Friday, November 22, 2002

Westminster City Council: Eradicating fun

We've mentioned before how Westminster City Council (official slogan 'Don't make merry rand 'ere, we'll just gerrymander') have embarked on a campaign to push joy as far beyond its boundaries as it can - the objection to the Astoria licence, the policy that attempted to kill off drug users by suggesting that providing water in clubs would be tantamount to approving of drug use.

Now, they've prosecuted pubs because people were swaying rhythmically inside them, and they didn't have a licence for dancing. Seriously. We're not making this up - they've issued written warnings to pubs because people have been seen "swaying" on the premises.

There's always an official explanation:

"Premises providing music and dancing are required as a matter of law to obtain a licence. For this reason our inspectors visit premises. We need to observe whether a premises is encouraging entertainment and encouraging people to dance. The two premises of Pitcher and Piano were advised that they were encouraging music and dancing and that they should apply for a licence, they did not."

You'll notice that there wasn't actually any threat to public safety or civil order - there was no fear that at any moment, the gentle hip-wiggling might spill over into a full on West-Side-Story-esque street party with upturned bins, cars set on fire and screeching and rapes and murders. The action was brought because it could be, not because it needed to be. Petty.

Meanwhile, Peter Stringfellow is to be prosecuted by - yes, Westminster again - because the girls in his strip club touch people and are a bit lewd. The council sent in undercover officers, who allowed themselves to be pawed (that job really must suck, musn't it) - or rather, had buttocks rubbed on their thighs.

Sweetgwen, is this really what councils should be doing with their time? Spending cash sending people off for lapdances, and then squealing because there's a bit of gentle contact? Again, the question has to be: what is the exact point of this prosecution? I mean, we think Stringfellow is a creepy, scary man, but even so - who is going to be outraged by going into a lap dance club and getting a bit more than they pay for?


1 comment:

eyetie said...

Absolutely loved this story! Keep up the good work.

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