Saturday, 30 June 2007

Dealing with traitors, the iron fist of Don Campbell

Don Campbell, Consigliore Kirkwood, Capo Davey and I sit in conference. Capo Davey is speaking.

"So let me get this straight, last week we were worried that some of our 'retired' button-men in the old hoods home were talking to Don Brown, and we made it clear to them that any step in that direction would result in the severest of penalties?"

Signor Kirkwood begin to stare up at the ceiling.

"Now, despite that warning we find two of the old lags, Neuberger and Lester are signed up to his 'panel of consigliores', and "whacker" Williams is thinking about it."

"So I ask you Don Campbell, what is the order? Can I summon Signor Laws perhaps to cash in their health insurance policies, Signor Rennard maybe to use them in his next targeting exercise? What is your wish Padrino?"

Signor Kirkwood has found something real interesting in window that captivate his attention.

"Capo Davey", say Don Campbell, "You are good solider. But I am your general. There is a time for war and a time for consolidation. At this moment we are weak. The Labouristi have a new Don and new regime. We need eyes and ears in that organisation and the Don has opened a door."

"Neuberger, Lester & Williams, paisan with whom I have spent many a dark night walking the territories, are no fools, but their cover must be convincing. Consequently I have ordered this night that Capo Teather be dispatched to 'educate' them. It will be a warning and Don Brown will feel that his plan is working."

Capo Davey look unconvinced, but mention of Capo Teather and 'education' seem to unsettle him.

"Your concern is welcome" say Signor Kirkwood, "The Don would have expected nothing less of you. But you will leave the insiders unmolested. Take Signor Liberali and work off your concern in Little Ealing. I understand the Conservatori have appointed a Bollywood playboy to control their operation and those shiney linen suits crease so easily."

"Thank-you both, don't let the Don detain you any further."

It is raining in Little Ealing, I miss Little Sicily.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Interview under caution

It funny thing. I walking down market street in Little Sicily, when all of sudden, screech of tires, blue lights, and I is pulled into back of car that take off at high speed.

Either side of me sit two gentleman. One in uniform introduce himself as Inspector Blair, the other who wear big overcoat and low brimmed hat he introduce as former-Inspector Stevens.

"Liberali" say Inspector Blair, "naturally we hate to detain you on such a lovely day, but it has come to our attention that there was a little trouble in Little Brixton the other day. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that would you?"

"Signor Blair, I am simple businessman of modest ambition and means, what interest would I have in affairs outside Little Sicily?"

"Cut the crap Liberali" interject Signor Stevens "We are watching you, and your colleagues, and we have friends who don't take kindly to trouble in their projects."


"Let's just say... I have a friend... a friend who doesn't like rival businessmen importing goods on his territory. Let us say he has an international security problem and has retained my services to ensure it doesn't become a domestic one. "

"If there were such domestic trouble... he might get very angry. He might call me, and I might call my friend Inspector Blair... who in turn might feel the need to visit you and your colleagues. Is that understood Liberali?"

Car is feeling very stuffy and my mouth very dry. He go on...

"I know what you're thinking Liberali, you're thinking, I'm just a businessman, with my own friends. What can Inspector Blair do to me?, I have rights."

"Maybe you do... maybe you don't Liberali. Maybe my friend is so powerful that some of those rights can just disappear. You remember that gang of Afghanis who tried to cause trouble the other year?... you do?... oh good... where do you think they are right now?"

Part of me think it smart at this point to indicate at least a couple are down Streatham-way running kebab and BBQ shop. Good boys, only other week helped us shift a stock of gas-cylindars that fell off back of lorry. Also buy my cousin's old Mercedes cash-in-hand. But Signor Stevens no look like he up for chit-chat.

"There are some very unpleasant places in parts of the world Liberali. Places where there are no juries, no friends of your Don, and nothing to remind you of Little Sicily. These of course are not places that social people have to worry about Liberali, so I do hope you and your friends are not thinking of being anti-social?"

At that moment Inspector Blair get call on radio, apparently some big ding-dong going down near Piccadilly.

"Out you get Liberali, something important has come up. I hope though that Signor Steven's little chat has been instructive and we will not be meeting again soon?"

"Grazie Signors" I yell as they throw me in gutter.

I feel strong urge to go buy kebab, very troubling day.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Stop the cuts

I am nervous man today, Don Campbell has summoned me to see Signor Norman "Beast" Lamb, our Capo responsible for drugs rackets in the united territories.

Beast have fearsome reputation. A couple of years back a small bookstore owner with friends in the Conservatori Family, Signor Dale, attempt to set up a franchise on his turf. We no know exactly what happen, however soon after Capo Lamb visit his shop, apparently to 'buy the latest Harry Potter', Signor Dale disappear from Upper Norfolk Street, only to reappear a few months later with his own TV station that every night plays a coded apology to Signor Lamb for any disrespect. The bookstore mysteriously burned to the ground.

So I is summoned into Beast's Office. He is sitting facing the window.

