Clowns, the Women's Institute, small shopkeepers,
music promoters, students and other dangerous social organisations.
In 1968 the Lord Chamberlain's veto on
every word said on stage was abolished.
However, politicians could still exercise some political control over
theatre due to the fact to put on a play you needed an Entertainments
Licence. These used to cost a lot of money and there were
different types with different caveats that we wont go into.
One of the reasons for the rapid growth of comedy club scene was it
fell through an unforseen legal loophole.
In order to exempt
themselves of the licenceing restraints they place on entertainments
politicians arranged the legislation so that you didn't need a
entertainments licence to run political hustings like meetings.
Unfortunately for politicians there is no disernable difference between
a stand-up comedy event and a hustings event. Both are a
succession of people talking bollocks on stage one at a time - the only
real difference is that comedy is less boring.
This was known as the one-person-on-stage-at-a-time rule.
During the review
of the Licensing Act in 2003 that came into force in 2005 politicians
seeked to rectify this by unifying the licence system. However,
comics became aware of the political intent of the legislation and so
they faced powerful lobby groups against
it and the proposals were watered down.
So Politicians realised that
they couldn't suppress promoters using licencing laws alone and sought
to find other methods that could be implemented by stealth. If
cant veto the actual material why not make it more difficult for
promoters to actually advertise.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 Section 23 inserted a
section into the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The relevant
section of the EPA 1990 is 94B and schedule 3A - To give the power to
local authorities to fine promoters for littering.
Note that this is not Primary Legislation. Yet as soon as this
law it was ruthlessly enforced. As local promoters went under or
bust the local authorities involved went into promotion
Firstly in the most out of the way places like Sheffield and Newquay
where people didn't realise that this wasn't normal in the promotional
industries and then in local authority after local authority until
eventually the legislation reached Brighton and then finally the
London Comedy Circuit
For entertainment and information purposes here is a collation of
various individual incidents
sparked by ban introductions that I have collated together dating
back to 2006
August 2006 - Paul
Carpenter of Paulo’s Circus Americano (a familly
business promoting familly entertainment for over a centuary) complains
in local newspaper the St Austell Voice that a newly introduced
flyering ban is the latest in a series of council measures which have
had a ‘catastrophic’
effect on business. After a seven year run, the attraction has said
that it may stay away next summer.
"The circus relies on giving
out discount tickets in the town centre. We select families and talk to
them first to make sure they want tickets so there is very little
waste.It has been one thing after another. First Restormel took our
posters down, then this, then we decided to go round town in a van with
music and a microphone. But the police stopped us. Other methods
don’t have the same effect. Business is right down. We’ve come to
rely on Newquay as a place to come every year for a fantastic summer.
We feel there is not a lot for families to do in the evening and we
have tried to give something back with charity performances. It’s a shame we are
being victimised – it isn’t like this anywhere else we go. The
council is making it very difficult for us to come back, and we may
well stay away next year."
Restormel Borough Council was
abolished in 2009 after being accused by
the spending watchdog The Audit Commission of "negligence"
for putting money into Icelandic banks days before they went bust in
October 2008 - which makes you wonder who the real clowns are.
Sommerset District Council tries to ban Coffee Morning - Nov 2007
The first of several run ins with the Women's Institute (see below)
The WI of course is one
of the Volunatary Fundraising orangisations
meant to replace the Welfare State the Political Class have now decided
we cant afford. The kind that funding
is being cut for but we are still supposed to join and give time
to to make us feel part of the Big Society
A spokeswoman for South
Somerset District Council said
that charities should not consider themselves exempt from the law:
have recently had a
complaint from a resident about signs littering the countryside so we
had to act upon it. Putting signs up like this without gaining
permission is illegal. I'm afraid littering and acting illegally
is considered a form of
anti-social behaviour. These charities are more than welcome to
advertise their events
providing they seek permission and do it legally. Just because
they are a charity, it doesn't mean they do not have to
follow the law."
Here we see the first
establishment of a regular pattern. Unsubstantiated claims
of an Increase in Litter Complaints followed by a localised
blanket ban on all Promotional Activity.
We are in the process of putting in a series
of FOI requests to see how many of these complaints about litter
it's trial flyering ban zone despite protests from
Buisness Investment District Spokesman - late 2007
After a hugely unpopular
trial scheme in the main city centre, Birmingham Council extends it's
no-flyer zone to cover Broad Street, Hurst Street and Digbeth.
Mike Olley spokesman for the Broad Street BID condemns the move openly
pay an extra levy on our rates. We use £150,000 of this to pay
for enhanced street cleaning. We feel the leaflets and flyers add to
the buoyancy and energy of Broad Street at
night. By 3am the street is littered with the things, but
by 6am they are all swept up."
Council Chairman Neil Eustace
"The policy has
been a success in the new Street area. Birmingham
has wom a cleanest city award."
Of course it is easy to win a clean city award if your city has no
social activity in it.
original flyposting moggie - Copper the Cat
Saturday May 24,
2008. In what seems like a random piece of over
zealousness a Council Official threatens pensioner Joy Tracey with a
fine for flyposting after she puts up a poster looking for her
cat. In this Crimewatch reconstruction Copper is played by a
white cat instead of a copper one.
"The world is going
potty with petty officialdom.
As long as I can remember, lost pets have been advertised on lampposts".
It seems like a one off.
Council Introduces Flyering Ban - April 2008
Councillors agree to ban flyers.
wanting to hand out printed material in the city centre or around the
universities must have a licence. Council officers can seize
leaflets from anyone who does not have permission to give them out, and
can issue £80 fixed-penalty notices. Superficially a
measure to control litter this legislation also
convieniently gives Local Authorities the power to vet the literature
and events that students read and attend. The Council continues
to let people flyer but it now has political
control over who can do this. The council now pays a team of
people to hang round the University all
the time monitoring what literature is disseminated which probably cost
more than paying people to pick up discarded flyers. Of course it
would be completely possible to simply fine companies that produce
litter but that wouldn't give
political control over what
Of course Students are
now a powerful lobby group in themselves.
A large proportion of the surge in Liberal Democrat support can be put
down to their stance on Tuition fees which is due to coordinated
lobbying by the NUS. If you make it difficult for students to run
their own events or attend events not run by the authorities you make
it more difficult for them to form social groups and lobbying
organisations that think differently to you.
licences also cost money so this is the first evidence of an actual Promoter's Tax
in Shropshire - August 2008
are thrown out of their local park in
Shropshire after being told they need permission, a criminal
records bureau check and a risk assessment, before being allowed to
distribute political leaflets on climate change. Instead of
filling in a lot of forms they decide to dress up as Penguins and make
their council look silly....
