FREE COMPETITION - WIN A DUAL WINE PRESENTATION BOX FOR CHRISTMAS!
The following playlet entitled "Liberty and Justice meet Hubris and Nemesis" is an imagined account of events surrounding the upcoming Crown Court trial of Liberty GB representative Tim Burton, accused of 'Religiously Aggravated Harassment' of one Fiyaz Mughal, professional Muslim and head of Tell Mama, an organisation of ill-repute.
To enter our competition, all you have to do is write your own alternative version of the ending, or of any act or scene in the play. Submit to Liberty GB at firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 23rd December. The lucky winner will earn an honourable mention on the Liberty GB website and an exclusive dual wine presentation box.
There is no charge to enter, however - if you care about freedom of speech in this country, please donate whatever you can to Tim's Legal Defence Fund here:
Liberty and Justice meet Hubris and Nemesis
A play by 'Follow the Cat'
Act 1, Scene 1:
Tell Mama's UK offices, London, England.
The camera pans across a peaceful scene reminiscent of an old Dickensian kitchen. A large roast pig is slowly turning on a spit above an open fire in a hearth. Two obviously Muslim gentlemen, Abdul and Muhammad, both with big bushy black beards, white pyjamas and little white hats, are sitting back in their chairs by the fire with their feet up on a dilapidated kitchen table. Muhammad is reading The Guardian, while Abdul is engrossed in What Virgin magazine.
Muhammad: I see that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is in trouble again. Apparently he was caught by the Tower Hamlets Girls' Choir doing something unspeakable with his pet goat during their rendition of "Amazing Grace" at City Hall.
Abdul: It's very sad, Muhammad. Everyone seems to have a pet goat these days but us. I know that it is a great honour working for His Munificence Fiyaz Mughal, the omniscient and omnipotent Mendacious Grievance-Mongering Taqiyya-Artist-in-Chief here at Tell Mama UK, and we should be grateful that the Border Agency has been handsomely paid to look the other way regarding our immigration status, but we miss out on so much when we only earn two pounds an hour.
Muhammad: You do know old Fizzy is up in court today, right?
Abdul: Inshallah, Muhammad, Inshallah. Allah works in mysterious ways. He may yet bring the entire courtroom tumbling to the ground with his mighty hand, causing the infidels to flee in terror, and Fizzy our beloved leader (peace be upon him) will emerge from the ruins triumphant and victorious with nary a cut upon his porky little body. That will show those puny infidels who is boss around here.
Muhammad: Oh, don't start, Abdul. You can be so annoying sometimes. What I meant was that if he didn't come back for any reason, such as - for example - an unaccountable mix-up in the paperwork, this entire set-up would be ours.
Abdul: You mean this office building and everything in it, with panoramic views conveniently overlooking the sewage processing plant? Where on a clear day you can see the sparkling diversity of effluent from all the multicultural drains of London? And all these ancient antiquities gleaned from the Kasbahs of the Orient, the dynasties of Persia and Byzantium, and the Streatham Common Flea Market?
Muhammad: The very same, Abdul. It's prime London real estate, worth a fortune. And we might even get a few bob for this old rubbish. (Taps table leg affectionately.)
Abdul: Do you think it would include the aging yet fully functional fax machine on top of the Welsh dresser? Perhaps - Inshallah - the recently purloined defibrillator liberated from the clutches of the Infidel Health Service? And what about Fizzy's entire secret stash of French pornography? I do like that set of saucy Louis XIV lithographs.
Muhammad: Indeed. Not to mention the fleet of company bicycles and the arrangement with Fortnum & Mason for the complementary barbecued and spit-roasted pig on Tuesdays - oh and perhaps even the entire contents of the Tell Mama UK bank account.
Both men fall silent for a moment in contemplation. The fax machine whirrs into life.
Muhammad: That'll be Catstrangler101. The paperwork's good to go.
Abdul: All praises to Allah, the Most High, the Most Mighty, and the Most Glorious! May he smite all the fingertips from his enemies, and may he assail their buttocks with infernal pointy toasting forks! Alhamdulillah!
Muhammad: Oh, do shut up, Abdul.
Act 1, Scene 2:
A London courtroom, complete with judge, jury, prosecution and defence lawyers, an usher, and the clerk of the court.
The public gallery is full of Liberty GB supporters for the most part, with the exception of one obviously Muslim gentleman who seems somewhat uncomfortable and keeps looking around nervously. He is holding up a sign saying "Justice for Fizzy Bollocks".
