Wednesday, August 04, 2004

THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT TOO CRUEL, NOR UNUSUAL ENOUGH: We know the 'blame culture' isn't a constructive way to work, and 'naming and shaming' is the sort of thing that leads, inevitably, to small pictures of David Blunkett on every lamp-post with a request for citizens to remain vigilant for enemies of the state at all time. But, really, we do feel that an exception has to be made for Sharon McLouglin of Birmingham. The courts have just banned her from owning a TV, stereo or a radio in response to her habit of playing Dido at unacceptably high levels (in other words, audibly).

Having said that, though, we're a little puzzled if Judges can actually ban people from owning TVs and Radios - isn't the current bout of official terrorism paranoia insisting that, should something nasty happen, we all go indoors, switch on the radio and wait to die ("for further information")? Isn't there a strong argument that Ms McLouglin has been put at a greater risk of death by being barred from access to the government's chosen mode of communication in the event of a national emergency? Isn't there a possibility that banning her from having a radio could lead to her dying a horrible death from nucleated anthrax bomb-parcels? Even for a Dido fan, that seems a bit excessive.

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