Monday, 29 October 2007

Ban the Mattanza

As one of few remaining Capos not declared for either the Carbonator or BabyDon, their entourages sure spend a lot of time trying to get my attention. On Saturday I sitting in cafe with Signors "Shameless" Huzzey and "Dr. Evil" Oakeshott who backing the Carbonator.

"The thing is Liberali", say Shameless "we need a Don with the vision to succeed and experience to lead. Signor Huhne, as you know has provided the Family with most of our best ideas of the last few years, and now he leading on bringing peace between the families by proposing we rule out any return to the Mattanza of the 1980s."

"What unilaterally?" I say

"Not exactly" interject Dr. Evil "Clearly we still need a deterrent of some kind. However the Mattanza is an outdated concept. The old war is over. We're no longer in a world of extremes. Today's threats are more nuanced. Would you like me to explain to you about nuanced threats Liberali?"

I thinking probably not.

"What Signor Oakeshott is saying" continue Shameless "is there's no point us mimicking Labouristi and Conseratvori. We need to be distinctive. The Mattanza threat no longer protects business like it used to. Only Signor Huhne has the strength of leadership to deliver a new solution."

"Well I sure think about it" I say, flicking notes on table as I head for exit

"Not for too long I hope Liberali..." mutter Dr. Evil "...the Mattanza has a way of catching up with you if you think about it too much."

Sunday I hanging around outside Cowley Printworks, missing Signora Campbell, my usual smoking partner, when I accosted by two of BabyDon's men, Nice Guy Ricky and Gavin "the Shadow" Grant.

"Liberali" say Ricky "smashing to see you, I was just to saying to Signor Clegg how super it would be if you could come and join us for a caramel macchiato soon. I've just been showing Gavin here how to find one on my wonderful new GPS Starbucks locator..."

"Yes it's a fucking delight." interrupt the Shadow "Anyhow we can't stop long we have some work to do on Signor Clegg's message to the Family. I'm thinking the 'United Territories Liberali Future' should be the over-arching theme... but don't let me bore you with my excessively technical communications jargon."

"You mean like old Signor Oaten fan-club?" I say "That sure brave decision given what happen to him."

"No Liberali" he say through gritted teeth "This is an entirely different proposition based on taking us out of our comfort zones and ending the inward looking naval-gazing."

Strangely these words do not dispel image of Signor Oaten's misfortune.

"For example" say Ricky, gently patting the Shadow on the forearm until he unclenches his fists, "This business with ruling out the use of the Mattanza. Signor Clegg agrees with that of course, but it can't be us acting alone. Real peace requires establishing multilateral agreement with our enemies. It's the easiest thing in the world to declare you're abandoning the old ways. Real leadership requires understanding how to deliver radical change, not just talking about it."

"And the ruthless punishment of traitors." conclude the Shadow "I sincerely hope you will not be giving us any grounds for suspecting your loyalty Liberali. Personally I'd welcome the opportunity to have a 'cause for' moment with some of the old lags, but perhaps it will not be necessary?"

"You can rely on me" I say dropping fag ash all over my shoes, before finding urgent need to be elsewhere, "I no want to experience Mattanza from anyone."

I sorely impressed by both camps ideas and powers of persuasion.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Save our local Badgers

We big problem today that distract attention from amicable big fun process to choose new Don of Liberali Family. Turn out Labouristi get wise to scam we running to ferry essential pharmaceutical products to deprived rural communities.

Initially scam seem like really good idea. I out with Capo 'Jolly' Roger Williams in Little Sicily one day enjoying selling his organic apple moonshine he bring in from Llandrindod Wells. I not remember much about that day but at some point we get to talking about risks of smuggling various things past Untouchables and what to do about it.

Lot of stray animals in Little Sicily, result of dog-fighting breeding programme gone wrong, so at some point we end up experimenting tying little parcels underneath them see if we can train them to deliver. It not work bad. Particularly pleased when they respond to commands to bite nosey men in uniform who get too curious.

Jolly though say to me:

"Liberali, we don't have so many dogs in RaddyBrek, but we sure got lot of badgers. I've been training them to deliver my Focus Threats for years... strikes me that while it's unaffordable to send cugine to sell special Family products to isolated rural villages and farmers, the badger-express could be just the ticket..."