The jury is made up from some of London's finest upstanding citizens, including a bespectacled middle-aged taxi driver, a young barista from Starbucks still in her uniform, a Cockney lad in his twenties carrying a bag of jellied eels, two City types with rolled-up newspapers and bowler hats and two Muslim women wearing niqabs. Two people of colour who are dead ringers for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West sit next to a bored looking housewife who is knitting what looks like to be a pair of mittens. A man with a cheery round face is wearing a smock and a floppy hat and carrying a pitchfork, while another man similarly attired is carrying an old-fashioned torch, which although not fully aflame, from time to time emits a malodorous plume of smoke.
Catstrangler101 sits at the back of the court, his face as enigmatic as that of an Egyptian sphinx who has recently been unjustly accused of a hate crime against other sphinxes.
Judge: Bring in the prisoner, Fiyaz Mughal!
Enter Fiyaz Mughal, flanked by two burly prison officers. He is escorted to the dock.
Fiyaz Mughal: (agitated) No, wait! You've got it all wrong! I'm the good guy here! (Points at Catstrangler101.) This is your doing! I know it!
(The camera pans to Catstrangler101 who is smiling enigmatically.)
Judge: Silence in court! Now, let's see - ah yes, there appears to be a mix-up in the papers. Mr Mughal is in fact a witness for the prosecution. Release him! Please stand over here, Mr Mughal.
Fiyaz Mughal shakes himself free of the prison officers' grip and strides, somewhat indignantly, to the witness stand. The Clerk of the Court scribbles frantically on the back of an envelope.
Judge: I trust that there will be no more mix-ups of this nature?
Clerk of the Court: (looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a combine harvester) Um, ah ... no, M'Lud. I don't know how that happened.
(Catstrangler101 continues to smile enigmatically from the back of the court.)
Clerk of the Court: Mr Mughal, please state your full name and address for the court.
Fiyaz Mughal: Must I?
Clerk of the Court: Yes, you must. Is there a problem?
Fiyaz Mughal: I am Fiyaz Genghis McScooterpipe Mughal, of Tell Mama House, London.
(There is a barely suppressed snorting sound from the public gallery.)
Judge: Silence in court!
Clerk of the Court: Genghis McScooterpipe?
Fiyaz Mughal: My great grandmother hailed from Glasgow. They are a rough lot in Glasgow, I can tell you.
Clerk of the Court: How do you wish to swear?
Fiyaz Mughal: On the Koran. I am a Muslim.
Judge: Very well. Mr Cholmondely-Warner, you may begin your case for the prosecution.
Prosecution Lawyer: Thank you, My Lord. (Reads from papers) Now then, Mr Mughal. You are the owner of a seedy emporium in Soho that specialises in whips, handcuffs, nipple clamps and other bondage equipment, with a royal dispensation to supply members of the aristocracy, are you not?
Fiyaz Mughal: (spluttering) No I'm not! I am the director of a highly respected charitable organisation that helps poor, traumatised, victimised Muslims to obtain justice when they have been abused by racist, bigoted Islamophobes like Catstrangler101 over there! (Points furiously) I've got an OBE you know! Pinned to my chest by Her Majesty the Queen! You can't treat me like this!
Prosecution lawyer: (Reads papers more carefully) Ah yes, there appears to have been another mix-up in the papers. (To the judge) I'm sorry, M'Lud. The papers were only delivered to the court this morning by the courier service. Felix Justice Couriers, I believe. I'll have a word with them later.
Catstrangler101 studies his fingernails nonchalantly. This is going to be an interesting day out.
Act 1, Scene 3:
Anjem's Koffee and Kebab Shop, a downmarket dining establishment in London, just around the corner from the Tell Mama offices.
Mr Choudhary, the owner, is cleaning the tables. In the corner, two women in burkas sit at one of the tables, forlornly trying to poke forkfuls of chicken kebab into their mouths through the finely meshed cloth over their faces. In the other corner sit three swarthy, bearded men, wreathed in clouds of smoke, taking turns to inhale from a giant hookah set upon the centre of the table.
The shop doorbell rings out merrily. Enter Abdul and Muhammad.
Mr Choudhary: Alhamdulillah, look what the cat's dragged in! If it isn't two of London's finest mendacious grievance-mongers, come to see what an honest day's work looks like!
Muhammad: Oh, very funny, Anjem. So how's business in this flea-pit of yours? Still ripping off the customers left, right and centre?
Mr Choudhary: Well, you know what they say about business, boys. Even if it's not so good, it's still good. I can't complain - the coffee and kebab trade is ticking along nicely, and over the past few months we've had a nice little sideline in trafficking teenage girls. There's one in the back room at the moment. I could set up an appointment to view her if you'd like.
Muhammad: Thanks very much, Anjem, but I think we'll decline your offer. (Glares at Abdul, who looks as though he has different ideas) We have to be thinking of our elevated status these days, and trafficking teenage girls would not sit well with our new employer.
