Westminsters civic dinner heading for bun-fight

Westminster City Council are to go ahead with their annual taxpayer funded civic dinner at the The Northumberland on Tuesday 9th March. It’s expected to cost the public £23,000 to provide a lavish menu for the 49 Conservative Councillors, who celebrate alongside invited lords, dukes, ambassadors and mayors in the Northumberlands’ recently refurbished ballroom.

But it seems as if invited guests will not be greeted with a warm welcome as the event attracts even more condemnation and disgust from critics. Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg Leader of Westminsters Labour Group said “Have they no sense of the public mood and the anger that many people feel about how some politicians have been taking public money for granted? Labour Councillors will be again boycotting this exclusive event. ” Councillor Dimoldenberg also pointed out that during the recent London freeze the Council could only find £17,000 for gritting, which left many of Westminster’s most vulnerable elderly residents at risk attempting to navigate along treacherous untreated pavements.

Union members have been sparked into action after Street Management Director Dean Ingledew laid out his ‘vision’ for the future for Westminster workers, which is a near 50% reduction in the workforce. Westminster Unison members have already withdrawn from voluntary tasks, and plan a rally outside City Hall at 6pm on the 22nd February. Unison are inviting any concerned residents and stakeholders to join their rally. Members of Unison also voted unanimously for a mass lobby outside the forthcoming civic dinner.

It looks as if this civic dinner will turn into another PR disaster for Westminster Council, as guests will have to negotiate some very angry protestors. Nutsville wonders if any guests will decide to do the right thing and give up their free meal, or will they throw out their morals and run a gauntlet of shame to get to their dead pheasant surprise.

Westminster Council claim the event is to reward those who have worked so hard for their fellow residents. But then why is the Council not shouting about the event if it’s so worthy? With not even one page on the councils website explaining to the residents just why a select few are to be favoured at taxpayer expense. When Nutsville telephoned the council for any information on the dinner there was no one available with any information, and we were advised to call The Nothumberland, as they might know more than the council do.

So much for open transparent Government.

Bun-fight - a grand formal party on an important occasion
A British slang expression, originating in the 19th century.
The allusion is to the Victorian children's nursery at teatime,
the children having tea, inevitably squabbling over the buns,
teacakes, muffins and crumpets. (Two similar expressions
relating to the latter two treats are known from the middle
of the 19th century: crumpet-scramble and muffin-worry;
these have not survived.)
...Interestingly, some of the early uses of bun-fight
(these days, also often bunfight) borrowed the idea
of afternoon tea in the nursery but left out the fighting:
 it could refer to the most decorous of engagements,
such as those one was invited to by elderly aunts
of the Wodehousian persuasion, at which squabbling
over food was inconceivable. Then, as now, a bun-fight
could more generally be any occasion at which food
was served, it often being a sarcastic term describing
rather formal ones for which guests had to dress up.

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6 Comments

CMCerFebruary 18th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Where did you get the picture of Frixos Tombolis?

This IS a PR cock up, WCC are pressing ahead with this highly contentious ‘gala’ event when everyone else is asked to fork out more money to the council (bike parking tax anyone?) and even some council workers losing jobs. And yet they go ahead and spend vast amounts of money on a lavish frippery for themselves and their pals.

Mr Dimoldenberg said it right, people have (and continue) to suffer for less than they are spending on getting their noses in the trough and dining people they want to impress (or press for cash more like). Oiling the wheels their industry to line their own pockets no doubt! Don’t whinge on about accusations of bribery either, I’m not the one being investigated for fraud WCC, you are.

The French had a fantastic revolution due to the actions of their, so called, ‘elite’ ignoring the poor and taking excess privileges. I can only live in hope!

1frogFebruary 18th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

The reason why they are going ahead with this “grande bouffe” is because their next meal at the taxpayers expense will be in prison where they belong or in Israel in the company of S.Porter.

JohnCFebruary 18th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

This is absolutely brilliant!
Its like Zoo TV!
If they cancel it will be a spectacular, unprecedented climbdown!
If they continue it will be a PR train wreck

I can’t wait!

David BoothroydFebruary 20th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

PS Did you know that Mr Creosote’s explosion from the original Monty Python film was actually filmed in the Porchester Hall – owned by Westminster City Council then and now? (If you watch the scene where the waiter leaves the building the camera shows a continuous shot down the stairs and out onto Porchester Road, across the pedestrian crossing and into Gloucester Terrace)

[...] shy creatures a few questions directly, why not pop along to The Northumberland on March the 9th (view here). Chalkley and his Councillor pals are attending a £23,000 tax payer funded <!– @page { [...]

[...] Councillors are still planning to go ahead with the lavish taxpayer funded civic dinner in two weeks [...]

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