Report by Little Jim Ladd (our countrywide reporter of the nation’s underbelly)
Jim Ladd is in a part of the country suffering from the randomness of excessive rain, and the arbitrariness of political expediency.
In the ironically named Somerset, there is a creature emerging from the depths of despair – a creature Loch Ness would franchise in no time – the entrepreneur. Seeing so much water in the village high streets, this quick thinker had an idea as resilient as a busybody. A modern day Noah, he has set up a boat service to ferry people from their homes to places above the water level, so they can get out and about.
He intends to build the vessels himself, being a skilled carpenter and architect. We’ve visited, waded to his workbench in Higher Firma and discussed his plans. “The local councils have been spending money like water on schemes to shore up otherwise failing private enterprise schemes which have had little or no impact on the communities.
So, in the light of this, I think these conditions will repeat, therefore something longer term needs to be put in place. I’ll make use of the business grant offered by the council and build small yet useful vessels that can help people get out and about when the weather gets biblical. There’ll be free wi-fi in every boat and a little generator in the larger boats for folks to recharge their mobiles, pads and the like.” Dick Pickle told us at length in his workshop, “The coalition is all at sea, so we have to arrange our own community services.” he added.
The financial well is dry apparently but this new situation is throwing up all sorts of entrepreneurialism: sandbag sellers have doubled; wellie sales have shot up and the geezer is walking tall on the profits; to the extent that he is thinking of floating his company on the stock market; the fishing club is taking in more casual members who are taking part from home.
Dick Pickle is also putting himself up for political office at the up and coming by-election, his party is called The Ooo Oar Party and intends to stand on the principles of looking after the interests of the local community, putting people before cuts in services “leave us all drowning” as Dick is keen to stress in his weekly meetings with the electorate. He was thinking of leafletting but he is worried that the wets on the council have put a dampener on the practice by their overuse of the letterbox as a means of persuading people of their intentions.
“People have stopped believing in the current crop of politcos and need a radical change of thinking. The Ooo Oar Party will deliver a sea change in local governance and if elected we will stop Westminster putting their oar in and do things our way for the benefit of all locals, regardless of their attire, educational background and dislike of seahorses in general. We will stand on a platform of reform, and one that is on stilts so that we can keep our heads above water, our political powder dry and capture the floating voter.”
He definitely has a vision and a workshop worthy of any biblical character with a penchant for carpentry. We left him merrily chipping away and whistling the chorus of the classic, “Down By The Riverside.”