pulled up hoody and the driver.

Hoody became very displeased. Didn't agree with the view of the driver that his Oyster card had no credit, and informed him of this repeatedly, in no uncertain terms, in his charming North London gangsta patois. Driver stopped bus, turned off lights, opened doors and invited hoody to leave. He didn't. We sat there. He carried on yelling abuse. An old man, in his late eighties, decided, having probably lived through the war, and seen off Hitler, that he wasn't taking this crap from anyone, and informed the hoody of his opinions on this score, at some length. This was not taken awfully well by our friend, who started threatening the old boy, as well as the driver.

The driver sat in his cab, too scared to do anything. Eventually the bus drove off, with the yelling etc continuing. The old boy yelled back, the hoody squared up to him, the driver stopped the bus again, a woman tried to intervene, and then Mrs Angry opened her big mouth. Big mistake. Hoody turned on her, and an interesting discussion ensued, leading Mrs Angry to compliment him on his sparkling wit, which he rather took the wrong way, and so, after failing to get the quaking driver to call for assistance, she decided to get off.' 'Yeah, get off the bus bitch,' the hoody spat in her face, and for good measure adding an interesting, if somewhat graphic, suggestion as to how she might like to spend the rest of the afternoon.

Mrs Angry was so incensed by this latter remark that she, rather stupidly, jumped straight back on the bus, and replied, to the bemusement of the terrified passengers, in a frank and descriptive manner which may have cast doubt on the extent of his attractions, virility and stamina, that it might indeed be a pleasant way of passing the time, but that this was highly unlikely to involve the participation of the hoody. (Just imagine the fun I had explaining a censored version of this exchange to HM constabulary, btw). This observation may well have been misinterpreted as a form of 'disrespect', and therefore Mrs Angry fled before her new friend could hitch his trousers up and try to run after her.

Turned out, of course, that this hoody is a particularly charming gang member, from another borough, with some lovely interests, and a wide social network. Which is why she has now decided that walking up to North Finchley, and avoiding the bus, at the moment, is much more environmentally friendly, and of course, a useful source of much needed exercise. It also avoids any expense, and inconvenience, due to, oh I don't know, new parking charges, looking for a free parking bay, that kind of thing.

And, talking of walking up to North Finchley, and new charges, and the loss of parking bays etc, there is a march next Sunday, from Finchley Central to the Arts Depot, to protest against the the highly controversial agenda of One Barnet cuts, and privitisation, about to be forced on this borough by our Tory councillors. You know, the same people whom you may recall decided a few months ago that cuts are only for residents, and that the economic necessity they claim is driving them to such savage measures does not prevent them trying to sneak in a huge self awarded hike in their own pay?

If you are incensed by the sponging and abusive behaviour by this shameless bunch of hoodies masquerading as our elected representatives, vandalising our borough, whilst determined that we should pay for their free rides, permits and allowances, why not jump off the Broken Barnet bus, and walk with me and other residents to show how p***ed off you are? If I can do it, you can.

You might like to sign this petition, as well:

The Long March to Finchley meets at Finchley Central station at 11.30, and will continue along Ballards Lane to the Arts Depot. A hearty cheer will no doubt be raised as we pass the local Conservative association office - and I'm sure Councillor Coleman will wave out of his bedroom window with a friendly smile and a merry quip, to wish everyone 'Bon Voyage' as we shuffle along! Or perhaps he will provide tea and biscuits in the Methodist church hall for a few favoured guests? Milk, no sugar, and a couple of chocolate hobnobs? Thanks, Brian ...

And, of course I'm looking forward to being kettled in Waitrose carpark, ooh er - aren't you, ladies? (At least they have a loo, and we can do a bit of shopping while we wait ...)

*("bus", "public transport": these are widely available ways of moving from A to B, if you do not have a free parking permit, use of the Mayoral limousine, or a preference for travelling by taxi at the local tax payers' expense, but frankly are best avoided by the better class of person, and councillors.)


baarnett said...

Respect, Mrs. A, Respect.

Mrs Angry said...

keeping it real, baarnett, keeping it real ...

baarnett said...

Actually, if you are going to quote Hogarth, then this distopia of the Steps of Hendon Town Hall, after the budget cuts, seems rather appropriate.

Since the whole of the UK political class avoids challenging George O. over the severity of the cuts, perhaps Mr Balls will do so more effectively than the Postie.

Mrs Angry said...

let's hope he lives up to his name, and displays some (as in the Gin Lane print, I note)