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Fuckees 1 Fuckeurs 0
This is how a tabloid newspaper would have covered Wednesday night's meeting: STONES CHIEF BLASTS “INSANE” COUNCILLOR Or perhaps: LEADER'S FURY AT TORY'S ZANU PF SLUR Which would be overdoing it slightly, although if your only information came from the anodyne press releases, barely recycled by local media outlets, you'd have no idea of what actually went on in the town hall before we actually got the result we needed. How did we get from a relatively minor fuck-up over a so-called “ransom strip” to accusations of insanity and (apparently unironic), comparisons to an African dictator with a body count in the region of 20,000? It's not as if the club faced an existential threat this time. It's not as if the current crop of councillors are even close to the shower of bastards that helped kill us in 1992. And it's not as if the club is being run by a megalomaniac anymore. One councillor even turned up in a Maidstone shirt. A number of them are genuine fans and even those that aren't interested recognise the economic and social impact it's had on the borough. (Translation: are fully aware of the dangers of committing electoral suicide given the volume of emails they'd received). This was a face-saving and arse-covering exercise, stretched out over an hour and 40 minutes that were nearly as tortuous as those we'd watched the previous evening. Everyone in the room knew there'd been a fuck up, but how to deal with “the fuck up” is a perennial political problem. For the fuckee the solution is simple. The fuckee is blameless, so has nothing to lose from the situation becoming unfucked. For the fucker (say it in a French style fuck-eur if it helps) on the other hand, there's an equation to consider. Is the embarrassment of admitting your fuck up and unfucking it greater than the risk of pretending the fuck-up never happened and blaming the fuckees for the consequences? The Council Leader, Fran Wilson, hinted at which side of the fuckeur-fuckee divide she occupied with her opening remarks, delivered with the tone of a 1980s Brunswick House dinner lady telling a terrified child to finish their goulash. “It isn't helpful if there's a great deal of noise, either cheering when things go the way some people want it to or alternatively hissing and booing.” That presumably included the noise caused by slicing a razor blade vertically downwards from the elbow to the wrist in a bid to release yourself from the despair induced by the meeting, although she didn't go into specifics. Cllr Boughton went first, saying he'd called the decision in because members were “not presented with the accurate position of Maidstone United Football Club,” at the previous meeting. Cllr Burton backed him. Cllr Naghi somewhat touchingly described Jay as “one of the best managers” in the world and then went over the origins of the fuck up. When he'd nearly finished Wilson tried to speed things up by repeatedly interrupting him, thereby delaying things by an extra minute. Having bitch-slapped her own party colleague for supposedly slowing everything down, she then allowed Officer Green to go on for what seemed like an eon but was actually around five minutes to say it wasn't … err ... actually a fuck up. Terry Casey, told he had exactly three minutes by Wilson, politely said well, actually it was a fuck up. The club told Greeno they couldn't accept leases, and he responded by … drawing up two leases. He described Green's remarks as “entirely misleading” and said it was equally misleading to claim the ransom strip was an integral part of the footpath. One solicitor said it was worth £500. Another said it was worth five large. ﷯ Cllr Adkinson spoke while wearing his replica shirt and brandishing a copy of an excellent book, available for just £10 from the club shop. He pointed out what everyone else knew: the land was useless to the council and if the shit ever did hit the metaphorical fan the planning process would be a more effective opponent to any nefarious property developer. (I paraphrase slightly). I doubt Greeno is actually a bad person, but he was given four and half uninterrupted minutes to reply, during which he said “err” approximately sixty times. It's easier to follow his remarks if you imagine them being read by Gareth Keenan from The Office: “The issue about the strategic nature of the land, errr … this is something that is covered in the policy...errr ...” At this point Wilson decided that the public would have to fuck off while they discussed "commercially sensitive" information, even though TC had already publicly quoted the rival land valuations.“Clayton” Blackmore, the former member for Bermuda West, suggested this might look slightly fucked up. Wilson asked the public to “understand” why she was telling them to fuck off, but didn't offer them a choice. And it was at this point that people began losing their shit. A Tory County Councillor, Paul Cooper, tweeted this: Brilliant, now the dictator running @maidstonebc uses the twitter account to profess her wisdom. Perhaps Fran Wilson has been taking lessons from ZanuPF And if you take a look at Paul's timeline you can see this may not have been #bantz. The Coopster then got into a ruck with the official MBC account, which replied: “It was felt that revisiting all history was not productive.” Note the use of the passive here: “It was felt.” And for the next 40 minutes the fuckeurs and the fuckees discussed how the fuckeurs could get out of there without looking like a congregation of imbeciles. When they emerged, the Envirotastic Cllr Tony Harwood spoke about being traumatised by the toilets at the Athletic Ground. He made a reasonable point about preventing JWW going the same way as London Road but then just seemed to lose it, rambling about the towpath and saying “I don't think we should start by saying this land is not strategic, well clearly it is.” Then the line that moved Oliver Ash to describe him as insane: “Hopefully the club will go on to bigger and better things and will outgrow the site ...” Tone seemed to be hoping the club would outgrow the site while simultaneously worrying about it doing so. How much bigger and better do you want after three promotions since the homecoming and a tenfold increase in attendances? Clayton jumped in with some transparently tactical self-deprication, saying “I must be an idiot,” although she concluded the sentence with, “because I don't like football,” rather than, “for thinking I'd get away with representing my constituents from Bermuda.” Then she made a point about it being a commercial transaction and you could see how a leasehold system that has so far proved an excellent means of redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich might appeal. By this time a 4-0 defeat to Boreham Wood was starting to seem like a fond memory but when it finally went to the vote it wasn't even close. The fuckees had won and the fuckeurs had been b-itch swiped. In 1992 a group of Tories, Labour and Lib Dem Councillors united to fuck us. In 2017, sane members of the same three parties united to stop us getting fucked. It might not be a great tabloid story, but in troubling geo-political times, if opponents can come together to stop an act of Kafka-esque shitgibbonry there may just be hope after all. What, too subtle?