Every so often, something unites social media in absolute hysteria and fascination – and today, that thing is the Handforth Parish Council Planning and Environment Committee.
The utterly chaotic Zoom call went viral last night, as millions of people watched Jackie Weaver attempt to gain authority over extremely angry councillors
If for some reason you haven’t watched it – and if not, you are really missing out – the gist is that a council meeting descended into chaos and insult-trading, with Jackie Weaver – the meeting’s clerk – removing the council chair Brian Tolver from the call and placing him in a virtual waiting room.
The video has led to Jackie Weaver and ‘READ THEM AND UNDERSTAND THEM’ trending on Twitter all day, and celebrities are just as enthralled with the local drama as the rest of us.
Pointless star and The Thursday Murder Club author Richard Osman even seems to have got inspiration for the sequel, tweeting: ‘Am busily writing Jackie Weaver into the next Thursday Murder Club novel.’
Sue Perkins shared a parody TV show of the council meeting and tweeted: ‘I will not sleep tonight until I have gone through every Jackie Weaver related tweet on the internet’, while comedian Rachel Parris joked: ‘Can’t wait for ITV to make No Authority: The Jackie Weaver story in two years time starring Alison Steadman as Jackie and Roger Allam as Chairman/Clerk.’
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Baga Chipz changed her Twitter handle to read ‘Jackie Weaver’s weave’ and wrote: ‘ANYONE who don’t give Jackie Weaver the AUTHORITY she deserves WILL be blocked.’
Radio 1 host Greg James went as far to call the saga ‘the best British comedy in decades’, and we’ve got to agree, it’s definitely up there.
While Jackie admits that most meetings aren’t as dramatic as this one, she is hoping that the viral video will shine a light on issues in local government that need to be tackled.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, the internet sensation said: ‘Most of the time I’m trying to get people to get involved in parish councils. The plus side of this is it’s certainly done that.
‘I have had nothing but really lovely positive support from people – who of course condemn the behaviour, no one could not condemn the behaviour.
‘We’re passionate about the fact that local government is the mechanism that people can really engage with their local communities.
‘I’m afraid that when you are being bullied, if you can see that the other person has lost it, there’s a sense of “I did okay there and held it together”.
‘Who was in charge? Of that meeting, I’m not actually sure who was in charge.’
Our vote is for ‘Julie’s iPad’.