Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wikileaks reveals Petersfield's ‘Bourbon war’

Nobody is quite sure how the information was leaked

Petersfield councillors came close to declaring war this year, it has been revealed by the Wikileaks organisation.

Hundreds of secret documents have been unveiled on the website, including a particularly nasty exchange over which type of biscuits should be provided for refreshment at council meetings.

The leaks reveal a simmering feud between lovers of Bourbon and enthusiasts of Rich Tea – with one rebel fighting the corner for Custard Creams.

The biscuit battle was finally won by the Rich Tea brigade (mainly because they’re cheaper) but a series of leaked emails show just how close the council came to raised voices.

Among the previously secret documents is an email from Tory councillor Freddie Ponsonby-Ponce saying: “I must declare my support for Rich Tea – to spend taxpayers’ money on a foreign Frog-Eyetie hybrid biscuit like the Bourbon is beyond the pale.”

But fellow Conservative Mrs Hilda Blenkinsop disagreed, as revealed in an email dated June 11. “How could we possibly opt for the Rich Tea?” she wrote. “It is fundamentally a working-class biscuit and, so I am told, is even dunked into tea by some of the uneducated masses. It’s simply not right for Petersfield.”

The solitary campaigner for the Custard Cream was Lib-Dem councillor Mr Arthur Uturn who sent in a video of himself signing a formal pledge in support of his favoured biscuit. However, it is understood he has since switched his vote in favour of the Rich Tea and says he “should have been more careful” before backing the Custard Cream.

“If I had really thought anyone would take any notice of anything I said, obviously I would have thought before I promised councillors the earth…well, a custard cream.”

Other Petersfield revelations on Wikileaks include:

• a series of quotes for a new squeedgy-mop at the Taro Leisure Centre

• a debate on whether to buy screw-in Christmas lights or the traditional bayonet kind for the council’s festive tree

• details of an expenses claim for 57p for a small carton milk for an unspecified purpose

• the fact that Arthur Uturn was referred to as “a bloody idiot” during a viewing of his Custard Cream signing video at a council committee meeting in May

• details of a bugged conversation between a member of one of the town’s leading amateur dramatic groups and a suspected crime boss over the possibility of reducing prices for the 1994 run of Kiss Me Kate to an affordable level

• how a diplomatic incident was narrowly avoided after the deputy mayor accused the mayor of Barentin of ‘smelling of garlic’ during an exchange visit; and

• plans to build an underground coffee bar and charity shop in Butser Hill in case of nuclear war

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