David Morgan, Telford and Wrekin council spokesman, said there were
many children in the park during the summer months and the council had
a duty of care to them and adult visitors.
to participate in an activity or stage an event need permission. It is
not the authority being heavy-handed, it’s a legal requirement.”
dangerous level of self promotion is evident in Whitstable - Mille the
On the 5th of September
2008 Daniel Cope, 13, put up 100
flyers on lamp posts in Whitstable after his cat Milly went missing two
weeks ago. He was called back by an environment inspector who
accused him of breaching litter regulations.
"We are sorry to hear that Daniel
has lost his cat and understand he wants to do all he can to find
her. Although putting up posters like these is considered to be
fly-posting, which could result in a fine, we were overzealous in our
handling of the situation and apologise to him and his family."
Of course Daniel's real
crime is to live in a Business Investment
District and be attempting dangerous levels of self promotion.
His cat clearly has achieved too great a level of publicity and social
mobility and the activity of people looking for lost cats is an
unecconomic use of his local town center. This is just the first
of many many similar incidents in which Fluffy the Cat runs foul of the
law in an attempt to raise his media profile.
Council Flyering Ban Reversed for the right kind of
promoters - Jan 2009
Rowe promoter of the Leicster Comedy
Festival tells council acts could not afford to pay for a special
licence to allow gigs to give out leaflets during the event. The
licence requirement is revoked for the duration of Festival meaning
comics dont have to pay to flyer but any local act wishing to set up
their own regular night is disadvantaged.
Promoters now have to
Crawl before Councillors
in order to put on a Gig!
The council dont mind
comedy but they do mind local people promoting
thier own events by exercising their own intiative. Particularly
students. After all they might then realise that they had the
biggest tax burden of any other section of the population.
physically ejected from York University campus for
flyering students - Feb 2009
York University ban flyering on campus. Mr Efes thinks this is
nonsense and continues to flyer the students. As he is putting
the flyers through letterboxes the law is not being broken so the
University ban him from delivering to campus and threaten to use
minders to enforce this ban. Of course Pizza is not the issue,
really the University want to stop students from flyering each other
and Mr Efes by going about the grown up business of flyering his
takeaway in contravention of the ban is highlighting the fact that this
is a form of emotional abuse without realising it. Of course the
University do not want the bad publicity of prosecuting a pizza
delivery man for criminal trespass so the upshot is a farce where by
deliveries at the University of York resemble cold war covert spy
operations such as filling a
bans ALL flyering - August 2009
Rather than complain to the ASA that Ian Whittaker (a Christian) 's
flyer is offensive or in bad taste... or have a quite word with the
club owner, Cornwall Council
communications officer Shirley Northey uses it as an excuse to ban
flyering through the Newquay Safe partnership.
She says flyering
licenses already issued could not be revoked but the
in Newquay would run out on August 31
would not be renewed.
“Flyer licenses will no longer be
issued to promote in the street from September 1. This action will also
address promotional activities, associated with the flyering, which
adds to the problem.
Cornwall Council will work
with Newquay Association of Licensed Premises (NALP) to install two or
three strategic electronic signage systems in the town to be used to
promote community messages and night time economy advertising after
content would be controlled and the cost would be shared between NALP,
Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.”
In other words Corwall Council on the basis of this one flyer has taken
complete polticial controlof
the entire nightlife of Cornwall and
ALL promoters now have to have their advertising displayed only on two
or three electronically controlled signs under the control of the
police and the council!
"The very fact that
Liberal Democrat Councillor Geoff Brown thought the flyer was
'inappropriate' and that the 'Town Manager' should take 'action', shows
that Mr Brown clearly does
not understand the word Liberalin his party's title." - Andrew Withers,
Students Sit In - January 2010
A group of students
started an occupation of
a tenth floor lecture theatre in the Owen Building, at Sheffield
University to protest about the conflict in Gaza. Among their
demands are that the ban on
flyering and posters on campus to be lifted immediately
allowing students to organise and allow free speech, in line with the
University's current no-platform policy against fascists.
It is VERY
REVEALING that the location of most of these flyering ban zones
Perhaps this flyering ban has something to do with the students dislike
attacked in flyers issued by the Student Activist Network.
In his time at Sussex
University, Dr Harvey managed to impose a campus
curfew against an anti-militarist protester and a series of ‘voluntary’
redundancies, forcing staff to not support a protest against the axing
of the linguistics department, and "generally towing the faithful line
to Neoliberal economic reform".
Of course not all promoters have been banned in Sheffield.
As we can see from their promotional
activity page & FLYER they do let people promote
if they're the kind of people they approve of politically.
Now they have complete political control over all promoters in their
The real long term objective is
STATE CONTROL OVER SOCIAL ORGANISATION
Stupid activists arrested for handing out political leaflets Feb 2010
Pressure Group Plane Stupid are arrested for
Flyering by the police "This
was another example of zealous and
stupid policing we've come to expect from the Met. After asking me what
I was doing, to which to answer was rather obvious, the officer
proceeded to inform me that it was illegal for me to flyer and my
actions were in 'breach of peace'"
the Cat again
22nd June 2009 Worthing Borough Council
Grandmother Liz Day, 68,
is threatened with a £75 fine for putting up cat
understand why there was absolutely no sympathy from the man that
called. Should missing pet posters really be classed as flyposting?'
After the story had reached the national press Worthing Borough Council
said "Our employee
wasn't seeking to be a 'jobsworth' but just to ask her to reduce the
number of posters she has displayed in the area".
Yes, in the era of
massive spending cuts the most important thing for councils to
be spending money on is monitoring cats who wander into the dangerous
world of self-promotion. This exposes the truth - these councils
are obsessed with the monitoring of the promotional industries and
their literature in an
attempt to achieve state control over promotion.
Another flyposting campaign
by Fluffy - 8th
Yes, it's our old friend Fluffy the Cat - this time trying to raise his
profile in Walthamstow
Anti- Social Flyposter Fluffy strikes again - 11th February 2010
Yes, Fluffy continues to reach dangerous
levels of fame
Again only after the story has reached the Daily Telegraph does a
spokesman for Waltham Forest Council say the fine, issued last month,
was given "in error" and later cancelled. "In this case a
mistake was made and we would like to apologise unreservedly to Ms
Dyson for any offence or alarm that was caused," he said.
