Picking up on our school holiday’s theme of well-loved children’s stories, one correspondent tells us that David Elvin QC, the barrister acting for the Thakeham Thugs, over there in Cranleigh, bears a striking resemblance to Mr Toad of Toad Hall, whilst Christopher Katkowski QC, the barrister acting for the Dunsfold Developer, over in Godalming, could be likened to the Badger.
Coincidently, Messrs Elvin & Katkowski share Chambers, both being QCs at Landmark Chambers.
WW has discovered that David Elvin – is described on the Chamber’s website by clients, variously, as ‘a giant’, ‘a heavy weight’ and ‘a man who gets results’ has taken a strikingly bombastic approach to the Thakeham Thug’s case.
Whereas, across the borough, in Godalming, Mr Katkowski, is described on the same website as ‘very practical, calm and accessible. Just phenomenal.’
Far be it from The Waverley Web to offer advice to such illustrious Silks but perhaps it’s time Badger took Toad in hand before he not only annihilates poor old Awfold (everyone has now taken to spelling the name incorrectly) but made so many enemies amongst the handful of residents who have turned out to hear him that he has to be evacuated in a Kevlar Vest and helmet?
Of course, we’re thinking of a more gentle approach than Apocalypse Now, more of a bedtime story for our reader’s children.
Remember the scene in Chapter 6 of The Wind in the Willows when there’s a heavy knock on the door, which heralds the arrival of Badger in The Mole and the Water Rat’s parlour.
‘The Badger strode heavily into the room, and stood looking at the two animals with an expression full of seriousness’ and announced ‘with great solemnity’ that, “The hour has come!”
“What hour?” asked the Rat uneasily.
“Whose hour, you should rather say,” replied the Badger. “Why, toad’s hour! The hour of Toad! I said I would take him in hand as soon as the winter was well over, and I’m going to take him in hand today!”
WW thinks maybe it’s time for Mr Katkowski QC (AKA Badger) to hustle on over to The Arts Centre, and take Mr Elvin QC (AKA Toad of Toad Hall) in hand, before he crashes the motor car – or in this case the countryside! Picking up the story, after a hearty lunch in 140, the discussion will go something like this:
“Sit down there, Toad,” said the Badger kindly, pointing to a chair. “My friends,” he went on, “I am pleased to inform you that Toad has at last seen the error of his ways. He is truly sorry for his misguided conduct in the past, and he has undertaken to give up [defending the Thakeham Thugs] entirely and forever. I have his solemn promise to that effect. He has even promised to stop telling the Inspector that if the Dunsfold Park planning appeal is refused by the Secretary of State – Waverley’s Local Plan is DEAD, definitely D..E..A..D.”
“That is very good news,” said the Mole gravely. “But, if the Local Plan is DEAD, and has a huge black hole in it – perhaps all the green fields around Alfold will be all the more ripe for development… won’t they.”
“Very good news indeed,” observed the Rat dubiously, “if only – if only -“ He was looking very hard at Toad as he said this, and could not help thinking he perceived something vaguely resembling a twinkle in that animal’s still sorrowful eye.
“There’s only one thing more to be done,” continued the gratified Badger. “Toad, I want you solemnly to repeat, before your friends here, what you’ve fully admitted to me … just now. First, you are sorry for what you’ve done, and you see the folly of it all?”
There was a long, long pause. Toad looked desperately this way and that, while the other animals waited in grave silence. At last he spoke.
“No!” he said a little sullenly, but stoutly, “I’m not sorry. And it wasn’t folly at all! It was simply glorious!”
“What?” cried the Badger, greatly scandalized. “You back-sliding animal, didn’t you tell me just now, in there -“
“Oh, yes, yes, in there,” said Toad impatiently. “I’d have said anything in there. You’re so eloquent, dear Badger, and so moving, and so convincing, and put all your points so frightfully well – you can do what you like with me in there, and you know it. But I’ve been searching my mind since, and going over things in it, and I find that I’m not a bit sorry or repentant really, so it’s no earthly good saying I am; now, is it?”
“Then you don’t promise,” said the Badger, “never to touch [a Thakeham Thug’s Inquiry] again?”
“Certainly not!” replied Toad emphatically. “On the contrary, I faithfully promise that the very first [Thakeham Thug’s Inquiry to come my way again] poop-poop! off I go [with] it!”
WW pledges no more silliness, and we will report more of the Springbok Inquiry into Waverley Planners’ refusal to allow Care Ashore’s scheme to build 475 houses and more than double the size of Alfold – once we have managed to scrape up more information.