Thursday, 17 November 2011

24hour party people - edition uk

You could make it up, but why oh why would you?

Some clever bods in the department for media, culture and sport (dmcs), have popped along with a thought (or superb wheeze) where entertainment venues should be allowed to party from dawn until dawn or, which would be much more pleasing for them, allow them to party until a sufficient number of their members have expended so much energy gyrating, that they eventually fall to a rare condition called supine exhaustium derelictus, causing the remainder of the party to speed by in an air of utter futility.

Asking party people whether their particular venue(s) of choice should remain open 24 hours a day for: live music (would that be a dj spinning plastic?), dancing, or other entertaining moments, is akin to asking a crack-addict whether they'd prefer one rock or thirteen, and all for the same price.  I noticed my hand (gently cradling a now tepid cup of coffee) was trembling; as the normal placid creamy surface started to dismayingly display the most untoward motions, along the uttermost edges of the rim.

How many people in the dmcs, or the ministry for that matter, who came up with the idea actually live next door to, or in the immediate vicinity of, one of these wonderful modern day mini-colosseum's?  I would heartily wager my beating heart, not one bloody lot of them.

When i say live there, i genuinely mean that they actually live there, in the immediate vicinity of the venue day in and day out, and are not just popping in to the townhouse that day because they or their offspring wish to pop to the entertainment venue with, or without, their friends!

But wait, i've gone off half-cock.  Silly me.  Of course, that's just the headlines.  No doubt buried, somewhere amongst the snoozing small print will be the paragraph which says, this will only be allowed to progress in those areas where residential approval and the implementation of appropriate sound-proofing measures, have been classified as satisfied.

You may now burst into a bout of unabashed hysterics.

Currently though it's all part of a consultation.  As we know from consultations in the past, the odds are stacked in favour of the measures reaching the books.  After, however, when things do go tits up (excuse my use of technical terminology here) they'll blankly look at you and simply utter force majeure!  

Apparently "laws which require Government approval for such a large range of public events put a small but significant dent in our community creativity and expression.  If there’s no good reason for preventing them, our presumption should be that they should be allowed." (dcms 2011).

Community?  Yet the government threaten to cut police numbers, decimate education grants, and are probably going to insist councils do away with meals-on-wheels!  Creativity?  The government idly stands by allowing the closure of  libraries then blames wasteful councils.  Expression?  Naturally they'll start on the basis that people wanting to do that outrageous thing of sleeping, aren't expressing a good enough reason to prevent other people from partying.   Apparently they really do want hundreds of  thousands of people turning into red-eyed maniacal insomniacs!

I do hope thay all those happy, sleepingly content, residential areas, which will be affected by this, where there's not yet or not much history of noise nuisance by entertainment venues - of whatever type - do indeed club (no pun) together, to find out where those civil idiots live and drive up and down their roads with loud speakers/hailers, so they (the politicians and civil serv's.) are minutely made aware of a momentary instance of what it's like to endure any amount of unwanted unnecessary noise let alone noise for 24 hours!

On a somewhat diffident note, i would like to know when the right hons. last experienced their craniums unpleasantly vibrating due to coaches & lorries parked outside of their premises with engines running at full tilt, or the last time they experienced their entire body vibrating like a tuning fork by bass so deep it would feel as though their entire body is shaking to bits, whilst the council keystone cops just seem unable.  Again i'd like to wager, not one bloody jot of them.

Yet these are the very same people who will allow venues to go ahead and play music 24 hours a day, because it might be good for someones fiscal pockets.  Certainly not the residents, and certainly not residents attempting to find some sleep in a 24-hour din.  But who cares.  If they're living there they must obviously be poor and taking up far too much space.  Which when you consider that these are the very same people who are more than happy to allow tens of thousands to die each year from air pollution, probably indicates that the few people who will be inconvenienced by lack of sleep due to the possible introduction of these measures, doesn't figure a jot in any of their deliberations, however remote.

Remember, the next time you're jolted awake (if you're in the uk that is) by the sudden thud, thud, thud of music at 4am on a cold clammy winters morning by a venue you swore wasn't there the day before, and your call to the council only produces a "we can't hear anything."  It all started with the slow, drip drip drip of a seemingly good idea, which one day finally makes you wonder "how did this happen?"

(dcms 2011) John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage, Regulated Entertainment, A Consultation proposal to examine the deregulation of Schedule One of the Licensing Act 2003, September 2011 (accessed 16th November 2011 pdf)

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