In a breathtakingly original move, Dalston mayor Miles Toob is set to appoint genial autocrat and happy-go-lucky Russian president Vladimir Putin as his new ‘housing Czar’.
Speaking from the Betty Ford clinic, and clearly roaring drunk, the mayor told the Mercury: ‘I’ve given the matter a lot of thought and this solution to our housing crisis makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?’
‘I mean,’ he went on, after nodding off for a minute, ‘no offence to the incumbent, but Councillor Nigel Spool was never going to set the world alight, was he? Whereas Vladimir actually might. He’s had a pretty good go already.’
‘What we need to do, see, is free-up more land for development, and I feel that Vlad has demonstrated a unique capacity for identifying underused brownfield sites – like the Crimea, for example – and making them available for other purposes.’
When the Mercury pointed out that ‘other purposes’ seemed to mean handing over huge tracts of land to murderous cronies and heavily armed biker gangs, Mayor Toob said: ‘Exactly. So he’ll get on really well with British Land and Barratt’s. They’re Vlad’s kind of people. I think he’s already installed his brother-in-law as chairman of Bovis.’
When the Mercury contacted the Kremlin to confirm Mr Putin’s appointment to the £82,000 role, they threatened to chop our legs off unless they saw the money by tea time.