But there wasnt a mistake
- this is part of an organised clampdown and
rigorous monitoring on anyone who puts up a poster about anything or
tries to do any piece of social organisation - no matter how trivial or
obviously non-commercial. Councils now employ a host of officials
full time specifically and only for the purposes of monitoring the free
distribution of literature. One thing they're not cutting
spending on is watching what you say and
do. And yes these really are all different Fluffys - unless it's
the same Fluffy regularly changing his agent.
The reason for these
campdowns is probably an increase in fly posting
which is probably the result of blanket flyering bans as criminalised
small time promoters go to ever more desperate measures to try and make
people aware of their gigs without harrassment by Council
Officials. It's also, of course, because these Council Officials
been given targets which they cannot meet because much of the "anti
behaviour" by the Promoting Industries they are clamping down on just
Women's Institute - 12th February 2010
Grandmother Liz Day, 68, was confronted by a council litter warden who
warned her and three other WI members it was illegal to hand out the
charity adverts.The women were told they narrowly escaped an
on-the-spot fixed penalty notice because the East Hertfordshire Council
warden was in a ‘good mood’.
exhibition is for charity. Last year it raised £500 for the air
ambulance. Next year we will apply for a licence to give out
flyers, its daft. It will probably cost some money, we don't
know. Mrs Day, who has been the branch president for the past two
years, said: ‘We enjoy doing this every year but being threatened with
a fine doesn't really make it worth the hassle.’"
Of course the WI's real crime is to live in a Buisness Investment
District and be organising a social event over which the Council and
Local Businesses dont have any political control. Remember the
Women's Institute are an effective lobbying organisation.
Unable to bore them into
his opinions Tony Blair obviously decided that
the best solution would be to strangle such organisations by stifling
their right to organisation and to disseminate literature and run
events. Interest and turnover will then decline, membership
decline and the lobby group's opinions be even easier to ignore and
In a further snub to the
political class they refused to book Yvette
Cooper for their annual conference on the grounds they suspected that
she was likely to be too
boring. "We were offered a minister but sadly we did not have
time and since
she has now been reshuffled, it's just as well," said Helen Carey,
national chairman. "We do not like to appear rude but we know what
happened last time."
Ban - 5th April 2010
Brighton Bans Flyering but this time the
protest groups are more organised.
As usual the Council claims there has been extensive consultation with
the promotional industries while just doing what central government
regardless of public opinion.
In an attempt to quell
mounting public anger a fudge is agreed and a
Tax rather than an outright ban imposed allowing promoters to keep
promoting while the Council vets their literature. Promoters the
council likes are left alone while others are victimised by council
officials with policelike powers.
Then, with a complete absense of any irony at all Brighton council then
designing this website (that frankly Pear Shaped could have knocked up
in Dreamweaver in about a week)
which many interpreted as a
direct political attack on the music industry causing John Barradell
Chief Executive of of Brighton and Hove City Council to have to write:
"A quick note about our recruitment
campaign, which has been noticed far beyond my expectations. Firstly, I'm sorry
if any offence has been caused by our advert slogan “status quo fans
need not apply” – none was intended. What we mean by this play on words
is that we want people who will come to the council with brilliant and
original ideas about how to make residents’ lives better. We don’t want
people who will accept things the way they are.But I accept that it was a little
insensitive. My wife did say when she saw it that "it might upset Quo
fans". I hoped it would
make us stand out from the crowd and would get people interested. Clearly she was right. That said, I’ve sent a letter to the
official fan website to explain this and, judging by the responses,
most are prepared to take the joke in the spirit in which it was meant. Of course, I don’t need to say
how well loved and supported the Quo are here in Brighton & Hove. Finally, I should
clarify that the question of musical preference will not be asked at
interview; it is not relevant to the recruitment of these jobs."
is a direct insult to the
capabilities of millions of Quo fans, many of whom are probably totally
overqualified for these jobs," said
Simon Porter, the band's manager.
top of that, this just seems like a ludicrous waste of money, and
particularly in the very week that the new Prime Minister is warning
everyone about the future budget cuts. Perhaps Brighton should make
some savings in its recruitment department."
Of course this is the same Brighton Council that tells promoters they
need to pay extra money to flyer in the evening so that they can pay
council litter inspectors to work "anti-social hours" and makes people
flyering music gigs wear identifying badges. Clearly promoters
need to be identified - you can draw your own parallels with repressive
regimes of the early 20th centuary who need scapegoats to wear
identifying clothing here.
Shop Owner - 24th April 2010
Carol Jones complains to
the Colchester Gazette that she wanted to give
out helium balloons and leaflets to advertise her gift store, Glyph, in
Priory Walk. She said she was shocked when council officials told her
she couldn’t do it, because it would result in extra litter. Mrs Jones,
who also has a shop in Felixstowe, Suffolk, said:
“There was no
meeting halfway, even in this particularly difficult year for
retailers. The council would
rather see clean streets and council jobs, than flourishing shops. Therefore, it is OK
to make retail staff redundant and have ugly empty premises littering
Mrs Jones initially asked
for permission to hand out flyers a year ago, but
was turned down – and told she faced a £2,500 fine if
she went ahead.
Tim Young, Colchester councillor with responsibility for
street services, said:
“We can’t make an
exception for one business and risk our town
centre having more litter in it.”
Another small business being victimised by a Business Investment
Good to see Adam Smith's Invisible hand helping to keep the free market
Square Flyering Ban 2010
reluctant to use The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
Section 23 EPA 1990
is 94B and schedule 3A perhaps because it has been legally challenged
or perhaps because they fear the negative publicity of publically
fining a new
act for something they've historically always done or perhaps because
want to use Salami Tactics to shrink the circuit as a lobby group
before taking action
against individuals start threatening
venues who flyer with Licence Revocation.
Of course there are still
just as many flyerers in the Square they're
just all for one club which is run by historically the worst promoter
in London. The Council cannot get their next piece of draconian
legislation onto the statute book to close his loophole because it will
look like political repression (because it is) and neither can they
back down because if the London ban is declared immoral and unworkable
the patchwork of repression will leak into the public domain - which it
After emailing Council
Leader Colin Barrow CBE some months past to ask him
why he wasn't using
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
Section 23 EPA 1990
is 94B and schedule 3A but had undetaken the perculiar practice of
inserting odd caveats into individual liquor licences the following
communication eventually arrived ...
