Catwoman Returns…

Wahey, Kitty Ussher‘s back with another puff piece in the Graun (from last Friday – and curiously enough, not on Comment Is Free where us plebs can get at her via the comments boxes)

And what’s Kitty got to say for herself this time? Well, looks rather like she’s taking a line from the immortal Yosser Hughes…

Let us have a go

Message to the Labour party leadership: if you’re tired and have run out of steam, let the next generation of MPs take over

Right, so after ‘New Labour’ it’s going to be ‘New Labour: The Next Generation’ which I guess means that Kitty’s making the play for the job of touchy-feely dark-haired Greek totty in in skin-tight mini-dress (how many fucking hypens is that that?) and not the still-pretty-fit-for-an-older-single-parent doctor role – anything to the avoid the alternatively of taking on of the expendable-underling-in-the-red-jumpsuit who dies in the first ten minutes of the episode jobs.

One slight problem here – Redwood’s still a Tory so we’re completely fucked for the android…

There’s something changing within the internal dynamic of the Labour party at the moment.

What was my majority again, last time out? About 5,800 on a 10% drop in the share of the vote and with an independent and the BNP scoring nearly 10,000 votes between them – ohhhhhhhhh shit!

Its natural for leaders at the top to begin to look – and perhaps even feel – a bit tired and jaded after a decade of hard and important work.

Bunch of washed-up tossers, the lot of you!

But as time goes on it is also becoming increasingly clear that there are bright and capable people waiting on the fringes who are ready to refresh and renew the policy-making process.

Like me, for instance!

For starters, there are the 40 Labour MPs elected for the first time to parliament only a year ago – three-quarters of whom are women – but it goes beyond that.

But lets not forget while we’re on the subject -that I’m new and I look a bit like Heather Graham in that Jack the Ripper film with Johhny Depp in it – now how fucking cool is that!

There are some new junior ministers, and some others well capable of being them, bursting with ideas, and with loads of experience and capacity.

And they’re just dying to get shot of you old bastards and give me a job…

And it’s a network of people that certainly doesn’t want to be in opposition.

You’re fucking things up for us, aren’t you – and we’re not going to like that… Who said ‘Midwich Cuckoos’? I’ll fucking get you for that, I will!

We’re in politics to change things, not sit around for decades talking till the cows come home about the theoretical possibility of putting a grand vision into practice while someone else gets on with running the country.

Look, what do I have to do to get a decent job around here – fuck Prescott?

I’ve already had to put up with working for Patricia Hewitt for fuck’s sake, what more do you want?

So here’s the message for the bosses: if you’re tired, run out of steam, had enough, we’ll have a go.

Gizza job. Go on, giz it. I can do that!

Don’t give it up to the other lot; look around you instead.

Weeeeeee’re Heeeeeerrre – whooo-hooo!

Labour can renew in government because Labour still has the people hungry for government, and the responsibility and opportunity to effect change.

And didn’t I hear that Dorneywood’s still going after that business with the croquet? Fuck it, I’m not too proud, I’ll take it.

Meanwhile, back home in the constituency, there’s been a bit of rumbling.

That’s the first and tast time I invite Prescott round for lunch – phewwww!

Since I last wrote, we’ve lost control of the council. Previously a minority Labour administration, we lost five seats at the local elections and its now a minority Liberal/Tory administration.

Look, I’m really in the shit here, guys!

One of the first things the new administration did was to annoy the 400-odd minicab and taxi drivers in town over the way new licences are being introduced sufficiently for them to go on strike for six days.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

They’ve gone back now but not without causing some serious inconvenience for both night-time revellers and the elderly and disabled, who rely on minicabs to get around.

What’s the world coming to when you can’t get a cab home after a night on the piss, I ask you!

However, what goes around comes around. Little did the cabbies know when they went on strike that this would prove a tad inconvenient for the new leader of the council, various officers and other local civil servants and community representatives when they realised on Sunday that their booked minibus to take them to a conference wasn’t going to be turning up.

And I’ve got the distibutor cap and spark plugs to prove it, too!

A hasty ring-round eventually produced a scab cab from nearby Nelson, but the owners – being best mates with all the Burnley drivers – didn’t want to be identified so sent an unrecognisable clapped-out old minibus and insisted on meeting the group down a side street.

"On the national express there’s a jolly hostess, selling crisps and teeeeea
She’ll provide you with drinks and theatrical winks, for a sky-high feeeeeeeeeee

Ba ba ba-bah, baaaa ba ba-bah…"

Whaddya mean sing the next bit? No I’m really not keen on that line about the size of her arse.

No, definitely not – now would you put that fucking mirror away, you’ll give me a complex…

Unfortunately, the minibus then broke down on the M60, which meant that the whole group had to sit on the hard shoulder and await rescue.

Amazing what happens when you bung the driver a pony…

For some reason negotiations between the council and the drivers’ representatives took on a new urgency after that.

Stitched the fuckers up good and proper, eh?

It’s now five years since the so-called "disturbances" that saw violence between whites and Asians erupt onto Burnley’s streets, and we marked the anniversary last week with a conference of civic leaders and a report on the challenges faced by the town.

Never look a freebie in the mouth, that’s what I alwys say…

I think to some extent we have learnt from the whole experience, in that there are now religious, civic and community leaders from all backgrounds in Burnley who have thought about issues relating to race and segregation in a way they hadn’t before. If heads were previously in the sand, they are starting to be pulled out.

Well they might have – I wasn’t anywhere near here at the time so it’s fuck all to do with me.

But I also think that we have an extremely long way to go before differences in our cultures and backgrounds are universally accepted and understood in a way that everyone feels comfortable with their own identity while accepting the right of others to be different.

Couldn’t understand a fucking word that Muslim guy was saying and I don’t think he was two impressed when I called him ‘Gunga Din’ and tried to order two chicken tikka massalas with poppadoms and mango chutney.

Never mind…

There’s still a lot of fear out there, on both sides. And it takes a brave person to reach out through that fear to listen to those that seem to threaten them by their very existence.

Got my arse out of town and back to the London flat as soon as we’d finished lunch, I did – too many of the fuckers wearing baggy tops and carrying rucksacks for my comfort…

But every time someone reaches out to someone else from a different background a little thread is connected across a divide. And as the number of threads grows, gradually a strong fabric will be weaved in our town that can withstand anything that life throws at it.

Ahhhh, isn’t that sweet. I’m really proud of that, even if I did get it out of one of those posh greetings cards they seel at Harrods.

Who knew you could pop in there and get a ‘Sorry about your fatwa’ card?

In the meantime, I am confronting my own personal demons by training for a fun run. I’m going to do the 3.5-mile ladies-only "race for life" on July 9.

And I’m never, ever, playing spin the bottle with the office staff, again – sadistic bunch of bastards…

It’s been carefully set up so that I have no escape. It’s in the constituency and I’ve told everyone that I’m going to do it.

Yeah right – I told everyone -sure, and that fucking leaflet the constituency secretary stuck out without telling me had absolutely fuck all to do with. Sure, it did, thank you very fucking much!!!

And there, we’ll leave Kitty to her musings on life, the universe and a ministerial salary…