Monday, January 22, 2007

Cards on the table at last

Call me an old Northern cynic, but I've always felt that if something's worth having, London'll have it. How mant nuclear power stations are there in the capital? None, there's a token one in Kent but the rest are scattered around the Cumbria/Lancashire coastline and, of course, Scotland, which seems to be the victim of most of this country's wacky experiments (see the poll tax).
Conversely, the same thing happens in reverse. If something is worth fighting in London, surely it is worth fighting in the rest of the UK?
The citizens of Blackpool have had a six-year barrage of relentless pro-casino publicity, from the local authority, politicians of all parties and a variety of businesses, ranging from the respectable to those with a dubious history.

There was a degree of local opposition but, on the whole, the chattering classes didn't give a toss. After all, it's a long way away, a place they didn't have to visit (especially after Labour decided they didn't want to hold conferences there any more).

They don't care about soaring gambling addicition, the destruction of traditional local businesses, money laundering or any of the other side effects of casino led 'regeneration.'

But, last year, strange things started to happen around the 'other' main contender for the UK's first (and, hopefully, only) super casino, the Millennium Dome began to hit the headlines, thanks to Fatty Prescott's cowboy connections.

All of a sudden, with the casino heading for their own backyard, you see the London set falling over themselves to have a dig. The Observer, Channel 4's Dispatches and even Ian Dale is showing concern over the threat of gambling addication.

So where were you guys? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, after all?

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