"Ah good morning Liberali, good of you to visit me", he say.

"Good morning Bea... I mean Signor Lamb, how can I be of service to you today?" I reply

"Tell me Liberali, are you nervous man, a man who is easily shaken perhaps?"

"Er... no", I lie.

"I am glad Liberali, so I take it that single bead of sweat on your forehead I see glinting in the reflection of my window is due to the thick fibres of the suit you recently procured from... I would say British Home Stores."

"Yes I say", feeling several more beads of sweat forming, some in more uncomfortable places than forehead.

"Well, one should always buy Italian. No one likes to look at an SOS from BHS. Later you will go to Don Campbell's tailor and smarten up I think. Now though we have business to take care of."

"Grazie Signor Lamb."

"We have a little difficulty to attend to in our pharmaceutical business, Liberali, I need you to follow me and listen while I explain."

We walk out of office, down to back entrance to the Cowley print-works, and start making our way towards Little Brixton.

"An elderly lady came to me last week and she said, 'Signor Lamb, Signor Lamb, woe is me'. Calm yourself, I said, what is the problem we can take of?"

'Signor Lamb, I have much trouble with back and knee for many years. For many years I use your friends to provide me with special cigarettes that relieve my pain. Signor Beveridge always give me good deal, sometimes free at point of smoke. But when he pass on, his business taken over by Labouristi thugs who start cutting the weed, firing chemists, and forcing crazy sales targets on the dealers. Now cigarettes no good, I in so much pain Signor Lamb, will you help me?'

"I said to the lady, I am a reasonable man, I feel your pain, we will take care of this business for you."

"That is what we do today Liberali. And you will take what we do today to run similar campaigns against Labouristi in other parts of the united territories."

Now I really nervous, Labouristi been embedded in drugs rackets for long time and they no pussy-cats. However Beast seem confident.

Soon we in Little Brixton and we see the Labouristi Patsy Hewitt crew hanging around outside their special cigarette cafe making the chit-chat with punters.

"Wait here" say Signor Lamb.

He walk over to cafe and engage with one of the crew.

"buon giorno", he say "I am representative of your customers and have some proposals you will listen to." The punk look at puzzled. One of his colleagues I think recognise Beast, turn white, and start shuffling away. He regretfully trip backwards over my foot.

"We like you to stop the cutting our drugs" say Beast, punk look unconvinced

"We'd like you to cut the waste." he reiterate, punk seem to start experiencing dawn of realisation.

"Just give us back our drugs, bastardo!" scream Beast as he grabs punk and throw him through window.

What follow all rather unpleasant, suffice to say we have new business in Little Brixton and no one see Patsy Hewitt's crew round here no more.

I off now to teach Signor Lamb's persuasive techniques to other members of the Family.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Rattling the Enemy

So after I see Signor Gove for vino yesterday, I wander to our legitimate printing business on Cowley Street to see how Don Campbell and the boys are enjoying the Conservatori's new trouble.

From distance though I hear strange noise like slow machine-gun fire. It o.k. though. When I sneak around back I see Signors Davey and Rennard with the crew out doing something odd with little sticks and metal poles, while Don Campbell look on with approval.

"Ah Liberali" he say, when he see my puzzled expression. "When you've quite finished lubricating your interesting friendships with Don Cameron's wardrobe advisors, perhaps you could deign to join us in training for our new strategy for keeping him and Don Brown out of our businesses?"

"Of course Don Campbell" I say, "er... what exactly is it that we're doing?"

"Well I would have thought that was obvious. The Dons are not patient men like me, they get irritated at the slightest thing. So what we're going to do is send the boys out to run up and down the railings outside their businesses with these sticks until they get so annoyed that they come out and do something foolish. The Untouchables will then move in and shut them down for us... We take over when the noise is off.... I am calling it operation Cage Rattle... It is brilliant no?"

Before I can answer I hear Signora Elspeth yell from building "Meznies, it's time for your afternoon nap, come inside at once and tell the boys to stop making that bloody racket.". The Don raises his arms in victorious resignation and leaves the courtyard.

Signor Davey does not look happy again. "Put the bastards in a cage and shake them up I said to the Consigliore. How did we up with a plan involving little sticks?". He storm off and Signor Rennard has that far-off look in his eyes that suggest the question not require an answer.

I decide it maybe good time for vino again. Little stick make good noise if I line up enough bottles.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Pinstriped Assassin

So I'm sitting out on the piazza in downtown Millbank enjoying vino with Signor Gove of the Conservatori, and I say to him "So Gove you pretty smug now I think, you think new Don Brown is weak and maybe 'Hollywood' Cameron can move in on his turf."

And he say to me "Liberali, it only matter of time. The associates in Little England, they grow tired of the Labouristi and their demands for protection payments. We are reasonable men, we offer same level of protection, but for lower payments. Provided the businesses keep thriving, it no problem, we call it the threat dividend."

