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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"A Man With The Balls For The Job"

It's amazing what a bit of makeup can do for a girlSeveral people have asked me to publish more information about "the gorgeous, pouting Jessica". Well, I can't help there, I'm afraid. She must have been before my time - probably something to do with the days when Hackney had a zero star rating under a hung council brought about by the traitors who defected rather than close ranks with the rest of the Labour Group in the face of Trottergate. It's a popular name in Hackney, with some 113 Jessica's on the electoral register, not to mention the countless women named Jess or Jesse and many other Jessies.

So instead of wasting time trying to track her down, I'm doing something completely unrelated and publishing a note that was pushed through my letter-box yesterday afternoon by a grateful local single mum, praising our Great Local Leader Mr. Julian Pipeshaft CBE. It was clear to me when I read the New Year epistle that this woman is nothing if not completely genuine, despite having elected to maintain anonymity by pretending (illiterately, even by my standards) to be an East Anglian football manager.

"Dear Lukie,

I was so pleased to hear that Julian has at last been given the honour he so richly deserves. Like you, I've always been opposed to the honours system, especially when used by Tories to reward their cronies. But when the same scheme is administered by us it takes on a completely different mantle, of course. And who deserves reward more than Julian? Unflinchingly brave in the face of armed teenage thugs, controlling reasonable urges to smack lunatic geriatric black women in the teeth and showing talents worthy of Houdini when faced with difficulties at the ballot box.

I certainly never thought I would see Hackney Council officially described as "good" when I volunteered to step down from my job in order to give birth and look after my little one. Who would have thought it possible to get so many rich property developers to transform Hackney from a poverty hell-hole to one of London's most affluent boroughs in just a few years? Or to find sufficient private contractors with close links to the Audit Commission to convince them to upgrade the borough's standing so quickly?

It all seems such a long time since Millbank (in the days before Labour went bankrupt and the media and Tories moved in) sent you and your friends to Hackney to clear out the socialists. I was only a girl at the time, but I well remember the day when you proposed that nice, polite, nervous young man as the new CLP leader and he announced to the world: "F**king hell - it's the political equivalent of Apocalypse Now!" A few years later I remember sitting in the room in that big house off Lauriston Road thinking "Wow, I wonder who helped out with the mortgage?" and wondering what all the stuff about "envelope A" and "envelope B" was about. Oh, how the memories flood back.

As the years progress, my little one and I will have so many occasions to smile as we think of Julian up there - perched between the celebrity TV stars with their toy OBE and MBE gongs and the truly great and good with their GBEs and KBEs. One thing's for certain. When you chose him, you chose a man with the balls for the job. I can vouch for that.

Wishing you and the family a happy New Year,

Glyn Roader

PS: Could you please get someone from Hackney Homes to pop round and fix my leaky plumbing when they've got a spare minute? And I wouldn't mind some free loft insulation and a bit of left-over Axminster carpet if they could drop some off when they come."

Postscript: That was indeed a typo in the honours list that I published yesterday. Julian's award was for "services to local government" and the award to Leslie Phillips was for his performances as an upper-class letcher with the catch phrase "H-e-l-l-o!". Phillips (83) is married to ex-Bond actress Angela Scoular (61). Pipeshaft (age withheld) is single.


wan kin (socialist) said...

Julian Pipeshaft - single? Are you 'aving a larf?

Luke Akehurst said...

No I'm certainly not. And I'm sure I've got it right this time. You're not suggesting that Leslie Phillips is single and Julian Pipeshaft is a letcher, are you?

Clear Hardly said...

Dear Luke - I get confused with all these Jessicas. First there was the Jessica who sat on the Council's Urban Regeneration Committee in 2001 and voted to auction off all its properties in Broadway Market ; then there was the Jessica who spoke at the Broadway Market public meeting last year and blamed the chaos resulting from the sell-off on the "previous administration"; then I'm told there was another Jessica who climbed a slippery poll to get closer to the Mayor. It seems that everytime one Jessica disappears another one turns up. Curiously they all seem to look like the one in your picture.

Luke Akehurst said...

I expect all 113 Jessicas look pretty much the same (if not much the same pretty), with the exception of the black ones who are probably, er, non white.

I get ever so confused. When I said "single" earlier, perhaps I meant "singular".

lord london fields lido said...

is "climbed the slippery pole" a euphemism?

person who actually has the electoral register said...

126 actually

Luke Akehurst said...

Oh, that's typical. All those people in the Electoral Services office and they still can't manage to send me an up-to-date copy.

Couldn't email me the latest version in handy 10Mb chunks, could you?

Augusta Bracknell said...

lord london fields lido said...

is "climbed the slippery pole" a euphemism?

It's only a few days since Christmas. Don't demean a wonderful virgin birth with all this talk of KY jelly.

Jessica (no relation) said...

He said "slippery poll" not "slippery pole" - geddit. So KY jelly has nothin to do with it you foul minded dumbos.

Jesse (no relation) said...

I've heard of sauerkraut and borscht, but what's this jelly stuff that Poles are supposed to be into? And what's it got to do with the gorgeous, pouting Jessica?