Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Don Clegg to back no-Sicilian short-lists

Inner Circle meeting today Don Clegg raise difficult matter of Family diversity.

"Gentleman... er... and ladies we are not making progress fast enough. I have therefore decided to back Signor Vaz's call, and in principle support the idea that Capos, in all Families, may need to be chosen, if all else fails... er... on the basis of not being Sicilian."

"Isn't Signor Vaz the fat sleazebag who got suspended from the Labouristi for selling Family favours to his non-Sicilian mates and obstructing an investigation into it?" Ask Signor Baker looking rather cross.

"Er... yes... he has a bit of past... I grant you... however that doesn't on this occasion detract from the... er... general quality of the idea."

"No it'll be a nice little earner for him" mutter someone from back of the room

"So Don, how exactly is this going to work?" ask Signor Laws

"Er... well I think that's fairly obvious if you don't mind me saying so David... If you're not visibly Sicilian, you don't qualify. It doesn't apply to all vacancies, just those in areas where our clients are mostly not Sicilian, or at least a sizeable portion are not."

"But Don, we don't have any Capos in such areas?" he say

"Well precisely David." he say, eyes travelling up towards ceiling "That's why we're doing this"

"O.k... that's helpful Don, but just so we really understand this, I assume that non-Sicilian also means Jewish?"

"Er... clearly there are details to be ironed out..."

"Oh I see so if I get an enquiry about this from a Jewish cugine, I should tell him... or her... to wait until the Family has decided whether they're non-Sicilian enough to qualify?"

"Er... Er..."

"What's if they're only half-Jewish Don?"

"Well clearly in such a case whatever rule we had decided for fully-Jewish cugine would also apply?"

"Oh good, and if only a quarter, or what if they're non-practicing?"

"Well it might be necessary to appoint a vetting committee in such difficult cases."

"Excellent suggestion Don, and the purpose of this committee would presumably be to assess whether they looked visibly Jewish enough?"

"Er... Er... perhaps I should be clear this is primarily about people who clearly are not European looking to avoid all doubt."

"Marvellous Don, so we can presumably then exclude those unusual people who have one European parent, one non-European, but yet look European? Do Native Americans count? the Maronite Christians from the Lebanon?"

"Er... well again... maybe the committee..."

"And... forgive me if I'm being unhelpful.... however given we're picking territories for these short-lists based on how non-Sicilian people look, presumably exactly which communities do have large local presence might have some bearing on which groups get short-listed, or is it as crude as no-whites on the night but anything else goes?"


"Because forgive me for not entirely grasping the wisdom of this policy if it means we have Asian Capos like Signor Vaz's mates in Afro-Caribbean areas and a prospective Jewish Capo in Little Ealing. There are a number of inter-community sensitivities to consider that go a little beyond Sicilian or not."

"Er... that's very helpful David... if you'll excuse me I have to go and help Signor Paddick with his latest recruiting exercise."

"So are we having short-lists for men of honour who like men of honour as well?" mutter previous heckler from deepest recess of room... "what about fat Capos..." propose another "already covered down your way..." interject person behind me who I pretty sure sound like Signor Opik... "thick ones?"... "my point again stands"....

Don Clegg, never one for minor details of such inter-Family debates, has left the room... I think it not bad idea... but maybe not for Little Sicily...

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Mrs. Flinter and the General Obligation Board

It most upsetting day in Little Sicily today. Little Billy O'Scrote, local ragamuffin who run the numbers for me in the Slums, come running into Territory Office.

"Signor Liberali, Signor Liberali, must come quickly the Gobblers are snatching dad's house..."

"The Gobblers?"

"There's a strange glamourous lady on the street with a gang of of thugs who say they from the Labouristi General Obligation Board. They say they going to make our home disappear."

I very disturbed to hear that this happening on patch that command my protection so I gather the boys and head to Slums.

(And by 'boys' Signora Christie-Smith, I mean representative mix of men and women from different ethnic backgrounds, cultural traditions with varied attitudes towards inflicting grevious bodily harm on Labouristi. Have to excuse self on disabled-inclusion though, it not pretty sight last time we try that)

When we get there I see various members of community cowering in middle of street as Labouristi gather lighted firebrands and look as if preparing to throw through windows of their homes. Standing a little way off wearing a fur-trimmed white coat is lady Billy mention. Glamorous, but with cold dead eyes starring impassionately at terror she create. Remind me little of Don Brown.

She notice us and indicate to Gobblers to stop what doing and form protective cordon.

I indicate to caporegime to advance in line.

"What going on here and who are you?" I ask angrily. Lady come forward little way.

"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mrs. Flinter and I am here doing the work of the Authority. You have no right to interfere."

"I am 'the Authority' here, and you and your generally obnoxious board have precisely 30 seconds to start leaving or experience a widely diverse range of pain."

"But these people are unemployed. And according to their contracts with the Authority their homes are forfeit." She say waving some papers at me.

"Contracts?Billy? Mr. O'Scrote?"

A terrfied Mr. O'Scrote come forward. "It terrible Signor Liberali, they come round last year with contracts saying we must sign or others more deserving would have our homes."

"And you no tell me about this then?"

"They were quite insistent about the danger to our personal safety of mentioning this, what they called a trial run, to anyone not involved. Mrs. O'Scrote still has a limp. I try really hard to meet terms of contract, even get a job at bank call centre, not my fault it turn out to be Northern Rock."

I glower at Mrs. Flint. She smile unpleasantly.

"So this contract?" I say "It say family member must have job or lose their home".

"That right" she say beaming.

"Well Little Billy here work for me, as do all other kids on this street, in fact they all part of my cugine apprenticeship scheme. Today's on-job training is due to be health and safety demonstration of danger of using inflammable materials around unsuitable clothing. Your coat sure look protective, is it fireproof? Would we like to find out childr... I mean colleagues?"

She not smirking now. But expression change again to one of strange cold triumph.

"Mr. O'Scrote, may I congratulate your son on his entrepreneurship, the Authority will be pleased to learn that our persuasive programme has been a complete success. Do ensure you pay minimum wage to your new recruits Signor Liberali. I do hope that your business will not incur any sudden downturns that require me to return."

Several vans appear from nowhere and Mrs. Flinter and her thugs pile in, zooming off at high speed towards Westminster.

Grateful urchins crowed round, tears of gratitude in parent's eyes.

"When's payday" say Billy, as single unit they hold out hands.