It is an incident that could bring down the British establishment, and exactly in the spot where the celebrated meeting between Lord Mandelson, the British Chancellor George Osborne and their Russian oligarch chum took place. Well, actually, in the small bay of Agni, on Corfu’s beautiful north-western coast, it was not at Agni’s apparently now overated and slightly suspect restaurant, where the previous transgressors are said to have set foot on shore from ‘that boat’, but right next door, at the very nice eatery of Toula’s. If Greece faces further economic storms, with troubled Albania just a ten minute boat drift away, there could be few places more symbolic of what is happening economically in Greece and Europe, and how the ‘them’ and ‘us’ differentials are becoming so great and so potentially destructive too.
Just around the headland is one of the home’s of Italy’s Fiat motorcar dynasty, the Agnellis, and a short boat putter further on the Rothschilds also decamp in Corfu’s chic Kensington on Sea. At Kalami was ‘The White House’, the home of Lawrence Durrell and his wife, eponimised as simply N in his little travel book about the island, “Prospero’s Cell“. It was at pleasant Toula’s though that one of England’s finest circuit judges came to err so badly. The charming judge M, a scholar and gentleman, (well, certainly a gentleman), is from the very London court that hit the headlines recently because of the murderous discovery of unexplained traces of ammonia and phosphates in the kitchens, which in the legal campaign for plain English is a euphemism for some disgusting Caliban peeing in the food, to take a silent revenge on those bumbling wigs of power and justice.
But at lunchtime Toula’s weighty matters of British economic and foreign policy were not being discussed, nor the current state of the Lib-Con alliance, but instead, as the sparkling sun burned on the water, the said judge picked up a gun and shot one of the diners in the back. In fact he had been doing it for several minutes. The weapon was described by forensic experts as ‘a low calibre plastic water pistol’, that belonged to Phoenix Ark Press’s enchanting god-daughter, also called M and currently aged four. She had been distracted from her stewardship of the weapon by the sudden appearance of a plate of souvlaki and chips. So effective was the judge’s trajectory though, as he squirted a standing female client from the end of his table, spurred on by the beautiful, giggling S, that she turned in total fury and spat an incandescent rage at the startled, sunburnt and deeply apologetic member of the UK judiciary. Not since the notably liberal judge has had to impose a twenty year stretch on some of London’s nastier offenders has such a look of total innocence lighted on his roseate features, as he put the gun down and lifted a pair of mea culpa hands to heaven, prompting one diner to remark cruelly that the combined mental age of both the UK bench and the British cabinet is currently only five. The good judge avoided a custodial sentence, is currently resting, and will be back in the saddle soon, tanned but austere, and armed with a paintball gun to correct the great unwashed.