The StirrerThe Stirrer

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

NEW PHARTZ! JUST LIKE THE OLD PHARTZ

26-04-2007

Thanks to a special sepia-tinted bye-law recently introduced into his part of Moseley, Laurence Inman does the time warp. Again.

I live on a blue route.

This was explained to me by my local councillor.

‘You live on a blue route,’ he said.

I think he meant this to reassure me. If I was ever the victim of crime, his reasoning seemed to suggest, a high-performance police car would be at my front door before you could say ‘crack-addict’ and the miscreant safely bundled away into the hollow depths of the prison system.

But it hasn’t worked out like that. I seem to live on the way to crimes, but not actually within visible proximity to them. Crime, to judge by the frequency with which screeching and whooping police Ferraris jet down my road, past the local primary school and over the 20 mph ‘traffic-calming’ bumps, always seems to be happening a bit further on, into what is clearly an unknown hinterland of savage lawlessness.

Either that or the Barn Lane Old Folks’ Home weekly tea-dance has degenerated into a broken-bottle fracas.

There is a rumour, which I regard as malicious and misguided, that the local plod only use their sirens when they’re a bit late for the pontoon school back at base.

I put this to Inspector Whopper of Kings Heath nick. He told me that ‘it would be unwise to believe such things.’ He went on: ‘In fact, failure to disbelieve them could have unfortunate and far-reaching consequences. Very unfortunate. And very far-reaching indeed.’

You know how they talk.

It’s refreshing, then, to learn that policing is conducted very differently elsewhere in the ward.

You may remember my article about ARSE (The Amesbury Road Social Experiment - check it out here).

Well, out of ARSE has emerged PHARTZ (The Park Hill/Amesbury Road Time Zone.) This is a new conservation scheme, the aim of which is to make life even more pleasant for the residents in that area, who have decided democratically that from now on it will always be 1928.

As everyone knows, the further back in time you go the better everything becomes. But only up to a point. And that point, according to those lucky enough to live in PHARTZ, is 1928.

There were hardly any cars. A soft early autumnal mist was always present. Only the doctor and the Head of the local Grammar School had phones. But before 1928 you started to have diphtheria, rickets, trench foot and the Black Death. Various groups of undesirables were creating a stink all over the place. The world was in a right mess.

PHARTZ will be like a breath of fresh air in local politics.

There’ll be nice, polite old-fashioned beat bobbies on every corner. They will do that leg-stretching thing the old-time coppers used to do, and greet promenading residents with a cheery ‘Evenin’ all’ or ‘Mind how you go.’

Any shifty looking oiks from the village will first be warned and thereafter given a jolly good cuff round the ear. If they still persist in not staying up their own end they will be arrested and marched down to the nick, where they will spend the night without any supper, before coming up before the beak in the morning, who will hand down a hefty fine of seven and six without the option, to which they will reply ‘It’s a fair cop guv, and no mistake.’

Mothers will wear floral aprons and greet their pink, beaming kids back from school with a plate of steaming toast spread with fresh Marmite. After dinner, with Daddy back from work, young Arthur will do his Maths homework and young Vera will help Mummy make a Victoria sponge cake with strawberry jam filling (only home-made, mind!)

Meanwhile, back in 2007, residents are calculating how much their house-price is rising each day and whoever it is in the Council House making all this possible is also….making calculations.

It doesn’t bother me. I’m looking forward to the boys in fluorescent yellow breaking the suburban street world land speed record. And I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to sleep now without the sound of midnight sirens.

So don’t forget. On May 3rd, vote for rich people and make them richer!

Leave a comment or raise new issues on The Stirrer message board.

©2006 The Stirrer