Putin To Run Things For A Bit
Letter from Llanaber
...Global politics seen through life in this strange tiny village in West Wales...
As you probably know, part of my responsibilities as the Llanaber Parish Foreign Secretary and Anti-Corruption & Nepotism Tsar, I have to write and distribute the village newsletter. Lately the boss of the parish council, Mrs. Dorothy ‘Binky’ Trim, has started to take an interest in it. She hasn’t as yet actually read one (which is a relief as I frequently criticise her in it) but she has taken to canvassing opinion amongst my peer group as to whether the newsletter fulfils its brief which is to ‘inform and entertain.’
Old Thomas the gravedigger (honorary) tipped me the wink as I arrived at the office this morning.
“The old bat’s on the warpath,” he told me, “She was grumbling about the newsletter being dull enough to cause readers to self-harm.”
So I was well prepared when I was summoned to her office as soon as I hit my desk. Moments later I was sitting on the ewes milking stool in front of her desk listening to my esteemed leader berate me for being a ‘pile of shite’ at my job.
The moment she paused for a wheeze after a particularly long rant, I pounced.
“Ah, but do you know about the entertainments section? It’s a great new idea I plan to launch in the next edition.” I said feigning enthusiasm.
“Tell me more,” she said, a crooked smile forming on her crooked face.
I lied through my teeth as follows:
“My plan is that every week I carry out a one-on-one interview with a key member of the parish council team. Whilst purporting to be a ‘puff piece’ it will, in fact, highlight key issues facing the council by winkling out from the interviewees the good, the bad, and the ugly about contemporary village life in general, and parish politics in particular.”
She sucked on the end of her pen whilst eyeing the top of my head (the ewes milking stool only has three short legs and when one sits on it one cannot see over the top of the desk).
She suddenly stood up sharply, knocking her chair over behind her. I flinched, expecting a paperweight to bounce off my head.
“Brilliant!” she shouted, “Why didn’t I think of this? Hang on! I think I just did think of this!”
She went on to repeat verbatim what I had just told her as an instruction, as if it was her idea.
“I’m the obvious choice to go first,” she said, “But modesty prevents. It could appear to a neutral observer as if I was being vein and ‘bigging up’ my absolutely incredible achievements since taking office, and that I’m the greatest parish council leader and Braniac since time began.”
“Then who?” I foolishly asked.
She tapped her pen against her top set of false teeth, a sure sign she was thinking.
“Hmmm,” she said.
I put my fist under my chin, closed my eyes and pretended to follow suit.
“Hmmm,” I said.
A heavy paperweight bounced off the top of my head.
“Stop pretending to think,” she barked, “I’m trying to think!”
“How about a newcomer?” I suggested.
“Got it!” she shouted, “A newcomer!”
The latest addition to ‘the team’ is the newly appointed Head of Parish Homeland Security, Mateo the Knife. He isn’t actually a Llanaber villager. He hails from the failing village to our south, Spanibont. I pointed this fact out to my esteemed leader and quickly covered my head with my hands for protection in case of another paperweight drubbing. But to my surprise she seemed pleased at this ‘factormation’ titbit.
“All the better,” she said, “It’ll give the article a different perspective. Grill the bugger. I want his opinions ‘warts and all!’ We might learn something.”
I was told to find Mateo straight away, interview him, and write the article up in the next newsletter.
This I did (the first part, not the second. I will come to this shortly).
I found Mateo in the high street. He was practicing his coshing technique on one of the trash cans that had just had its contents emptied into the massive sink hole. When I asked him if he would let me interview him he seemed delighted, so we sat down right there on the sidewalk, me with my pad and pencil in hand, Mateo wiping the shredded garbage from his cosh.
I didn’t even get as far as asking my first question to the ex-Spanibont boss of the rowdies before the metaphorical ‘wheels fell off.’
The circumstances were thus.
The first question I had planned to ask was one I’d pinched from a similar one-on-one I’d read about, where the subject being interviewed was Harvey Weinstein (no relation). I had adapted his question to take out the vulgarities. It was thus:
“As a recent newcomer to the village, which one of the village maidens do you think has the most robust child-bearing hips?”
I only managed to cough out the first four words.
Before I could complete my question I was rudely interrupted by the official village gossip, Mrs. Winfrey. As usual it was a conflated load of nonsense. I reproduce what she said for you below verbatim:
“Have you heard the news that Mrs. Trim has invited Putin to run the village council starting this autumn to make it easier for him to interfere with the next council election and smear unknown substances on everyone’s door?”
I must confess, knowing what I already knew, I was not shocked by this astonishing news. It was inevitable that Putin would make his move to establish himself as the real power in the village and ensconce himself in the parish council offices.
