Friday 15 July 2011

The Business that is Show - in Broken Barnet

Councillor Longstaff, on the casting couch with Mrs Angry

Some blogs in Broken Barnet like to celebrate the arrival of Friday with a little something for the weekend: a joke, or an amusing story. Obviously Mrs Angry does not approve of amusing stories, and strictly avoids the use of humour of any kind in this blog, which aims only to offer a serious analysis of local authority news and related political developments.

Mrs Angry has decided, however, that after a very long and exciting couple of weeks, our Tory councillors and senior officers may be perhaps in need of some light relief, and even a happy ending, so she has decided to resume her personal sofa audit of our elected representatives, in order to cheer us all up a little bit, (Mrs Angry needs cheering up a little bit too) and enable us all to get to know them just a little bit better, and, who knows, perhaps help one or two of them in their careers at the same time?

Attending the council meeting this week, Mrs Angry was struck once again by the absurd theatricality of the event: the melodrama, the grand guignol - the sturm und drang -and no, not just when Brian Coleman is speaking. Ah, but: funnily enough, Mrs Angry's investigations have revealed that amongst our Tory councillors there is a surprisingly large contingent of real luvvies, not just gifted amateurs like Brian: no - some regular performers and Actors, darling.

For some reason, this bunch of thespians prefers to keep a low profile, and are not among the most vocal councillors in the chamber. Recently, however, some of them have acheived more visibility by receiving the gift of patronage by new leader Mr Richard Cornelius. Perhaps the most obvious of these is new Cabinet member Councillor David Longstaff, who is a councillor for High Barnet ward, along with two formidable Tory ladies with very interesting hairstyles, Bridget Perry and Wendy Prentice.

Mr Longstaff is a man of forthright opinions, and now has the opportunity to express these views at length in his new post, as member responsible for 'Safety and Resident Engagement'. Looking at Councillor Longstaff's declarations on the online register tells us little else about him, other than that he is a school governor, and of course an Actor - and comedian. Unlike our first featured councillor, Robert Rams, Mr Longstaff has nothing to say in relation to his home: he has nothing to declare under beneficial interest, or corporate tenancy.

Mrs Angry was reminded of Councillor Longstaff's theatrical career at this week's meeting, when he drew attention to himself by a spectacularly awful performance in a speech to the chamber, ending in tears before bedtime for David, general mirth, and shouts of 'SIT DOWN' from the public gallery. Councillor Longstaff, when playing the part of a Tory Cabinet member, is sadly miscast - and, rather curiously, lacks the ability to carry his audience. He may be safe, but he definitely need to work on the engaging with residents' specification of his new responsibility. Well, I say specification, but of course our Tory councillors have forgotten about their promise to provide such definitions for the roles which earn them their tax payer funded allowances.

The reaction David got from the public gallery was more Saturday night at the Glasgow Empire than Chekhov at the Old Vic, in fact.It would be unfair to say that Councillor Longstaff is not without a career of some notable acheivement, however. Mrs Angry has taken a peek at his details on the Casting Call website: you might like to do the same.

Many of David's roles have, ironically, been as the type of citizen that is at the heartland of the Tory vote: or was - he has played a salesman, a shopowner, a dentist - and of course there was the character of 'Beige Man in Ikea'. This was a part which cleverly addressed the challenge of life in the metropolis - telling the story, as does all meaningful artistic endeavour, and 99% of reality tv, of 'a journey' - from Henleys' Corner to Neasden, in this case. Who has not been there, with Beige Man, and on arrival at the eternally rotating door, looked at the leaflet telling you how to shop, and wondered what the point of it all is? F*ck me, if I know.

Councillor Longstaff has also played ... let's see: a monk, a wigman, a florist, an elf and a farting man. Goodness me. Other roles include 'an argumentative guest' and an extra in Extras. Oh, and er, he had, as we know, and - note to self - Mrs Angry, please stop laughing at your old jokes: you're not half as funny as you think you are - but yes, David had a small part in Mary Whitehouse, a BBC drama, and er: his character was called 'Mr Smallwood'. Stop sniggering, Mr Mustard.

Mrs Angry notes that Councillor Longstaff has also played the role of Reverend Burton in a film called 'Easy Virtue'. Mrs Angry was educated by nuns, you know, and does not watch any film that Sister Mary Imelda would not have approved of, so she cannot tell you what that was all about. Ask Mr Mustard, maybe.