Of course it is highly
unusual for a local authority to introduce new caveats into a liquor
Licence and very strange to do so without a wide public
consultation - not just one with the Heart of London BID who's physical
area of political control and influence is extremely small (See below) compared to the number of
people accessing it's land.
which Albert Grant
gave for the free use and enjoyment "of the public". It is
notable that the monument to Albert Grant does not say for the "free use and enjoyment of the public private partnership".
We would like to suggest that the Council append the last two new extra words
to avoid any future social and political confusion as to who actually
owns the land. Or demolish the unpleasant reminder that is the
monument to Mr Grant. A new name for the square might also be
appropriate - "ODEON
Square" perhaps? Albert Grant worked very hard
defrauding his many creditors and inventing numerous phonenix companies
such as the
Mercantile Discount Company which failed in 1861 and Crédit
Mobilier. His sale of shares in the exhausted Emma Silver
Alta, Utah even implicated President Ulysses
... he didn't go though all that to give you
expensive movie premiers ...he did it as part of a calculated program
philanthropy designed to cloak his dodgy dealings...
given premises licences are for the lifespan of a business I would
imagine progress in enforcing an effective ban using this system even
if legally possible would be slow to the point of fossilisation – when
is the ban to be fully enforced by this method, 3011?
Despite the claims that comedy promoters are not being victimised, how
is this reconciled with the fact that licenceing laws have no effect on
people flyering for other non-entertainment based services that do not
operate from licenced premises? Clearly comedy promoters ARE
being treated differently from the promoters of other services?
Even if this is not intentional.
While it is amusing for Pear Shaped to share a virtual monopoly on
flyering with the Thistle hotel ...it does not seem to have much to do
with natural justice. And suspicions abound that this situation
exists because of the volume of business rateable floorspace owned by
the Thistle hotel and the relation of political power within the BID
levy system to it. See below
Since the basis for the need for the
flyering bans is the number of complaints ... I decided to send the
council and FOI to ask the very simple questions:
Exactly how many
have officially complained about flyering in leicester square in the
past 2 years?
And which clubs/venues in
particular have they complained about?
There seemed to be some reluctance to answer this so I wrote to the Information
Commissioner who wrote to the Council who eventually replied:
has not been
possible to process your request for information.
considered an offence unless it breaches the conditions of the licence
for a particular establishment. As a resultwe do not record
complaints of this nature against a specific code which we would
able to search against.
determine if the
requested information is held we would need to check the licences of
all establishments to identify if a restriction on flyering has been
imposed, and would then need to cross
reference this against any
complaints received about that establishment.
the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the
“appropriate limit” as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and
Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004. It is estimated that it would cost
£6875 to comply with your request. In accordance with section 17
Freedom of Information Act 2000 this letter acts as a Refusal Notice.
have the right
against the decision. If you wish to appeal please set out in writing
your grounds of appeal and send it to the address above.
you still be
with the outcome of any such complaint you have the right to make a
complaint to the Information Commissioner, pursuant to section 50 of
Although it is not possible to provide you with the information you
have requested I can advise you that should you reduce the scope of
your request to specific establishments then we may be able to
determine if the information is held without exceeding the appropriate
You will notice that I didn't ask them how many clubs were illegally
flyering so there should be no need for any cross
This increased my curiousity so I then asked
How many licences there are that would need to be
for how long have the Council been inserting these
no flyering caveats?
The Council Replied:
As you may know, the Council took on the
licensing of alcohol in 2005 (from the Magistrates) – the
transition period commenced 6th February 2005 and all licences came
into effect on 25th November 2005.
Any individual conditions
pertinent to premises previously not licensed by the council (for
example, pubs) which prohibited flyering in the vicinity could have
been applied from that date. If so applied, it
would have been added individually, on a case by case basis.
However, all premises previous licensed for public entertainment (e.g.
nightclubs, cinemas, theatres etc) by the Council (before the Licensing
Act 2003 came into effect in 2005) which then went to convert their
licence would have been subject to standard conditions which prohibited
the handing out of flyers in the vicinity and that condition would have
carried across to the new style licence.
These standard conditions
(commonly known as the Rules of Management in Westminster) have been
revised from time to time, but that particular restriction dates back
at least 12 years (the earliest reference I’ve been able to find
is the adoption of Rules of management in 1998; it’s possible that a
standard condition existed before that, but for absolute certainty I
can say that it
has existed on licences permitting public entertainment since 1998,
and would have carried over to any licence converted).
advised, we previously had a standard condition on public entertainment
licences which prohibited flyering in the vicinity. Before
converting the licences in 2005, we had approximately 750 public
Since the Licensing Act came into force, we have not kept a record in
terms of numbers of how many individual premises might have had such a
condition added (they will be on each file, but are not recorded on the
database in such a way that can be searched).
If you are interested in a particular premises you can ask us to check
individual licences. However, we have over 3000 licences, and if
you require us to check each one then I’m afraid we would have to
charge you as we would have to employ a person to do that which would
take (at a guess) several months.
would think that since they claim to recieve so many of these
complaints that they need to apply these special legal caveats they would have a
record of how many complaints they had recieved in order to
justify their actions ... but it seems not.
However, in the interests of not forcing the council to employ an extra
person we have sent a further data request limited to the main 34
comedy venues within the City of Westminster area.
we can see the anti-flyering caveating has been going on quietly since
It is only NOW that the Council has decided to
activate these powers that anyone has noticed.
The section of the Rules of Management in Westminster
referred to above reads
No soliciting for
custom, including the distribution of leaflets, shall take place from
the premises, immediately outside thepremises or in the vicinity of the
shall not use or cause or permit the use of unauthorised advertisements
(fly posting) to advertise events, exhibitions, publications or
recordings, and shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that
unauthorised advertising (fly posting) connected with events at the
premises does not take
NOTE: This does not
prohibit the distribution of leaflets to persons within the premises.
After some political pressure Cllr Colin Barrow clarified the situation
you for your email of 16th November in relation to flyering
in Westminster. Towards the end of 2008 Westminster City
Council was approached by the Heart of London Business Improvement
District who raised concerns about the number of street touts and
flyers that were in and around the Leicester Square area and many of the local business had
been complaining about the touts and flyering in the area. Residents
and the Heart of London Business
Alliance are keen to open a visitor centre in Piccadilly or Leicester Square and the
touting and flyering served as a very real hurdle to its success.
Early in 2009, all premises in the area were
contacted advise them that the council had received
complaints about this particular problem and reminding them that many
of them have conditions on their licence which explicitly prohibits
them from undertaking this activity. They were asked to consider
the letter as an opportunity to stop and warned them that
they faced enforcement if they didn’t.