So anyway rest history. We nearly thought game up four years ago when former top Labouristi enforcer in Wales Ron Davies reported to be watching for our badgers in motorway layby we sometimes used for reloading the parcels.

Happily it turn out he just cruising for rough sex with strangers.

Although sure gave some of boys a shock when the explanation offered for their own presence in layby - 'looking to strap a package on a badger', elicited quite an unexpected response from Signor Davies.

Anyhow now turn out that side-effect of national network of 'Liberali badger-express rural relief programme' appear to have infected half of cattle in Territories with TB, so public-spirited Labouristi currently considering auctioning rights to deal with problem to the assorted badger haters in the National Union of Mammal-Stranglers.

It not help much that old Capo for RaddyBrek Signor Livesey, now residing in Old Don's Home greet news by grabbing baseball bat and cheering "Let me at the stripy-rat buggers, I'll give'em what for, what"... but otherwise we united.

Besides I have great idea, we going to train badgers to vaccinate cattle, we call it National Badger Service Direct. That no work, well there always ferrets.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Don Liberali will not be standing for Don of Liberali

It with regret I announce that despite entreaties of fellow Capos and paesan in Little Sicily and wider Territories I will not be putting myself forward for Don of Liberali Family.

My decision have nothing to do with alleged rumour of offer of top job in inner circle of either Signor "BabyDon" Clegg or Signor "Carbonator" Huhne. I man of principle. And while I appreciate many paesan want more choice in competition. I old Liberali, I no like either choice or competition. So forget about it.

Further I just like to say I appreciate BabyDon and Carbonator's comments to me about wanting to move on from nasty image Family develop under previous Don. As sign of new way forward, Signor Huhne already release Signora Liberali from hospitality suite in Huhne-Cave, and Signor Clegg agree to unshackle me from radiator in Cowley Print-works. I grateful to both.

I sure whatever happen next Liberali Family will soon choose new Don, and no person or dog have to get hurt like bad old days under Don Thorpe.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Hancock's half hour

I with Capo 'KallKwik' Burstow, a Family enforcer, baby-sitting Capo Hancock today who appear to have gone slightly loopy-loo following Don Campbell vanishing act yesterday.

"It business not personal Mike," he say "only Don Cable has instructed me to ensure Capo Liberali hits you with this rather big stick every time you put foot in mouth about your colleagues... until you stop doing it."

"Ah ha... then you're one of them... oh yes you are..." say Capo Hancock

"And who is 'them' Mike?"

"The plotters, the filthy shits who bought down Don Camp..."


"I really not enjoy this Mike" I say

"They're conspiring in dark corners you know... whispering... lurking... smirking... bringing about our doom..."


"This hurt me more than it hurt you"

"I can see the black helicopters mummy... it's plotters in choppers... they're spinning in circles around meeee..."


"now I break old stick Mike, see what you've done"

"Yooouuu just hate the stick because it's old... what's wrong with an old stick... an old stick has just as much right to be a piece of wood as a sapling... now you're plotting against the stick..."


"Please try and concentrate Mike", say KallKwik "Don Campbell has just been on telephone to the Family talking about why paparazzi to blame for making his job impossible."


"Better, what are you not going to do tomorrow when we let you out of the basement?"


"An answer that will suffice for now. Thank-you Mike, please feel free to nibble the furniture while you contemplate Family discipline tonight."

I dispatched to go find new stick for tomorrow... just to be sure...

Don Campbell go missing

Well it pretty exciting today in Cowley Printworks. This afternoon I chatting with Signor Davey by windows in Boardroom when we see two masked men load a tarten carpet into van by door and drive off at high speed.

Hour or so later Singors Cable and Hughes call meeting of Family Capos and looking very grave announce to us Don Campbell decide to spend more time with Signora Campbell writing his Olympic memoirs. Signor Cable now acting Don until new Padrino emerge from Family ruthless elevation procedure.

Signor Cable say "The Don decided that rather than let speculation drag on for months he would take the honourable path of rolling up his duties and letting a younger man take the Family on to greater things. He doesn't want any phonecalls, and would prefer to left alone for a good long time to give you all space."

Old Don Kennedy add "How awful, I am sad, this is a truely miserable day for Liberali Family. My door is open should people wish to come and console themselves with me." He then get up and do little tap dance of woe out of room.

