…or perhaps I should address her in her preferred manner: “62 year-old grandmother Heather Joyce”. Coupled with a much-stressed humble Hirwaun upbringing, it’s a formula that establishes her folksiness, age, gender and sexuality in one fell swoop – entirely uninformative and irrelevant, but graspable concepts for the Echo. OK, I’ll try my best…sensitive readers click away now…
Congratulations sweetheart; Labour have swept back to power in Cardiff, making an amazing 32 gains, winning 46 of the 75 seats and securing a comfortable outright majority – and you, precious, are the new leader of the Council. Let me give you some advice and guidance, my lovely, one Llanrumneyite to another – no, you can have your nap later.
Now listen, I’m relaxed about your inability to put a coherent sentence together, I couldn’t care less that you’ve never organised anything bigger than a litter-pick in Ball Road, and I’m thrilled that you’ve had decades of doing nothing since your last spell of economic activity – a stint on the cheese counter at the Trecynon Co-op way back in the days when you still had all your own teeth. As a revolutionary Marxist longing for the overthrow of global capitalism, I reckon you’re going to be a really useful tool turtledove. Oh yes, you’re a breath of fresh air nana: at last we’ve got someone running Cardiff who doesn’t have to pretend they know their arse from their elbow. Anyhow, what’s a £1billion annual budget to a bint who can persuade Alun Michael to wear a torso-hugging white t-shirt on Rumney Rec? All I’d say dearie is don’t sign it all over too quickly to Michael Michael (no relation; so good they named him twice).
You got off to a flier by downgrading the office of Lord Mayor and replacing it with two new, high salary posts of Chair and Deputy Chair reserved for Labour only. Who needs all that silly flummery anyway? Ahh, the common touch, you’ve either got it or you haven’t; if you could bottle it missus you’d make a fortune. You must use this early momentum before your honeymoon period ends and you’re as loathed as all your predecessors babooshka. I’ve got an idea for you to ponder next time you’re getting your roots done at Serenity Hair Design. I don’t know about you doll, but I’ve never heard one person in the queue at Speroni’s Fish Bar ever say “Cardiff needs ski-jumps, snow centres, ice-rinks, whitewater slalom courses, speculative offices, vacant hotel rooms, buy-to-let apartment blocks and loads more upmarket shops.” Some though do grumble about the 20,000 homeless, the despoiled environment, the dead-end low-paid jobs, the threadbare local amenities, the inadequate transport system, the privatised public realm, and the all-round poverty and dilapidation that we’re not supposed to mention because we’ve got a John Lewis. Just a thought – there may be votes in it puss. Go easy on that Bristol Cream tinkerbell – it ain’t pop.
A word of warning cabbage: you’ve issued official pictures in which you’re so painted, coiffed (would you call that colour Satsuma?), shoulder-padded, gauzed, airbrushed, sandblasted, re-engineered and thoroughly photoshopped that you look like the Minsky’s drag act on a wet Wednesday. I do hope you’re not going to get airs and graces petal: some of us can remember when your lot were taking in washing. Don’t let the chains of office delude you darling. It’s always been a Labour frailty, ditching class loyalty the moment there’s a salary hike. It’s a mug’s game Heth. Not persuaded? Beginning to enjoy the Mansion House, the luncheons, the minions, the chauffeur, the luncheons, the £70k a year (+ expenses) and the luncheons? I’ve got to convince you to stay, umm, earthy. Ok, this should do it. Rearrange the following two words into a well-known Awful Warning: Kinnock. Neil. Ah, that’s better, at last I’m getting through to you.
Next honey – and this is really important so can you please stop strip-waxing for a few moments – you will notice a scary, pock-marked, bug-eyed man continually whispering unhinged voodoo economics into your shell-like. Whatever he says, do the precise opposite. You’ll be alright girl.
By the way, light of my life, I’m already loving how you’ve injected surreal humour into the job. That was the trouble with Rodney Berman, he only smiled when the Cardiff Post wanted a photo – and even then his civil partner had to insert a strategic finger up his bum. We need levity! And you sure provided it with your cabinet appointments petunia. Making a Mr Goodway head of finance and economic development indeed, you tease! The man who led the 140 year-old Cardiff Chamber of Commerce to liquidation after just a couple of years in charge, the guy who enabled the biggest housing boom-to-bust in any UK city, the Ely eel who couldn’t run the proverbial whelk-stall – brilliant! And giving your old mucker Ralph Cook planning and transport is a masterstroke: he’ll rewrite the Local Development Plan in no time and then it will be sweet revenge on all those suburban Tories who never vote for you when their posh greenbelt is covered in concrete: that’ll teach ’em! (While we’re on the topic, sugar pie, get Cookie to shift the bus stops round so it’s the loaded Cyncoed merry widows who have the longest trek from the malls rather than the exhausted Trowbridge shoplifters). Then you’ve got another Cook (Richard, related) running childrens services, obligingly setting up a future one-liner for my blog about too many cooks spoiling the broth – which I promise to use gorgeous just as soon as your adminstration makes its 10th major balls-up in the next week or two. And you’re looking to the future, you modernist minx you, by putting newbie councillor Luke Holland in charge of adult services. The boy’s risen without a trace – entirely due to talent, I hasten to add, and nothing whatsoever to do with his ex-councillor parents keeping their Splott fiefdom in the family (us socialists being against nepotism and the hereditary principle, natch), and certainly not because he’s your press officer. No, no, it’s down to sheer merit that he’s now trousering £22k for the cabinet post + £11k as a councillor (+ expenses). He’ll go far, you mark my words Supernan.
Incidentally, blossom, I’m sorry to go on about money but can you sort something out for us ordinary Cardiffians who get dragged through the courts if we fall a couple of months behind with the Council tax? Remember 2004 when Labour were kicked out of office in ignominy after some councillors refused to repay overpaid allowances? Wouldn’t it be an inspiring symbol of your commitment to fairness and decency sister if you could get at least some of that money repaid? Oh…you can’t remember the names and it was all a very long time ago? Not to worry grandmama, the list of those who are still councillors is readily available. I expect you’ll be arranging the repayments shortly, being such a Good Woman – and, as a lot of your cabinet’s on the list, it shouldn’t be too inconvenient for you moppet: you can go round the conference table on your mobility scooter!
One more thing hen: if that smooth-talking Goodwage ever suggests, say, I dunno, a trip to the clinic for a little liposuction so you don’t cause a total eclipse of the sun when you’re laying the foundation stone at some International Business Park or other – say NO and stick to your guns. It will be a cunning plot to have you surgically transformed into a glove puppet.
Pob hwyl (that’s Welsh pet, I’ll explain another time), loves you,