You may be interested to know that many licenses
issues contain the following condition:
licence is subject to all former Rules of Management for Places of
Public Entertainment licensed by Westminster City Council, in force
from 4 September 1998 and incorporating amendments agreed by the
Council on 25 October 1999, 30 June 2000, 16 January 2001 and 1 October
Rules of Management state, under the ‘responsibility of licensee’
soliciting for custom, including the distribution of leaflets, shall
take place from the premises, immediately outside the premises or in
the vicinity of the premises.
Once alerted to them, many of the premises stopped the
flyering and touting. The officers turned their focus to those that did
not stop and those that do not have this as a condition of their
In support of our action, the police confirmed
that there have been a number of crime and disorder incidents related
to the touts resulting from fighting between the various groups which
has resulted in a number of arrests.There are also many
anecdotal complaints from members of the public harassed by these
groups and 12 of them have been reported for illegal street trading. I
can confirm that 6 have recently been found guilty and the
remaining 6 cases have been adjourned.
Having been satisfied that there was a problem and
that it was on-going, the Council started targeting particular premises
that were still operating in this way to explain what the issues were
and requested to stop.Council officers have
attended the local PubWatch on a number of occasions to outline what
the Council is doing and why and has had a number of meetings with
individual premises to this effect.Furthermore the
Council has contacted the premises that have continued to be linked to
the touting and flyering to notify them that the Council is considering
using enforcement action. A number of premises have received Formal
Cautions having been caught touting in the area.
relation to flyering some premises have as many as 50 people out at
night handing out flyers. From the beginning of
2010 we kept pressure on these particular businesses and had
officers out more frequently to monitor the problem. This
initially had an impact but it proved unsustainable due to the
overtime costs so in August it stopped. Unfortunately, the
problem appears to have returned. It was not straight forward to deal
with the premises that do not have the condition on their licence and
we were looking at the obstruction of the highway undersec.137 of the
Highways Act 1980 and the Byelaws for Good Rule and
Government. The Council has also considered whether action under
the Licensing Act 2003 was possible.
of the London Local Authorities Act 1994 empowers the Council to
designate places within which it would be an offence to distribute free
literature without the Council’s written consent.This would control
the number of people handing out flyers.The
Council is currently considering this approach as a possible way
I do hope that this
goes some way to reassure you that the Council takes this problem
extremely seriously and is exploring measures in which to alleviate
So it would seem that the Council does have something
to moan about but one has to wonder how the Heart
London BID opening a Visitor Center automatically neccessitates a
blanket ban on all flyering activities... incidental to which
the increased cost in manpower and overtime costs of implementing these
bans has been gone into in some detail by Parliament
before ... one wonders what the true ecconomic costs of implementation
actually is. One has to say too that it is not a shock that one
club has 50 flyeres out if only one club is effectively allowed to
flyer because it's licence is not subject to the infamous clause in the
Rules of Management of Westminster.
On the subject of Tourist Centres...
aggressive Flyering & Tourist Centres
For an example of the
aggressive flyering techniques which Cllr Barrow describes one need
look no further than Series 6 episode 10 of the Apprentice (Uk Version). Lord
Sugar decided that a good task would be to make some money out of the
25 million tourists who come to London every year and hired two busses
for the purpose which the Apprentices were required to use to run tours
of the sights - one member from each team conducting the tour while the
other team went flyering.
Lord Sugar arranged for them both to pitch to one of the Westminster
Council's beloved Tourist Centres of which Cllr Barrow is so
proud. One team won the pitch by giving them a hefty chunk of
their turnover and the other loss. 22 year old "self made"
Stuart Baggs on team Apollo who had lost the pitch was aware that his
team were not getting as many sales as the other team... so he decided
to flyer directly outside the front door of the Tourist Center on the
grounds that if they didn't do a deal with him they must "now pay the price".
demonstrates the ancient art of starting a flyering turf war
This resulted in the Tourist Center staff bitterly complaining at his
tactics of "touting" outside their shop. After protesting that "it's a free country"
and "do you own
this street?" [a piquant
question for the local Business Investment District and the council]
and "why dont
you call the police?".
Stuart gave up touting on the
Tourist Center's doorstep when the other team popped by to mock his
feeble attempts to nick their custom "You can't go wrong
with the London Tourist Center after all they endorse it".
Stuart responded by harassing the opposing team as they tried to
attract more custom by flyering in Trafalgar square until an argument
broke out and the colourful language of both teams caused the tourists
to scarper. He also managed to ask his competitor if he wanted a
physical fight. Business activities that sold no tickets but
Stuart to vent his impotent rage at having lost the task at the first
hurdle (pitching to the tourist centre). When Lord Sugar
questioned the teams about their behaviour in the boardroom the two
teams put it down to a healthy "competative spirit".
When semi-finalist Sella English on the losing team protested that
she'd put her heart and soul
into entertaining the tourists in order to counter Lord Sugar's earlier
complaints that she lacked a personality Lord Sugar responded that did
occur to her that the business model
of the task was to simply sell as many
tickets as possible and get people on the bus and seemed to be
opinion that actually
entertaining people to whom you have sold tickets
is very much a background activity.
For a laugh we complained about this episode on the grounds it
encouraged anti-social behavior.
The BBC replied:
for contacting us regarding ‘The Apprentice’ broadcast on BBC One on
appreciate your concerns regarding the promotion of aggressive touting
and flyer pushing and we understand you feel the programme may be
damaging for future touring practice within this industry.
Apprentice’ is unique in its format in that it is an entertainment
programme with a very real business outcome.
task is set to stretch the creative and business skills of the
individual candidates, in addition to their ability to work
productively alongside others. Within each task it is natural for
candidates to try and out do one another in order to get a step closer
to winning the task, and more broadly the final.
pressurised environments, candidates can become aggressive in their
desire to win and a certain air of desperation can descend over a team
completing their task depending on how well they are doing. This was
the case during the London Tours episode, and any aggressive touting
and flyer distribution in the city was merely an attempt by candidates
to generate as much sales as possible in order to win the task.
no way was their behaviour representative of existing tour companies
touting for custom, but we note that this generalisation of behaviour
is something you would like us to consider in future programming.
we have registered your comments on our audience log. This is a daily
report of audience feedback that's circulated to many of our staff,
including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and
other senior managers. The audience logs are seen as important
documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and
again for taking the time to contact us.
