Sitting in the boardroom, sipping the obligatory ‘locally-produced’ drinks, the Hereford Futures PR team leaf through George Osborne’s Big Book of Excuses to try and find a reason why the ESG won’t be ready for when they said it would (it doesn’t look good to admit good old-fashioned incompetence you know).
"Uh, because someone tripped in Widemarsh Street? No? Ok, because the Queen's coming?"
“Hmm, well we can’t blame the weather because it’s not been too bad lately. And the royal wedding’s been and gone,” says Jonathan Bretherton, chief blagger at Hereford Futures.
“We need something good … something really good. Ah, ‘Something Really Good’, page 254. Hey, ‘A Royal Engagement’! Yes, that’ll do. Hang on, we’ve got ‘An Olympic Engagement’ here too; we might as well have that one as well. Makes it more believable dunit?”
And with that, feeling very satisfied and only just slightly tipsy from the wonderful Chase vodka (hic), Jonathan Bretherton stumbles out of the boardroom and into the press conference.
“You do the talking, John.”
So leader of the council, John Jarvis, tries to keep a straight face as he tells the assembled audience of, err, Bill Tanner and some guy in sandals that the Edgar Street Grid project will now take another year to complete because of two one day events that don’t even visit the cattle market site.
“We don’t want Her Majesty walking on a building site or traffic delays when the torch comes through the city,” says John, smirking.
No, no, god forbid we should have any traffic problems in Hereford. And it would look so much more professional to show her maj round the dilapidated cattle market site instead. “One day, Ma’am, this’ll all be empty shops,” the guide will tell her. “Here, come and have a look round High Town, I’ll give you a sneak peak. Should only take half an hour to get there in your snazzy motor.”
Seriously, another year’s delay blamed on two one-day events? Do they think we’re all simple inbreds? (Well, yes, I think they do actually.)