Signors Clegg and Huhne eye each other suspicously. Signor Webb is winking at Signor Hughes, and Signor Opik is winking at Signoras Kramer and Goldsworthy, but it making them uncomfortable.

"Who you backing Liberali" hiss Signor Oaten to me

"I backing whoever ask me to back them... Safest way to stay alive... Hooray for Don Cable", I shout.

We all cheer and file out to start plotting. It dark outside and I notice no Signora Campbell there to offer me friendly cigarette.

Seem ever so little bit colder than just few weeks ago.

I pull overcoat about me and dream of warm future.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

The gossips are revolting

I see lot of Signors Huhne and Clegg lately. Every time I in Cowley Printworks they make time to say ciao and ask me how Signora Liberali doing. Don Campbell meanwhile doing lots of scowling and growling about whiny, disloyal, grumpy paisan that should know better. He summon me and Signor Davey into basement bunker today.

"Right, I've had just about enough of this. You are my enforcers, what are you doing about stopping this whispering campaign?"

"Well technically Don Campbell," mutter Signor Davey "It's not a whispering campaign when the idiots are publishing websites called and setting up new associated organisations like the Liberali Campaign for Urgent Review of Euthanasia law. More like an open revolt really, albeit a small one we will soon crush in the usual way."

"Thank-you for that helpful analysis Davey" say the Don, clenching his fists "and why is it exactly that the usual crushing has not yet taken place?"

"Personally I blame the paparazzi." I say "They always down on us an we can't afford to wet their beaks in the same way as the Labouristi and Conservatori. It very easy for them to pick up on dissent in ranks and stir it up. You knock it down in one place and it soon up again in another."

"Yes again Liberali a scintillating insight, it does not though enlighten me as to why it is that Signor Hughes is not currently enjoying the magnificent sight of sunlight breaking on the gentle undulations of the Thames from the bottom of it."

"Well he not exactly called for you to go" I say "more made encouraging noises about how he looking forward to you showing your full potential. You know the same sort of thing you used to say about Don Kennedy."

He is glaring at me. "You must have a chat with Signora Campbell at some point soon Signor Liberali. She had to help Signor Clegg with his helpful communication skills recently."

"Padrino" interject Signor Davey "we will sort this out. The Family, in the main, do not like dissent in the ranks. No one wants another internal crisis at a time when both the other Families are breathing down our necks looking for weakness. Where local rumbles are actually kicking off we are holding our own and on occasion advancing. The fear in the Capos is what might happen in a wider conflagration when our resources are stretched thin. The best defence you have against that concern becoming dangerous is to continue to reform the Family. You must continue what you started."

"What I started... Signor Davey when you and the other Capo approached me and said 'Signor Campbell, the Don can't make today's Westminster rumble because he has a tummy ache... the Don has a strange virus again... the Don is singing about his ginger winkie on the roof of the Printworks... please help us... please lead the Family out of this crisis... I do not recall it being my instigation or a solo mission. A little loyalty and gratitude from your colleagues would not go amiss."

"You can count on us." I say "Only other day paparazzi call me up to put you down and I put him straight in no uncertain terms that we not be putting up with this for another 18 months."

Signor Davey and Signor Campbell giving me funny look. I think it time to leave and get to work on dissenters before Signora Campbell come to discussion. I going to see 'Shorty' Tall about dealing with the webweasels, apparently they all mental, or at least that what he tell me, so should be no problem getting them sectioned. All in a day work for the Don.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Capo di Capo Westminster rumble

Every week leading Capos of three Families come together in Westminster car park to yell insults at each other. We no like this tradition much as Liberali family always look little small against large packs of Labouristi and Conservatori. However all respect no violence tradition in confines of car park, so we know we safe.

All last month Don Brown been dropping hints that he going to start big rumble in the Territories. But now he back-down, shoulders little more stooped, smug grin not to big, and Labouristi not looking so clever.

"Is this the mighty Don Brown" yell Don Cameron "I'd heard the most fearsome Don in the Territories was going to be here tonight, but all I can see is Jimmie Krankie's dwarf brother and his gang of hermaphrodite groin lice. Is this the first man of honour in history to call off a rumble because he thought he'd get his suit creased?"