If Westminster have set a precedent for caveating one unusual
term/condition into a liquor licence and using it to threaten
revocation if their wider social policies are not complied with ...what
is to stop them enshrining more and more obscure caveats into the
licences thereby giving them political control over the activities
within a licenced premises…? This is a potentially dangerous and
worrying thought given the quasi-judicial natures of Licensing
Committees. The use of a quasi-judicial body to police a function
which it was never designed to arbitrate is highly unsual in the
extreme... and unfortunately cannot be legally challenged without
the Council actually revoking a licence on these grounds which would,
of course, have potentially dire consequences for the licencee in the
interim period even if the revocation was turned over as illegal on
appeal. Or can it...?
The thorny question of how far a Local
Authority can go in terms of
expanding the "reasonable" provisions it inserts into different types
of Entertainment Licence is matter of some interesting Legal History ...
This is the Wednesbury Gaumont (later
ODEON later Ladbrokes Bingo) picture house ...
In 1932 the Government
passed the "Sunday Entertainments Acts" - this allowed for the opening
of Cinemas on a Sunday. However, the local authority were not
up for Sunday Cinema so they inserted a clause into the cinema
Licence that "no children under the age of fifteen years
shall be admitted to any entertainments whether accompanied by adult or
not"... in an attempt
to allow the Cinema to open but only in such a way as to be painfully
This resulted in an epic legal battle which became known as
To cut a long story short to everyone's astonishment the Picture House
LORD GREENE : "The
court is entitled to investigate the action of the local authority with
a view to seeing whether they have taken into account matters which
they ought not to take into account, or, conversely, have refused to
take into account or neglected to take into account matters which they
ought to take into account.
Once that question
is answered in favour of the local authority, it may be still possible
to say that, although the local authority have kept within the four
corners of the matters which they ought to consider, they have
nevertheless come to a
so unreasonable that no
reasonable authority could
ever have come to it. In
such a case, again, I think the court can interfere.
The power of the
court to interfere in each case is not as an appellate authority to
override a decision of the local authority, but as a judicial authority
which is concerned, and concerned only, to see whether the local
authority have contravened the law by acting in excess of the powers
which Parliament has confided in them. "
...and thus was established the legal principle of "Wednesbury
Reasonableness".... To quote the legal Bible that is Wikipedia
the court held that it could not intervene to overturn the decision of
the defendant corporation simply because the court disagreed with it.
To have the right to intervene, the court would have to form the
the corporation, in making that decision, took into
account factors that ought not to have been taken into account, or
the corporation failed to take account factors that ought to have been
taken into account, or
the decision was so unreasonable that no reasonable authority would
ever consider imposing it.
The case its self, one of the most complicated since Jarndyce and
Jarndyce, revolved around such issues as whether the Queen is
an absolute monarch or not and how far removed from the Queen an
executive authority has to be in order to be told it is naughty (this
is simplifying the issues a bit).
the exertion therefore of those prerogatives, which the law has given
him, the King is irresistible and absolute, according to the forms of
the constitution. And yet if the consequence of that exertion be
manifestly to the grievance or dishonour of the kingdom, the Parliament
will call his advisers to a just and severe account"
...threatening to reverse the worst excesses of the anti-social-behaviour
laws in order to keep the Liberal Democrats on board with the
Conservatives drastic public spending plan programs ....they fear that
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act
Section 23 EPA 1990
is 94B and schedule 3A may just fall off the statute
Or perhaps this is a social experiment to do with the
upcoming next review of licenceing
law to see if anyone will object to
a new plethora of caveats?
After all ... if the political powers, law making processes and
footsoliders to enforce these laws are ultimately removed for being too
politically unpopular with the voters ...one wonders what private
business will ultimately get out of the BID levy except the
nationalisation of promotional activities via central budgets which can
then be plundered by other agencies to fill other government budget
short when everyone's joined a BID will we find that actually the
political powers of bids are suddenly curtailed leaving nothing more
clever way of Increasing Business Rates to fill the huge public
defecit...? or do all these business
leaders really think that in the long term politicians are really going
to tolerate what in reality would constitute a duplicate political
running in parallel to the one that put them where they are?
In many ways the
invisibility of BIDs to normal people which was their initial political
strength may also turn out to be their political weakness.
Pleased to be featured on the Pear Shaped website
has instructed her minion Colin Ellar to write.
I understand from
your letter that Westminster and other councils are
banning commercial flyer distribution probably in the busiest tourist
and social centres.
first admission that this is a coordinated policy
and nothing to do with any measured increase in litter?
It is difficult
for me to see a parallel between the two activities but that said Ms
Honeyball mostly campaigns in London as a London MEP.
let me inform you Ms Honeyball
that Pear Shaped was started with the
Live Comedy Promoters
in order to help look after our own interests as acts.
Government has decided it is going into live comedy promotion (these councils relax
their bans for promoters they like
obviously they will be the biggest comedy promoter and will no doubt
be the new target of most of our satirical
from a party that constantly bombards its activists with requests to
hang out down
town centers flyering the public in membership drives inviting them to
order to raise cash
to produce more propaganda to raise more cash....?
In what sense is that not commercial promoting?
All these arguements would be easier to swallow, of course, if local
spend huge sums of money advertising it's self
hilarious consequences as un-media
savvy policemen are exploited effectively for party political propaganda
then mercilessly teased by their mates on facebook till they say
and then ruthlessly mocked by national media.
Political parties are a business.
They are just a business who's business it is to control business.
they have blurred the
line themselves between political, state and "purely commercial"
promoting precisely by inventing public-private partnerships like
Business Investment Districts. Could it be
that some of the events above are simply seen to be in
with their own politically sanctioned self-promotions?
it be that local government is just too big...?
Here's an analysis of of Croydon Council salary information above
obtained by Shirley resident Peter Howard using an FOI request
as recently published in the Croydon Guardian
as compared to David Cameron's salary and Pear Shaped
total yearly turnover (theoretical) :
Or Perhaps the Problem the
Government has with the open mike circuit
is not that it is Commercial or Uncommercial - it is that it is
I would imagine
the House of Lords would find it difficult to ban all
political flyers being handed out as I would have thought the
politicians in the Commons might not support such a proposal.
admission that this legislation is driven by political self interest rather
than public consultation....?
However if you
wish to challenge the rulings it would be best done
British Parliamentary process.
Translation: "Dont blame me I'm only an MEP!"
Business Activity is Also Political
lunacy of this policy is, of course, that it tries to draw a line
between "commercial activity" and social and political activity.
