Licensed to shrill

Okay, it's not a great headline, but it's ben a long day.

Information received suggests one or two of our local councillors are conducting something of a Vendetta against our local hostelries. At a festval event on Friday, one councillor was heard exclaiming 'one down, three to go' over the news of the failure of The Crescent to extend its licensing hours. Good to see the Council on the side of local business and all that. Will it make an iota of difference to the level of anti-social behaviour in town? Course not. But Mr. Smith thinks different.

Listen to the voice of Buddha

Listening to the very first Human League LP (at least under that name) while working tonight, I got caught by the lyrics to the seminal 'Crow and a Baby'. I'd never realised before that it's an updated version of our own town anthem. What does this remind you of?

"If you think you're so mature

You'll end up in a field

You will be someones manure

Mushrooms growing from your back

Feeding some damn carrion bird

Do you want to contribute

to the corruption of the world?"

Okay, not the last bit. *sigh, nostalgia*

The Lions' Mouth

In the serenissima, the serene republic of Venice, they had a policing system involving denunciation. Anyone (well, you had to be a citizen not a slave, but that sort of went with the ability to write) could denounce another citizen by dropping a letter into a mailbox shaped like a lions' mouth. Plainly they had a lot of nutters who were probably ignored, but this system could lead to those denounced being spirited away in the middle of the night across the Bridge of Sighs and never heard from again.

It's good, then, that the UK has decided to learn from this experience. INstead of paying policemen to get out on the beat, they're to be encouraged to sit at their desks while anonymous tip-offs are delivered to them by mail and phone. These tip-offs will then be investigated. If you;re btohered by a group of youths on the street corner, phone it in (anonymously) and they'll send someone round. If you don't like the noise from a neighbour, mail it in and denounce them. It'll give the Police something to do, and save them from having to solve actual crime. But what sort of society will it make us?

I can just think of one couple who will be making use of this privilege.


The authors/poets/cartoonists plugging their books at Ilkley Literature Festival have been announced. Starts with PD James, ends with Louis Theroux. In the middle there's Maya Angelou, usual suspects like Joolz, and a writing class with Toby Litt who must be rated as one of our best under-40 novelists.

No Zadie. Thank you organisers. Stop a passing website (when it's updated) and buy some tickets.

Congrats, part two

To the Bradford Council team that decided that the lights on Skipton Rd/Victoria Avenue were not bad enough, and that they should repair the road, shutting off one carriageway, in August at the height of the day-tripper season!

Well done those chaps. Tail-backs to Skipton. We had to circle from Bolton Abbey to Langbar and over the suspension bridge to get home. Some Leeds-ites (not knowing of these back routes) are probably still there.