No, I was not shocked, dear reader, but Mateo clearly was!
Mateo looked at the fat old gossip, a confused expression on his face.
“Say that again?” he said, half laughing in a pathetic attempt to cover up his embarrassment that Mrs. T hadn’t told her top security chief about Putin’s impending visit. I could see the ex-thug, now Mrs. T’s professional enforcer, had been caught ‘on the hop.’
This was my chance.
I had been ordered by my esteemed leader to carry out a ‘warts and all’ interview. I could press him on issues which under normal circumstances he would be ‘tight lipped’ about, such as being excluded from the recent Trim-Putin summit.
Candid answers about her shambolic meeting, and her stream of ‘lie-vomit flip-flops’ that followed it could now be written up and circulated throughout the village. At last, something to put fire in the bellies of the proletariat, an exposé from her top henchman, blowing wide open her Cavalier attitude towards the protection of the village from the ‘beast from the east’ in order to save her own blackmailed skin.
There and then I pressed the Spanibont thug to speak candidly and on the record about his exclusion from, and lack of knowledge of, what went on in that summit meeting.
My hopes were high.
At last momentum towards regime change.
I asked the killer question.
“As head of parish homeland security, does not knowing what happened in the meeting between Mrs. Trim and Putin Lotzadosh make you feel like a bit of a twit?”
My expectations were high.
The ex-thug rose to his full height, looked me straight in the eye and mumbled out the following claptrap:
“Well, you’re right, I don’t know what happened in that meeting. I think as time goes by — Mrs. Trim has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting — I think we will learn more. But that is Mrs. Trim’s prerogative. If she had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way, but that’s not my role. That’s not my job. So it is what it is.”
I had expected controversy.
I had expected backbone, fury, ignominy, disgust, revulsion, fire and brimstone!
I had expected ammunition to charge up the muskets of revolution!
What I got was that load of old twaddle!
I stood up and walked away feeling as low as a snake’s scrotum.
I did not write up the article in the village newsletter.
Instead, dear reader, I inserted the following advertisement in the space it would have occupied:
‘For sale – Saucy DVDs – Various Titles – Featuring Local Celebrity!
For more details please contact Mr. Putin Lotzadosh, no. 23 Seagull View, Seafront, Llanaber.’
Resistance can take many forms, dear reader.
That’s it for now.
And here's another bonus letter!
Alliance Member Country ‘Not Worth Saving’ Comment Risks Invasion from the East
I received an item of news on the parish ticker tape newsfeed about an interesting development down the road in the next village along, Druidellau. The report has it that in an extra-ordinary council meeting there, the boss of their parish council and leader of the Druids won a vote to change their village constitution as follows:
That henceforth in Druidellau, only Druids will have the classification of ‘human.’
That any member of the rival tribe claiming ownership of the arcade on the Druidellau seafront, the Travelers, are from now on to have the classification ‘dormouse.’
That Druidellau Druids have not only the right but a duty to build settlements on the single sand dune that the Travelers have been kept corralled on for the last 100 years.
Following the new policy being signed into parish law, the boss of the Travelers was quoted as saying, “I didn’t see that one coming. Hey-ho, I guess we’d all better budge up a bit to make room for them.”
Benjy Yahoo, the boss of the Druids, was quoted as saying, “This is a great day for Druidellau, and it’s been a long time coming. The view from the Travelers’ sand dune is magnificent, but those troublemaking slimeballs were more interested in constantly carping about having no water, getting shot and their kids being savaged by our devil dogs to appreciate it. It’s about time those moaning dormice shifted over to the sandblasted side of the dune so we humans can put up a few blocks of luxury flats on land that should have been ours years ago.”
I hope this change in policy doesn’t lead to more wet sand throwing by the Travelers’ kids. The Travelers will be short enough of space to live, let alone have enough room to bury the sniper victims.
You may recall that Llanaber is a member of a mutual defence organisation to protect us all from any expansionist ambitions from the aggressive village the other side of the mountain, Rufflotia. The Rufflotians have a reputation for pushing people off their property and ‘annexing’ the spoils to their village. As a deterrent all the villagers support the defence alliance, ‘together against Rufflotian Territory Stealing’ (TARTS). Each village pays in 2% of the turnover from the shops in their respective high streets, and has the two best fighters from each village get together once a year to practice running away from the Rufflotians.
TARTS has an overarching policy at its heart that if one village is attacked then it is an attack on all of them. This, to date has been a fundamental principle of the organisation and mandatory for members.
Where is this going? (I hear you cry).
It is this.
There is a tiny village the other side of the mountain called Montipython. Only one family lives in the village, ‘Evans the Screech,’ his wife and their fifteen children. The village parish boundary butts up against Rufflotia and for centuries the Rufflotians have viewed the Montipython land with an envious eye, but they have never dared make a move to push ‘Evans the Screech’ off his land for fear of reprisals from TARTS. (Are you keeping up?)
