Mr P Badger tells a naughty lie part three
Hockle Droplets in the Civic
Come the time to apply for extensions we had to go before the City Council’s Licensing Committee in a boardroom at the Civic with our application.
Plod's boys were there & just before we went in, aware that we had ’broken ranks’ by putting in for later than 4am (though well within current UK law) his top badger pulled us to one side, near that bit in there, where that wooden sculpture version of Newcastle's skyline is displayed...
He then proceeded to get immediately & aggressively - right in our face...
The Claude squared right up to us, literally about an inch away from our nose..!
He wasn’t a small fella either & really angrily blurted out ‘This city shuts at 4 am & you’d better understand that Laddie..!!'
He was so, so close - a proper, intentional, intrusive, aggressive, invasion of personal space. It all happened so fast & he lunged right in, totally squaring up to us. He got so flippin' close, that as he ranted away, spluttering his words out...
Little droplets of his plod saliva landed right on us – yackka..!
We were quite surprised as we had seen that 70s cop show ‘The Sweeney’ before, but had no idea that acting plod in 2005 still took that seriously as a playbook.
We also knew it was a sure bet, that he never went around speaking to white Licensees like that. It was an 80s plod, clashes with the modern world classic...
Got a bit carried away with himself we reckon, as big, hard & forcefully aggressive, in legal & professional contexts, are rubbish, inappropriate & very juvenile looks. It's playground stuff & it pre-assumes (100% incorrectly in this case) that the person you are dealing with, will fear you & back down.
Think he thought he could simply intimidate us, into withdrawing our later application & scare us into settling for 4 am.
But this time, your boy Sweeney, had slavered on the wrong crew...
We simply kept it totally chill & replied that we weren’t in the least bit afraid of him & we would apply for whatever we liked, within the law.
Privately we were still really disappointed in ourselves, for walking out of the earlier council meeting. We'd been beating ourselves up about it since we did that, so had really taken time to ‘think all Harald’ & mentally prepare before this hearing. We knew it was going to be challenging & that cool heads perform better & win more. That’s a fact we all know for sure.
So even though he had aggressively & totally unexpectedly squared up to us, we stayed completely cool, which just made his trite, 70’s TV cop behaviour seem even more ludicrous & out of place.
He took it to the playground - but was in there all on his lonesome…
We laughed at him though, simply couldn't help it because he’d behaved so comically, like a total cliché. Man was he vexed..!
So, the gloves were properly off & battle lines drawn. Plod had raised a simple licensing matter, into a physical & threatening confrontation, inc. copious droplets of fat man saliva – game on.
Check the Opposition
Off we go into the licensing hearing & this was where the true comedy really began...
The cops wheeled out their standard old, grey, legal guy, who we’ve sparred with on numerous occasions in the past. Kids not the brightest spark to be honest, bit of a Claude really & it always amazed us, how we can go out & hire top notch legal counsel (yeah it costs a packet, but they do exist) yet plod, seems to always just use his 'jobbing' mate.
We’d seen him working several times before & each time he presented to us as being way behind the curve.
Check the Defence
We explained our pitch to the Committee. No trouble, longstanding licensees, off any main city center drinking routes, music led, independently owned, men on a mission, long history, catering to niche crowd, who don’t cross over with other places, blah, blah, blah...
All 100% true facts & perfectly valid reasons for them to consider, in deciding if they might grant WHQ Club (what was set to be) the latest ever license in the city.
Also flagged up that we were fully aware that the new laws now said, all premises had to be judged on their own individual merits. WHQ is a unique Club, we were a unique case & as you might expect, we put that case across very, very well.
Dig Dig Dig
Plod's boy argued that we were somehow trying to ‘pull the wool’ over the Council's eyes, were exactly like every other Club in the city & if we got a 5 am, the entire town would empty out at 3 am into WHQ & there would be massive kick offs.
He kept pushing this ‘nothing special about WHQ, all Newcastle Clubs are the same’ waffle.
He knew nothing about us, but we knew all about him & we just let him roll. On & on he went, 'These guys are just talking the talk, all the same, no difference, blah, blah, blah - death & vomit on the streets etc. etc.’
When he eventually ran out of breath, unbeknown to him, he was actually now standing deep in his own grave...
He looked up at us, clutching his personal shovel in one hand, as he grinned & patted himself on the back with the other. Honestly thinking he’d been fabulous & had it all in the bag - like a total, utter, Claude.
We are WHQ & we are used to being underestimated by the mainstream & we are used to fighting for what we believe in. We have done that constantly throughout our long history & guess what Claudie boy..?
When WHQ faces a potential battle - WHQ prepares...
Reality Bites the Liver
We now proceeded to systematically take him apart…
Our solicitor was fully briefed, we were all suited up, level headed & fluent.
Gravedigger Claude & chums were asked if they felt WHQ was the same as a certain nightclub of the time (now turned into flats) which we'll not name here. They all said 'Of course they are, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever'.
We then (as if by magic) produced a flyer for that Club, for an event they were staging in a month’s time. It was classic early 2000s lairy Newcastle & contained offers on stupidly discounted drinks & even had a call to arms of ‘Shit Your Liver Out..!!’ as tagline.
The graphics were shit too, our dog could have made a better flyer.
We gave copies to all the Licensing Committee & then followed that up with one of our classic 'concertina' flyers (one of which you can see in full in the section on publicity further on). The contrast between the two flyers could not have been starker.
Here’s just one face of ours so you can feel the groove…
We spoke clearly & graphically showed the Committee that we were not some charlatans, we did walk the walk as well as talk the talk, our Club was about way more than money, we never advertised alcohol & always led with music.
We also pointed out that plod had hardly ever even been in WHQ before, as we run a tight ship & had hardly ever had any trouble.
Claude was rapidly tumbling back into his grave, as we totally buried both him & his one dimensional attempt at his rubbish argument.
Game of Claudes
It got to the point where the two opposing flyers were held up & plod's crew were asked by a Committee member...
‘Can you really see no difference between the operating styles & publicity of these two premises..?’
Claude’s argument had been shattered. He suddenly looked like a 'White Walker,' stabbed in the ass by a dragon-glass todger. In an instant, right before our very eyes, his entire professional world imploded...
Never had any human being ever looked less in touch, with what he was meant to be peddling as his area of expertise.
Deep from within his self-dug grave, he now stood up all erect, on his tippie-toes, peeking over the edge, struggling to hold his ballerina posture just long enough, to see the looks on the Licensing Committee's faces…
‘Shit your Liver out..??!’
Game Over & No Doughnut
Game over, WHQ extension granted - Apes win again.
By now plod was seething - deeply, deeply, deeply, totally seething...
As we had no circular, baked, sugared goods to offer as a consolation prize, we simply tipped the wink to Sweeney spittle boy, on the way out. By this point he literally had steam coming out of his (now) bright red ears.
Now you would think that would be it wouldn’t you readers..?
Many people reading this, will probably know how we run WHQ & how friendly it is. Plod should honestly, simply have just let it go.
But he just couldn’t - egos had been bruised...
Sweeney’s aggressive stab at 80s ‘authority’ & Claude's lamentable, pre-school oratory, had both been comprehensively dismantled right in front of their very eyes, by four quite basic (though devastatingly effective) ingredients...
Intelligence, preparation, common sense & the law.
But, we all know plod & in-keeping with another much loved, comedy classic...