Mr Choudhary: Oh, yes, I heard about that - working for Old Fizzy Bollocks at Tell Mama UK, aren't you? What's it like working there? Are you still acting as tea boys - chai-wallahs - for the pompous git?
Muhammad: (self-importantly) Indeed not, Anjem. We are no longer chai-wallahs - we have very responsible jobs in the IT and Communications Division. Abdul here is the Junior Abusive Email Handling Officer, and as for myself (draws himself up to his full height) I am the Senior Abusive Email Handling Officer.
Abdul: But we still make the tea, don't we, Muhammad? Father always said that serving tea was the most important thing that we were ever likely to do in life.
Muhammad: Yes, well - father never had the chance to work for a prestigious employer in London, did he? He spent his career collecting goat dung in the fields of Afghanistan, and promotion was dependent on how well you got on with the goat.
Mr Choudhary: I hear there's some sort of important court case going on today - the rumours have been circulating for months that Fizzy has bitten off more than he can chew, and not for the first time. It sounds like Catstrangler101's going to kick his arse again.
Muhammad: Of course we are all praying to Allah that our employer will prevail against the perfidious infidel - but just in case he doesn't, Abdul here has a cunning plan, don't you Abdul?
Abdul: I do?
Muhammad: Yes, Abdul, you do. Your plan is to mount a coup with military precision and take over the premises, the furniture, the bank accounts, and Fizzy's secret stash of French pornography. Of course, if the coup fails, then as coup planner you will meet a horrible and excruciating death, but I'm sure you'll agree that it will be a small price to pay for the chance of restoring the family fortunes.
Abdul: (looking slightly surprised) Um - Yes, of course.
Mr Choudhary: That sounds like an excellent plan, Abdul. I think this calls for coffee and kebabs all round. My treat, boys.
Muhammad and Mr Choudhary smile broadly at each other. Abdul still looks slightly dubious.
Act 1, Scene 4:
The London courtroom. The prosecution lawyer has finally got his act together.
Prosecution Lawyer: So, Mr Mughal, during March of this year, your organisation placed a job advertisement on its website, didn't it? Soliciting responses for the job of caseworker? That would be a perfectly respectable course of action for an expanding organisation that works tirelessly for the public good.
Fiyaz Mughal: That's right. We needed someone who could guide our poor, traumatised, victimised Muslim brothers into making lots of spurious complaints, in order to increase our well-deserved public funding.
Prosecution Lawyer: And on the 4th April this year, your organisation received an unbelievably abusive email from Catstrangler101, did it not? He was enquiring about employment within your organisation, was he not? When you had that email passed to you by your work colleagues, how did it make you feel?
Fiyaz Mughal: It was terrible. He referred to me as "Fizzy Bollocks" - which I understand is a colloquial name for a medical condition suffered by helicopter pilots. I felt instantly nauseous, as though I had eaten a particularly unpleasant slice of non-halal bacon from Waitrose. My insides turned to jelly. I am ashamed to say this, but I soiled the expensive new boxer shorts that my wife had bought me for Ramadan. The world started spinning around my head, I clutched my chest, unable to breathe, and lost my balance. Fortunately, I collapsed head-first into a pile of pre-printed complaint forms that we keep on hand to save our Muslim brothers from having to write them out themselves. My heart was pounding nineteen to the dozen, and it was only the intervention of my work colleagues armed with a top-of-the-range NHS-supplied defibrillator that kept me from pushing up the daisies.
Catstrangler101, still sitting at the back of the courtroom, rolls his eyes theatrically.
Prosecution Lawyer: So it would be fair to say that this was a particularly nasty case of harassment and intimidation? You must have felt extremely threatened, alarmed, harassed, distressed and intimidated, fearing for your life and the lives of all you hold dear? Not to mention the offensive tone of the email and the insulting and demeaning comments you had to endure?
Fiyaz Mughal: Oh indeed, all of those things and more. I thought I would never see my prized collection of budgerigars again. The contents of my well-filled wallet flashed before my eyes, and I could hear Allah calling me as if from afar. "Oh Fizzy", he seemed to be saying, "it is time to shuffle off this mortal coil, come and see the latest consignment of nubile virgins we have for you." It was indescribably devastating. Well, apart from the prospect of the nubile virgins, obviously.
Prosecution Lawyer: And what did you do then?
Fiyaz Mughal: Well, after I had been helped to my feet by my work colleagues, and after I had partaken of the half-bottle of French Brandy (that we keep on hand for medicinal purposes only of course) I instructed that a forceful missive be issued to Catstrangler101, who I believe to be the very devil incarnate, or at least one of his acolytes, placed on Earth by Satan and his infernal minions specifically to torment me. (Wails) Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me! What have I ever done to upset anyone? (sobs into a delicate lace handkerchief).