On his casting page, Councillor Longstaff has helpfully linked a clip of some of his roles. Please take a look. Interestingly, David performs stand up comedy, and not only by mistake, in the council chamber of the London Borough of Broken Barnet. Mrs Angry must warn you that the example in the video footage includes a rude word beginning with w. No: not 'worker' - a term of insult for many Barnet Tories - wanker: a term more commonly used amongst -and against -the ranks of our beloved Conservative councillors.

Mrs Angry must also warn the easily offended, and former convent schoolgirls: look away now, Councillor Mc Guirk - of the sight you will see at around 4.20 minutes in this clip.

We know that in his casting details, Councillor Longstaff has stated that he is willing to perform nude, but only, sorry to disappoint, ladies, only professionally. So Mrs Angry sat and watched this clip, on behalf of the voters of Broken Barnet, you understand, and was taken by surprise.

She was reminded of the words of archaeologist Howard Schliemann, excavator of Troy, who told the world, long ago, as he uncovered the golden mask of a buried king: 'I have gazed on the face of Agammemnon'. Citizens of Broken Barnet: Mrs Angry has gazed on the a*se of David Longstaff: and yes, it was covered in gold. Take a look.

Forget about my jokes about Longstaff giving his Bottom at the RSC: this clip reveals he actually displayed it - on a professional basis -on behalf of a film called 'The Moguls'. I hope the link works: if not, and you still want to see Councillor Longstaff's a*rse, Mrs Angry can only suggest that you attend the next council meeting, or surgery, and ask him yourself.

Incidentally, David, if you get any more work, thanks to Mrs Angry, please feel free to pay me 10% of your agent's 10%.

Mrs Angry x

More showbiz news over the weekend


baarnett said...

Click top left, Mrs A, click top left:

Mrs Angry said...

thanks baarnett!

Mrs Angry said...

PS click on his name to get to the video link

Mr Mustard said...

You didn't give him any marks Mrs A or were you too busy looking closely at his bottom for them ?

It looks to me like 1 for turning up, 1 for a gold plated performance and 1 for amusing the gallery.

Total 3/10 so down the bottom with Cllr Rams.

Mrs Angry said...

hmm, Mr Mustard: you're right to remind me, forgot my appraisal score. I think, on the basis of Tuesday night it was 3/10 for Rams, and 2/10 for Longstaff. Or D and D- respectively. Which standard are we using?

Mrs Angry said...

and anyway, at the time I was distracted by the Barnet Bugle's extending tripod.

Mrs Angry said...

I have just checked the visitors to this post, and note with amusement that for some reason someone at NASA in Houston, Texas is interested in Cllr Longstaff. Surely his golden Tory a*se is not visible from space?

Mr Mustard said...

I was using marks out of 10 like the Grauniad does after England football games - and Come Dine with Me - yes I know I told you I don't have TV, friends do.

The visit from NASA - was that many moons ago, geddit ?

Mrs Angry said...

Oh dear, having looked at how the naughty scientist arrived here, I see how the mistake arose. Can't explain here: too rude. Tut tut: Houston we really do have a problem, don't we?
No wonder the space programme has come to a halt, if that's what you get up to all day when you should be working. Mrs Angry is shocked.

Mr Mustard said...

That would be the Barnet Bulge's extending tripod I think ?

Mrs Angry said...

PS Not you, Councillor Ross Houston ...

Rog T said...

Gawd blimey, how many words do you need to say the man is a knob

Mrs Angry said...

I think you are approaching the subject from the wrong side of the argument, Mr Tichborne.

MickeyN said...

In the interests of fairness, I should point out that Cllr Longstaff has visited Barnet Museum and has supported the Museum in its bid to stay open (the only Tory councillor to stick his head above the parapet - although Cllr Strongolou - another actor - did also visit some months back). Given that Cllr Rambo is the main driver behind the de-culturisation of Barnet, I am disappointed that he is scoring equal with or higher than Longstaff. The Museum has invited Cllr Cornelius to visit and discuss the future and did not even get an acknowledgement.

Mrs Angry said...

Hmm. Yes, Mickey, he does perhaps an extra point for supporting a museum, but then again, having looked at the creaky film clip starring Cllr Longstaff as Inky Stephens, & which appears to be filmed in Avenue House, just down the road here, I fear I must withhold the extra point in protest. Take a look.
Mrs Angry is well aware of Cllr Strongolou's secret career, you may be assured.

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