Marmaduke says goodbye to Mr Snake and his secrets (Part 2)

Marmaduke says goodbye to Mr Snake and his secrets (Part 2)


Tales of Marmaduke
Tales of Marmaduke

Continues from Marmaduke and the Ghosts (Part 1).

Mr. Snake had worked at the Squirrel School for a very, very long time. He was now Deputy Headmaster.

He was an unusual character that was often surrounded by clouds of smoke when he was outside the Squirrel School. However what was interesting about Mr. Snake was his secrets.

Either Mr. Snake was very lucky or had a special kind of magic as whenever one of the other staff at the Squirrel School found out about one of his secrets they vanished!

His boss the headmaster Mr. Burger had vanished over Christmas last year. There were many other people that had once worked there, but had left mysteriously once they had discovered a secret of Mr. Snake.

Two visitors to the Squirrel School, an Australian called Mr. Griffin and his friend Mr. Hobgoblin had tried to tell people about Mr. Snake’s secrets.

However many people they told about Mr. Snake’s secrets they didn’t get much further. Mr. Burger just told them they were wrong to say bad things about Mr. Snake.

Others said they didn’t understand the secrets and it was all very sad.

So many spells had been cast on the two ghosts to make them go away that they didn’t know much about Mr. Snake’s secrets.

Eventually Mr Hobgoblin got cross. He felt Mr. Snake wasn’t being fair and had too much power.

So he cast a spell called “I know” which meant the Squirrel School had to tell him Mr. Snake’s secrets.

Mr. Snake asked his good friend Mr. Journey to cast the counter-spell, “No you don’t know” instead.

And so it went on and on for a year until everyone, including those watching were quite exhausted.

ICO then told the Squirrel School to stop being so silly and tell Mr. Hobgoblin Mr Snake’s secrets.

Mr. Snake had had enough and decided it was time to go. Unfortunately his disappearing spell hadn’t worked on Mr. Hobgoblin and Mr. Griffin so he tried it on himself instead!

Marmaduke however felt sorry for Mr. Snake. So he asked his friends in the Red Gang and the Blue Gang to give him 49,000 gold coins and his pension early (at a cost of between 207,000 and 228,000 gold coins).

A promise was made to Mr. Snake that they would tell the ghosts to go away so they wouldn’t know.

However this made one of the ghosts angry, so Mr Journey told the pupils to tell the ghost that he could not talk, to just make an information request and go away!

The Head of the Yellow Gang Mr. Gilbert wasn’t happy with Mr. Snake leaving. He didn’t feel it was right. After all hadn’t Marmaduke told people the Squirrel School didn’t have any money left?

Mr. Snake left and soon found a job elsewhere thanks to his friends.

This story continue with Marmaduke in Going to the Dogs (Part 3).

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Wirral Council: Proposal not to pay £250 to employees earning less than £21000

Wirral Council: Proposal not to pay £250 to employees earning less than £21000

Wirral Council previously agreed back in March of this year (2012) (when it decided the Budget for 2012/2013) to pay all its employees earning less than £21,000 (which comes to over 2,000 employees) an extra £250 (net of National Insurance, Income Tax, pension contribution etc) in December 2012.

It was put thus in the budget and £600,000 was put aside for it. I quote from this document (which is the agreed Budget for 2012/2013, as agreed by Conservative and Lib Dem councillors (36)), but not the 29 Labour councillors.

“Our staff are those who are best placed to point out where we are failing and to tell us how we can improve the services that we will deliver. We are therefore investing to ensure we listen and properly engage with them in the future:”


“We recognise the importance of leading by example as an employer and we will again make provision for a payment of £250 for our lower paid workers – those earning under a full time equivalent of £21, 000.


Now go forward to now and there’s a proposal to the December Council meeting not to pay this £250 to 2,470 employees earning less than £21,000. The linked document goes into the detail and shows it affects a higher proportion of their female employees (calling this an “unintentional disadvantage”), a higher percentage of black and ethnic minority employees, a higher percentage of non-Christian employees, a higher percentage of transgender employees and a higher percentage of its young (under 30) employees.

So what have they done to mitigate the impact of this? They state they’ve written to the 2,470 employees that would be affected by this and they’ve discussed it in meetings with the trade unions.

As to the reasons why it’s being done, as the music hall song chorus goes:-

It’s the same the whole world over,
It’s the poor what gets the blame,
It’s the rich what gets the pleasure,
Isn’t it a blooming shame?”

However if last March is a guide, then the Labour councillors will vote for this proposal and the Conservative/Lib Dem councillors will vote against. Labour have seven more councillors (plus Cllr McLaughlin can now vote as she’s no longer the Mayor). Conservative and Lib Dems have seven less. So whatever Labour decide will happen… and they tend to go by what the senior officers of the Council tell them to do.

This proposal (if it goes through which seems likely) just makes a small dent in the currently projected £13.2 million overspend. Quite what awaits the staff in the New Year is probably a much reduced workforce…. as to who is for the chop we’ll just have to wait and see.