"I don't believe I need to dignify the ravings of a moon-faced cross-dressing show-girl with a response" respond Don Brown "Clearly the public have no appetite for war in this unprecedented era of peace under my leadership. Only last year you were the ma... half-man who promised to end the tired era of puppet-show punch-ups, yet this is yo..."

At this moment he is drowned out by Conservatori backing choir singing chorus of "Pack up your spine in your old kit bag and scowl, Gordy, scowl"

I nudge Don Campbell. "Go on Don, kick him when he down".

"Patience, Liberali, patience" say Don Campbell, "My cravat is not quite straight"

"And another thing" yell Don Cameron "when's he going to keep his promise to allow us all to wet our beaks on the changes to the great Euro-scam. He says it's not the same grift. It's as though Don Blair had never left." Colleague chip in "Show us your big clunking fist Gordina"

Don Brown turning distinctly crimson coloured, Signora Blears is hopping up and down like angry hamster with bladder problem.

"Would you both mind terribly not stealing our best swindles... please" say quiet voice of authority.

"Piss off baldy" hiss Signor 'bulging' Balls from nearby.

'Three cheers for Don Campbell' we all say as one. Then we all piss off. I not like this silly tradition much.

Monday, 8 October 2007


I sure drowsy today. Every time I try to go to sleep last night phone ring. When I pick it up robotic soulless female voice solemnly say

"This is a recorded message from the Labouristi. If you love Don Brown press one. If you think Don Cameron is hopeless press two. If you think Don Campbell is too old press three."

And so it go on.

Eventually I get so fed up I shout back

"Look, Signora Harman, I appreciate you mighty grateful to Don Brown for giving you job in call centre, but if you don't take me off your intimidation list I going to find way of making this phone connect with you permanently."

Line go silent for minute, with sound of uncomfortable shuffling on other end of phone, then go dead. I get no more calls that night. Thank goodness we never stoop so low.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Don Brown march courageously from sound of gunfire

Well I much relieved goomba this evening I must say. Two weeks ago Signor Rennard approach me in Little Sicily war-bunker for private chat.

"Liberali" he say "while Don Campbell may in public have being saying the Liberali Family are ready for whatever Don Brown and Don Cameron might throw at them after their seaside rumbles, the reality might be somewhat different."

"No kidding" I say "I being doing audit of Little Sicily regime and unless local Labouristi gang also happen to consist of 20 little old ladies with knitting needles, two criminal studies students, a 16 year-old RISO battery, and Signora Liberali's very hard stare, we not in great shape."

"Mmmm 20" he say "I couldn't borrow 10 of the little old ladies for Richmond could I?"

I practice Signora Liberali's hard stare.

"Are you constipated Signor Liberali?" he ask "Anyhow that's not why I'm here. No serious trouble is expected in Little Sicily when there are more tempting targets for our opponents elsewhere. What we need to do now is avoid a conflict rather than fight under-prepared."

"How we going to do that?"

"Well Don Brown, like Don Blair before him is very reliant on the gossip vine to tell him when and where to fight. Organised gossip monitors like YouSnitch and ISeeEm are regularly in and out of the Queen Street compound whispering in his ear. Currently we understand they're not entirely impressed by our fighting form or that of the Conservatoris. We need to impress upon them that this impression is false."

"How can a humble solider of the Don help?"

"We've found out where the gossip monitors gather some of their information... this is what I want you to do..."

So one week later I and my little old ladies are in a known Family haunt in Barbican Towers overlooking YouSnitch HQ with Signor Gove of the Conservatoris and a dozen spotty urchins from the local Conservatori Future chapter. The main room of the Base has large windows that are covered with thin drapes and every so often we send some of the team past the windows carrying cardboard cut-outs of large number of busy looking men of honour and oversized weapons.

This afternoon then we not so surprised to see Don Brown announce that he sees the wisdom of peace, and that although it is his fondest desire to rid the territories of the scourge of the Conservatori and Liberali families for ever, now is the time to let the big tent Family bed in.

Don Campbell has called him a big sissy-girl who not fit to run whelk stall let alone the United Territories. Or at least he due to say that until Signora Swinson point out that Liberali sissy-girl fraternity contain some of our most effective assassins and have notorious dislike of old-style Family language.

So no fanfare, no celebration, the only sound in Little Sicily this evening is that of knitting needles being sharpened.