Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Echo relegates local news; Legrand pontificates.

I don't like the new layout of the Northern Echo. Darlington news, instead of occupying two facing pages in the front half of the paper, has been relegated to a single page in the back half of the paper. Now, most people don't venture this far: it's usually full of business news and photos of earnest looking sales executives and estate agents. Personally, I read the Darlington pages first, then I scan the front page, the editorials, Hear All Sides and have a look to see who's died. And that's it. My main source of news and comment in the media are the on-line versions of various newspapers (including the Echo).
That's how I came to miss the pronouncement from the Tory Toff, otherwise known as Edward Legrand, Conservative PPC for Darlington, that drinking alcohol in public outdoor spaces should be banned. Bloody 'ell, he'll have all the 18 to 25 year olds square bashing in the Market Place next.
My thanks to fellow blogger Nick Wallis for alerting us to this article, tucked away in the nether reaches of the Echo yesterday where few men venture.
If you stop people drinking outside, the lads and lasses who want to get tanked up and legless are going to do it anyway. They'll do it in the pub, where, at the moment, it's dry and warm. Banning outdoor drinking won't stop alcohol abuse: it'll just stop those of us who like to sit outside a bar or restaurant to eat and drink from enjoying this activity.
Vote Tory for authoritarian killjoy policies.
Note from the same article: Cllr Bill Dixon criticises calls for a blanket ban. Quite right too, Bill. In this weather some of us need an extra blanket.

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