And they are inseparable. All organised social activity requires
a turnover to fund it - thus it resembles business. And all
social activity involves the ordering of society which is
political. Here's an example:
This is Charles Allchild. Mr
Allchild owned the Fitzroy Tavern (home of Pear Shaped) from the 1930s
to the 60s and he and his wife adored children (in the era when you
could without peadophile jokes). In those days there were lots of
destitute children in London. The previous owner Pop Kleinfield
had invented a game to raise money for these children. One day he
saw the loser of a darts match in the public bar throw a dart into the
ceiling out of exasperation, and decided to provide darts with little
paper bags attached for people to put money in and throw at the
ceiling. The darts were taken down once a year and the money used
to take local destitute children out for the day and to buy them
presents. Mr Allchild being a self-publicity genius turned this
annual event from a small local do to a London Institution attended by
such stars as Tommy Cooper, Albert Pierrepoint and Norman Wisdom (who
probably shouldn't be working together). As he became more and
more popular his pub became a hangout for more and more bohemians such
as Dylan Thomas, George Orwell and Julian McLaren Ross ...then one day
(despite the fact he used to hang out with "Fabian
of the Yard" ) the police raided him.
There was, it transpired ...soddomy in the toilets! Yes,
the very ones behind our stage!
Actually there was, of
course, no soddomy in the toilets and the charges were laughed out of
court. Charles Allchild's real crime was that by not being
interested in politics but being very socially active, he had drawn
attention to big political hot potatoes such as the dreadful child
poverty and homopobia of the post war era. Although Mr Allchild
cleared his name and overturned the licence revocation on appeal the
financial and emotional cost was so great he decided to call it a day
and retire. Like most of the people above his crime in the eyes
of the political class was simply that ...well, he had no interest in
Of course .... all of this coincides almost
exactly with the start of
Business Development Districts.
Although they look good
on paper (let's get everyone working together) BIDs are powerful lobby
groups with almost a direct line to local
government and MPs to get their favoured legislation cro-barred onto
the statute book. If businesses work too closely together they
are in danger of forming cartels and destroying competition. The
fact they also have effective policing powers
may represent too much centralisation of powers.
Since I cannot be bothered to re-explain what a BID is (see here)
here is a short film by local Fitzrovian "artist-in-residence" at
the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL)
Novakovic which attempts to explain these complex and arguably
undemocratic political structures which have been being gradually
replicating themselves in more and more city centers over the last 5
An interesting polemical work on the subject is apparently this book.
Unlike other electoral districts Business Investment District
Boundaries are not defined by the
Boundary Commission but by the physical location of the businesses that
While the shape of the Heart of London BID may be accidental it has to
be said that
the legislation is a recipy for
As I stress it may be accidental but one cannot help but notice the
of the "Heart of London" BID
A shape that seems almost as if it has been designed
to encircle the largest and most important areas of public space in
while excluding the many small businesses and shops that surround it to
North, South, East and West.
It is revealing that when questioned
Andy Ralph, Westminster City Council’s licensing manager said:
"No business or
organisation should give out leaflets in Leicester Square."
followed by the usual catch-all-unsubstantiated-political statement that
receive many complaints from residents and visitors who are upset about
being harassed by overzealous promoters, and we have approached all
businesses to comply with this request."
The phrasing suggests his
interest would seem to be primarilly in
monitoring commercial competition in Leicester Square rather than in
any real monitering of levels of physical waste paper. Of course
when the remaining small businesses in the area go under
these can then be filled in with businesses the BID directors approve
of. The BID board of directors has absolutely no
obligation to let a new business opening within their BID area
join the Heart of
London BID if their business interests are in competition with their
It has to be said this
But then we are in entertainment - Not Politics.
What do you expect if you cloak your every real intention
in spurious subterfuge and sophistry?
Or we used to be in Entertainment.
Maybe Pear Shaped should start an open mike
BID and sell it to the government as a public-private partnership.
Still, let's be honest - advertising is annoying.
And it annoys people.
And if people we'ren't
annoyed banning flyering wouldn't be a popular?
measure. But if nothing else this is an interesting story/example
of how to get
new legislation onto the statute book and implemented without being
beaten up too much
lobbyists. Although implementing this by stealth may arguably
have annoyed more people than a public consultation ever could have
Here are some more counter arguments which we'll go through for
If you insititued a policy like this all in one go instantly it could
cause mass employment all in one place at one time.
By trialing it authority by authority at a time
you can measure the actual effects of any increase in unemployment.
There are now numerous other platforms on which to advertise like the
There isn't neccessarilly one organising mind with the state intention
of organising social repression
and there are always going to be
undesirable social byproducts
of implementing any political policy but it's more entertaining to
it in this way
and we are in entertainment.
If you were totally honest about what you were going to do all the time
lobby groups would make sure you never changed anything.
It's actually very difficult to ballence freedom of expression
with the freedom not to be commercially harassed.
The easiest form of political control is always an outright ban.
You can always introduce caveats later.
Obviously, however, the policy has proved slightly unworkable as is
by the different rules in different places and "promoter postcode
and the number of cats called fluffy.
By forcing small businesses out of town centers you might actually be
more ecconomic activity in depressed areas that need it more.
Street advertising is often used sensibly to start small business but
it can also sustain businesses that should close anyway because their
products are poo and
as they become more unsustainable their advertising becomes more
Huge commerical flyering operations can cause huge volumes of litter
and result in an inter-promoter war of propaganda attrition
Maybe some people will start thinking more about what they put on
rather than how many people they can drag off the street.
It stops promoters stealing each other's pitches or starting up
identical businesses two doors down
If you wanted to sell a physical commodity on the streets you'd need a
whereas handing out flyers, which is in essence selling tickets (a
is a method of circumventing having a trading licence.
In effect the exploitation of legal loophole....?
There are, by historical accident,
to the chagrin of Local Authorities two conflicting systems of
regulation for street trading. If you dont want to go to the
buying a Street Trading Licence
you can (much more cheaply) apply to
become a pedlar...
Pedlars as the literal physical embodiment of social mobility in
business are particularly hated by the political class who (since their
entire reason for being is telling people what to do and enforcing
social structures) are naturally subconciously opposed to independent
people who are social and mobile...?
Also these are the very
cant afford to pay the costs of joining a political party or lobby
group and are least interested in joining one so it is not surprising
that they attract large volumes of repressive legislation...
The Pedlar Resource
centre spend a lot of time petitioning Parliament to stop private
legislation promoted by powerful lobby groups such as the NABMA/LGA
legislation to restrict the rights of pedlars. They circulate slur
& smear about pedlars in the media and are trying to achieve
restraint-of-trade that forces pedlars to go only door-to-door".
