The mayor of a provincial British town is refusing to resign, despite council workers staging what has been described in the local press as a ‘military coup’. “They’ve effectively placed him under ‘house arrest’ – his driveway is blocked by council gritters. When he has tried to exit his property on foot, he has been forced back inside by a cohort of broom wielding street sweepers,” says Norman Cluck, political correspondent of the East Brackley Pig Breeders Weekly, describing the extraordinary scenes unfolding at the home of East Brackley mayor Dick Bleat. “My sources have told me that his attempts to get police assistance have proven fruitless, with the local force claiming that a lack of resources due to budget cuts means that they can’t respond to non-emergency calls. Right now, the streets of East Brackley are being patrolled by lollipop men and women, parking wardens and park attendants. Local residents are reporting a significant decline in criminal activity already!” The rebellious council workers are demanding the immediate resignation of the so called ‘Nightmare Mayor’ and, according to Cluck, seem to have the support of residents who, it seems, have become weary of Dick Bleat’s alleged misconduct since his election last year.
Bleat, who claims to model himself on his political heroes, President Duterte of the Philippines and US President Donald Trump, has become notorious in the local press for his tough policies toward those breaking council by laws. “He’s encouraged council workers to take a ‘hard line’ against miscreants,” explains Cluck. “Whilst most of them have resisted Bleat’s policies, the out sourced refuse collection department has embraced them wholeheartedly, even to the extent of forming ‘hit squads’ targeting repeat offenders.” What had once been considered minor infringements which, at worst, might result in small fine, but usually just a stern letter, were suddenly attracting severe retaliatory action. “Look, I know that you are aren’t meant to fill the wheelie bins to the point that the lid won’t close, but was I supposed to do? My household produces a lot of waste and those jobsworths at the council wouldn’t let me have another one,” says East Brackley resident John Barke. “So my bins were often overflowing and sometimes I had to stack bin bags next to them – did that really justify this bunch of bastard bin collectors coming round and depositing the contents of their bin lorry into my garden? It was bloody horrendous – the kind of things people put in their bins! There was rotting food, soiled nappies, dog crap – the stench was disgusting and three of my children became seriously ill! When I complained, they came back and threw a full wheelie bin through my living room window! They said I’d wanted an extra bin, now I had one. It was outrageous – this isn’t what I pay my council tax for!”
Cluck’s newspaper has uncovered many similar stories. “People dropping litter in the street were getting pelted with with empty drink cans and plastic bottles, then forced to clear the whole lot up by gangs of refuse collectors,” he claims. “A couple of alleged repeat offenders had whole bins emptied over their heads and one guy was followed home by a dustcart and had his car filled full of rubbish.” Failure to recycle properly also attracted drastic reprisals. “I once put some tin cans in the black bin rather than the green bin,” recalls forty nine year old Joseph Mews. “Instead of just refusing to empty it, as they usually would, the bastards set fire to both bins! The fire spead to my garage and I was bloody lucky not to lose the whole house!” Failure to clear up after dogs fouling public spaces appeared to be the worst offence, with one careless dog owner having the front of his house pelted with canine excrement, whilst another, a seventy six year old grandmother, found dog mess being posted through her letter box. “Well, she suspected it was actually human excrement – one of her neighbours allegedly saw a refuse collector with his arse up against her letter box, trousers around his ankles and straining so hard his face was red,” says Cluck. “The thing was, she didn’t even have a dog – it seems to have been a case of mistaken identity.
Indeed, this wouldn’t be the only case of mistaken identity, with another resident, who had a gang of bin men urinate through his letter box, denying that he had himself urinated in public after a night out at the pub. “It was bloody disgusting – I had to take up the whole hall carpet and burn it. The floor boards underneath are still stained,” says thirty six year old Bob Squeak. “I wouldn’t mind, but it wasn’t me who pissed all over the front steps of the town hall. For one thing I don’t drink and for another, I was already locked up in the cells at the police station having been arrested at a protest against the mayor’s fascistic policies!” Squeak has further claimed that witnesses to the attack on his house have told him that Mayor Bleat himself was one of the pissers involved. “To be honest, this isn’t surprising,” reveals Cluck. “In fact, Mayor Bleat has often boasted of his personal involvement with his hit squads – he once claimed to have thrown someone out of a moving council van because he’d seen him letting his dog piss against a lamppost. He said that he only regretted that he hadn’t had a helicopter like President Duterte to throw the guy out of!”
But finally, it seems, the people of East Brackley have grown tired of Mayor Bleat’s reign of terror and he has found himself besieged by his own workers. “It’s the same old story – they were all happy to support him when it seemed that only ‘other people’ were being targeted, the obvious rule breakers who had previously been getting away with anti social behaviour. But then they found that they were also in the sights of Bleat’s hit squads: middle class home owners who thought it was OK to ignore what they saw as ‘minor’ rules which didn’t apply to them,” opines Cluck. “Then there was his plan to build a wall between East and West Brackley, to stop the denizen’s of West Brackley’s sink estates coming to more prosperous East Brackley to rob us blind. They all cheered that on – until they realised that it would mean that their supply of domestic cleaners and cheap labour would dry up. Then they decided he was the ‘Nightmare Mayor’ and had to go!” Despite having been expelled from the local Conservative Party, Bleat remains defiant in the face of the coup by his own workers. Widely expected to announce his resignation to a reporter from BBC Radio Brackley, who had been allowed into the mayor’s house by the rebellious council workers, Bleat instead used the interview to announce his intention to see out his full term as mayor, threatening those conspiring against him with dire consequences and higher council tax.