At that moment something funny happen, From Westminster we see Don Cameron's chauffer-driven convertible pull out of the Parliament speak-easy and come towards Millbank. From the river we see the immaculately pinstriped form of Conservatori Capo Quentin Davies strolling towards the road swinging his Mapin & Webb umbrella.

This is odd I think it no raining. I why I see Don Brown's blacked out limo parked near the bridge.

Don Cameron see Signor Davies and gives him his famous windmill wave. Suddenly Davies leap into the road and thrust his brolly towards the Don, screaming "Die, you vacuous Euro-hating, celebrity-loving, flip-flopping, puffball".

It a lot of words. Maybe a shorter speech and his brolly not end up embedded in the folding bicycle rusting in the other passenger seat. Everyone so shocked they not know what to do, giving Signor Davies time to run to the river and leap into waiting car that speed off towards Queen Street.

"Nice brolly" I say to Signor Gove. He seem strangely quiet with twitchy left-eye. Maybe vino no good.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Iraq, forget about it

I see the new Labouristi Underboss 'Hatchet' Harman is in trouble with the men of honour already. Apparently she make comments to the effect that the whole 'Persian Oil' thing was all a bit regrettable which do not please Don Blair. He have to remind her he still a few days from retirement by signing up her bambinos to the Family business in Basra.

So suddenly she remember it great idea after all. "What I actually said was the Bushi Family are people who deserve our respect. Obviously it not great we couldn't find the Hussein Family stockpile, but hey we got the oil subsidy, what's the beef?".

And the she go on "And when I said those Hollywood Dons and their smooth-talking ways were bringing unwelcome publicity to the Families, what I of course meant was Mr Director, I'm a'ready for my close-up."

Don Blair is most pleased with his protégé.

Don Brown names Underboss

The regime change at the Labouristi family progresses brutally with the appointment of 'Hatchet' Harman as Underboss to Don Brown.

I confess not to understand the ways of our rivals. The Underboss of our own organisation, Vince 'Letter Opener' Cable was appointed by Don Campbell. It is a simple thing and avoids any unnecessary unpleasantness.

In the Labouristi candidates must lean on their Union contacts. The one who promises the most favours and skim for the Don is the winner.

Fortunately for Hatchet her main squeeze is the Don's banker Jack 'What Loans' Dromey. A man of some influence. His teamsters were ultimately more than a match for the main contender Alan 'the Postman' Johnson and his gang of telephonists and newsboys.

It's quite a comeback for Hatchet. Don Blair sent her for a nice long holiday after messing up the payment of favours in the projects in 1998. She later came back to act as liaison to the Labouristi's suitcases, but she was not expected to advance under Don Brown. Letter Opener will no doubt be looking forward to their next encounter.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Is the Don a Catholic?

So I see Don Blair of the Labouristi is being retired. We know this coming for a long time, but we superstitious people, "If the corpse is twitching, it's still alive" as my old Caporegime Signor Cyril Smith used to say to me.

Don Blair has been a talented operator for the Labouristi, although he never cause us much trouble. The Conservatori family who used to control the united territories were largely wiped out by him in the infamous St. Mandelson Day Massacre in 1997.

It not go so well for him since then though. His alliance with the Bushi Family and protecting their investments in Persian Oil have upset a lot of the old moustache petes. Paying for it by putting the squeeze on the cugines and allievi with the whole 'tuition fees' racket, has not been so fine with the young turks.

So we not so surprised that now is looking to God for protection from the wrath of new Don Brown.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

We no deal

So Don Campbell he say to me, "Don Brown of the Labouristi, he wants to set up a meeting. Important things to discuss. Make it happen."

I think Don Brown, he is reasonable man, he knows good business, maybe he want to talk about making the peace on the constitution for the Families. We send Consigliore Kirkwood as hostage, they send Capo Balls. No problem.

So the Don he have his meeting and he come out looking pale. I say "Don Campbell how was business?". He say "Don Brown he wants old Don Ashdown to be his new advisor in Irishtown".

I laugh, I say "He crazy, we no fall for that old trick!"

He give me withering look like old Scottish pickpocket who do business in wrong territory. "I said I'd think about for 36 hours."

So later that night I'm at the Liberali Club with some associates. Good vino and I maybe talk a little too much. I no see filthy papparazzi from Guardian hanging out at the bar. Big mistake for me, big mistake for them, I take of care of that business another time I think.

Don Campbell though he no Hollywood Don, he like to stay out of the limelight, so he not pleased to see his secret meeting all over morning papers. Capo Davey he have grim expression on face like man who want to do business with Don Brown right there and then.

I off hook though, my paisan been talking to all kind of papparazzi all day and leak could have come from anyone. Don Campbell though, he have no choice now, no deals.

The ancient enmity between the Liberali and Labouristi family is back on and old Don Ashdown he find a nice copy of Wittgenstein and a feather in his bed this morning. He knows to which family he owes his loyalty.

We no take the insult lying down either, we going to make some trouble for Labouristi family in little Ealing where the rackets look ripe for take-over. Capo Khabra he sleeps with the fishes tonight. You don't cross Don Campbell.