In addition, just so you know, ‘Evans the Screech’ is what I would call ‘a bit of a character’ and you would probably call a ‘crackpot.’
He runs around naked (except for a pair of UG boots) and paints his body blue. If he sees another human he points at him or her, then jumps up and down shouting, “I know where you live!”
Get to the bloody point (I hear you shout).
It is this.
‘Evans the Screech’ chips in his 2% every year on time and in full. It’s an easy ask as his village has only the one shop and that specialises sheep bi-products (artefacts made from compressed sheep dottle, hoof clippings lamp shades, and novelty condoms made from lambs’ wool). As there is next to no call for rubbish like this, the shop’s turnover is zero per annum, hence the Montipython parish’s TARTS subs are £nil.
I come to my point.
There was an extra-ordinary parish council meeting held this morning, called by the boss of the council, Mrs. Dorothy ‘Binky’ Trim. The sole purpose of the conflab was so that Mrs. T could ‘roll back’ on the pack of lies she vomited out during her press conference following her summit carousal with Putin Lotzadosh. You may recall I had to issue a ‘correction’ in the parish newsletter where I had to bludgeon in the letters ‘NT’ in appropriate places where I had been told so to do.
It wasn’t enough. There are still grumblings ‘in the ranks.’
So the earlier ‘correction’ has now been replaced with a brand new pack of lies. After the meeting I was instructed to print a ‘correction-correction’ in the village newsletter as follows:
‘Update: 19 July 2018
Subject: Trim – Putin Summit meeting:
Mrs. Trim’s recollection of the key points arising from the above has yet again changed. She believes she may have misspoken in the press conference following the meeting, and then may have misspoken again when she lied the second time. She now wishes to put the record straight once and for all (for now) as follows:
1. Mrs. T never went to the summit meeting.
2. If she did, then whilst there she was hypnotized by that rascal Putin to tell a pack of lies.
3. Putin beyond any shadow of a doubt interfered in the 2016 election in a failed attempt to get that old cow, Mrs. Clinton* elected. (*The lady that runs the card shop in the high street and Mrs. T’s rival candidate).
4. There are absolutely no secretly filmed ‘mucky’ DVDs of Mrs. Trim doing rude stuff with two male escorts called ‘Big Boy’ and ‘Wanger,’ who may or may not have been ‘caught short’ in a Rufflotian hotel bedroom with her in 2013, the room that the ex-council leader, Mr. Billy-Bob Bobbityboo stayed in. If there are any such DVDs, then they are fakes, especially the ones in the mechanical crane slot machine in Putin’s seafront arcade.
5. Montipython is a dottle-hole. Evans the Screech is a nut-job who pisses people off with his finger pointing, and deserves a good kicking. The Rufflotians are welcome to the dump. I wouldn’t lift a finger to help the Montipythonians if Putin’s lot threw Evans, his dog-ugly wife, and his unwashed loud-mouthed brats off their land and annexed the village to Rufflotia.’
I could see Mrs. T was making a desperate attempt with this news update to try and re-establish some credibility with the villagers following her bizarre and unbelievable lie-fest after the summit.
But where had point 5 come from?
It was a bolt from the blue. No one had even mentioned Montipython!
When I got home I ram myself an ice cold bath. As I slid into the ball-shrivelling water it hit me like a kick in the butt from one of Dai the Donkey’s scabby mules.
It was obvious.
Why had I not seen this coming?
This wasn’t Mrs. T talking. She was being manipulated by the puppet master himself, PUTIN!
The fundamental rule of TARTS that an attack against one is an attack against all would be broken. Point no. 5 would be the first step towards the complete break-up and destruction of TARTS, thus removing counter-balance and deterrent to the expansionist ambitions of the Rufflotians!
Why is this such a ‘big deal?’(I hear you cry). Montipython is a dottle-hole.
The domino effect!
At what point would Mrs. Trim release the two least wheezy soldiers from our defence troops (the stick it to ‘ems) to fight alongside the combined forces of the TARTS in open conflict with the Rufflotians?
The fall of Montipython?
Invasion of Spanibont?
The sacking of Druidellau?
When the Rufflotians are hammering on the Llanaber village gates? (Metaphorically speaking. The village doesn’t have gates).
I climbed out of the ice cold bath and rubbed myself dry with the dog’s blanket. My heart was heavy and I couldn’t find my genitals. I went to bed early contemplating all the wonders that living in a democracy brings but couldn’t sleep for fears that if I did I might wake and find it gone.
That’s it for now.
Photo by www.kremlin.ru || CC-BY-4.0 International