Prosecution Lawyer: Quite so. And did Catstrangler101 heed this forceful missive? A Cease and Desist letter, wasn't it? Issued by your highly paid attorney with the full force of the law behind it, backed up with dire legal penalties for non-compliance?
Fiyaz Mughal: (recovering) Um, actually no. I decided that it wasn't worth bothering my highly paid attorney at this time, and seeing that he's on a sabbatical fighting with the mujahedeen in Syria, I instructed my Junior Abusive Email Handling Officer to write a stiff response. He's only on two pounds an hour and I thought it would be better to save the taxpayers' money. After all, I'm very keen on saving the taxpayers' money, as I'm sure you know. Why, only the other day I received an award from the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Department of Communities and Local Government for my sterling efforts in the area of fiscal responsibility.
Prosecution Lawyer: And what happened next?
Fiyaz Mughal: Naturally I then sent all the details to the Metropolitan Police with a strong complaint. It's not right that someone of my calibre should be insulted and demeaned in this way. And I didn't join that Masonic Lodge for nothing, you know. If I can't call in a few favours from time to time from the Chief Constable, then it's a bad lookout, isn't it? For justice to be done, I expected Catstrangler101 to be arrested forthwith, taken straight to the deepest and darkest dungeon in Belmarsh prison, and the keys thrown away, or at least locked in a drawer where nobody could get at them.
Prosecution Lawyer: So what happened after that?
Fiyaz Mughal: Oh, it was awful. The very next day, Catstrangler101 sent me another email! And another one after that! He said that it wasn't very Christian of me! As you can imagine, I was horrified beyond measure. I was waking up every morning with fear and dread at the prospect of more and more emails from Catstrangler101. Everywhere I turned, there were emails wafting through the ether in front of my eyes! I was dreaming about emails! Millions and millions of them! I was muttering incoherently about emails in my sleep! It got so bad that my wife threw me out of the house and I had to sleep in the chicken coop.
Prosecution Lawyer: And how many emails was that altogether?
Fiyaz Mughal: Three. Definitely at least three. Four if you count the one where he was enquiring whether his job application was making progress. It was a shame, really, because Catstrangler101 seemed to be ideally qualified for our organisation. Well, apart from him being honest and trustworthy and our organisation crammed to the rafters with shysters, carpetbaggers and opportunists, obviously.
Prosecution Lawyer: What did you do then?
Fiyaz Mughal: There was nothing else for it. I called upon my most trusted employee, my Senior Abusive Email Handling Officer, to write an even stiffer response to Catstrangler101. He's very good at stiff responses, you know. I think it stems from his time as a rent boy at the Crown Prosecution Service. Why, only yesterday he wrote an admonitory letter to our milkman and left it screwed up in the top of a milk bottle on our doorstep. That wretch of a milkman left the premises in tears, stumbling blindly down the path from our office only to collide with one of the faux concrete lions at the end of the driveway. That'll teach him to forget my bottle of Gold Top.
Prosecution Lawyer: So that ended things, did it? Was that the extent of Catstrangler101's villainy? It must have been absolutely traumatising for you.
Fiyaz Mughal: There was more! It was awful beyond words! He sent me another email! For some reason he seemed upset that I had taken against his emails. He even had the effrontery to suggest that if I didn't like his emails then I could hit the block button in my email software. Of course, I couldn't do that because I needed his emails to help me justify my public grant, and in any case, my email software doesn't have the facility to block emails. At least that's what Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi told me the last time he was over here changing my hard drive. He's not just the Caliph of the Islamic State, you know, he's also a very good computer engineer, by all accounts. After I paid him with a suitcase full of cash - which he said was going to help all those poor widows and orphans in Iraq and Syria - he told me to keep my anti-virus software updated, to back up my files at least once a week, and to stop opening those highly tempting attachments from French porn sites.
One of the female jurors, overcome with emotion, begins sobbing loudly into her niqab and is helped out of the court by the Court Usher.
Prosecution Lawyer: No further questions, M'Lud.
To be continued...
The above is a fictional account of the circumstances surrounding the upcoming Crown Court trial of Liberty GB representative Tim Burton, charged in 2016 with the Religiously Aggravated Harassment of Fiyaz Mughal, the Mendacious Grievance-Mongering Taqiyya-Artist, "Old Fizzy Bollocks" of Tell Mama UK. At the time of writing, the trial is due to take place on 30/31 January 2017 at Southwark Crown Court.
If you care about Freedom of Speech in this country, please donate whatever you can to Tim's Legal Defence Fund here:
Feel free to distribute or publish this as you wish (please credit the author, Tim Burton @catstrangler101, Follow the Cat).