This has already been achieved in Westminster using Local Government
Acts. Quite impressively they have four petitions on
the go against Local Government acts at the moment.
Here's some footage ...
...in case you have spare decade.
If you can get your petition accepted by Parilament (they have to be
written in the correct sagacious legal parlance to avoid being rejected
by the army of Mr
Popplewicks and Sir Humphrey Applebys
who's job it is to make sure that the language of government remains
divorced from the understanding of the working man so that petitons can
be rejected on spuriously mean spirited technicalities... a good MP
will offer to help you word one) then you win the right to
argue your case to a Select Committee which even if it doesn't block
the Bill slows down the passage of the Bill through parliament so that
it is more likely to constipate the legislative bowels and be dropped
for lack of time.
Politicians love to use
Local Government acts to regulate groups such as peddlers or comedy
promoters as it allows them to pick off small groups of opposition one
at a time in order to prevent any large lobby groups from
forming. Unsurprisingly the Pedlars' main political enemy is our
friend Westminster City
Council which seems to have the job of piloting most of the most
repressive legislation. This is because private legislation is
very expensive and only the councils with the most hard cash can afford
the legal bills of getting their own special local
repressive legislation onto the statute
The Pedlars did actually succeed in
blocking a proposed bill by Manchester
Council who paid £100,000 to Sharpe Pritchard for them
to argue to the Select Committee – misleadingly as it turned out – that
pedlars legally had to trade while in “perpetual motion”?
By combining Local Government Acts and Environment
Acts it is possible
to create a patchwork of legislative powers which have no single
primary legislative unity but together constitute blanket bans on
activities. For example by banning mobile
flyerers and street pedlars Westminster Council hopes to
glue a blanket street trading, "touting",
pedaling and street advertising promotional ban in the West End
together in a patchwork
fashion without any of the individual groups of individuals cottoning
on. Other Local Authorities can then say "if Westminster
does it why cant we?" and the repressive laws will then be extended
through more and
more Local Government Acts until eventually they are absorbed into
national Primary Legislation.
Jace Tyrrell, New West End Company's director of communications, said: "It is our aim to
bring Oxford Street and the rest of the area up to the standards of the
Champs-Élysées or Milan.At the moment, Oxford Street is not
fit for purpose – the street sellers do not look right
in the area, and that's the opinion of the shoppers and businesses that
use it. Don't
forget, we've got 15,000 media arriving in 2012 to cover the Olympics
and we need it to look its best."
Apart from the obvious
lunacy of saying you want to look more like other places when your
like Nowhere else" ...surely this arguement is by definition simply snobbery.
Oxford Street is a STREET and what the people who use it LOOK LIKE
(within reason) is
not important. They'll be stopping people from walking down the
street for being too ugly next... Westminster council seem
determined to gradually phase out street trading having long ago closed
waiting lists , they
continually find excuses to close one pitch after another.
When Jace Tyrell says his plan would be to "concentrate" the
traders into certain areas, but concedes that new sites are
still to be identified ...one wonders what these street trading ghettos
concentrated camps of street traders will look like.
here since 1978," said street trader Barbara McKenna.
"This is very unfair. It's part of London's heritage, we have been here
all these years as part of London's tradition. The tourists like to
come to our business to buy goods. With us, the stall
has been in the family for years, my husband has always been a street
trader and we don't know anything else. I want to pass it on to my son."
Quite simply by giving unaccountable BID institutions political power
over the West End Streets it is almost inevitable that they will try to
use their precious "footfall data" from
their various spy cameras about London to turn our streets from streets
to simply extensions of shopping isles.
Yes, you did read that right
Associated Newspapers have officially
petitioned Parliament about
the fact that the latest City Of Westminster Bill may inhibit
distribution of the London Evening Standard...
a subject on which the Evening Standard its self has not yet run an
article... (to my knowledge) ...
In 2009 as a result of
falling circulation the Evening Standard was sold to Alexander
Yevgenievich Lebedev, Russian Oilgarch and former KGB man (we would
like to thank the Kremlin for Permission to reproduce the above photo)
and a remarkable thing happened....
In almost a direct duplication
of the plot of the novel Psmith
Journalist by PG Wodehouse in which a new left wing editor turns an
entertainment newspaper called Cost
Moments into a campaigning
newspaper full of hard nosed investigative journalism on poverty while
the conservative proprietor is on holiday... ...the Evening Standard
who's previous only function was simply to
TV reviews by Victor
Lewis-Smith, celebrity tittle-tattle, theatre
reviews and articles that shared the same editorial policy and
sometimes the same words as the Daily
Mail only interrupted by vituperative campaigns against Ken
Livingstone ...completely changed it's
editorial policy overnight by almost 180 degrees.
Newly installed editor Heordie
Greig launched the new (free distribution) era by placing a
series of "Sorry"
advertisements across London and almost immediately
launched a scathing anti-poverty
campaign which rapidly boosted circulation by almost 100% ...in the
light of which
any legislation which may affect the free distribution of the paper on
the streets is extremely political indeed.
Of course Westminster Council's
negotiating position with these BID
bodies may have been slightly weakened by the fact it lost
£17million in Icelanic banks ... as explained in this
amusing Youtube video by Colin
Plugging this huge
£17 million hole is a huge political nightmare that has more or
less overnight turned
Cllr Barrow from the darling
of the Conservative party to the most vilified man in London as the
streets (and indeed the M25) are ground to a halt by protesting black cab
drivers and motorcyclists
who are the victims of his various desperate revenue raising schemes
(which also have the advantage of banning "uneconomic" individuals from
the various Business Investment Districts) ...
...to the point where even that very model of a modern cycling
approachable caring Conservative Mayor is getting seriously out of his
it's probably more difficult to abolish Westminster City Council than
Council. However, the inventive "merger" of Hammersmith and
Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster Council's public
services into a Supercouncil ... will
probably allow the missing £17 million to be concealed by
plundering budgets. The only problem with this model is that if
you merge all the councils together to form Supercouncils ... exactly
what is the point of the Mayor of London, Boris?
Big Businesses paying huge Commercial Buisness Rates for the most
expensive bits of
real estate in London are understandably pissed off with people
on its way to their front door. In one sense it's actually quite
the stand-up circuit is so large that the ODEON
chain, the Casinos and West
see the myriad of comedy nights as serious commercial competition.
We would like to point out however,
that unlike Theatre or Cinema
standup comedy recieves very little in the way of public subsidy
All we have in the way of state subsidy really is Ray Presto's bus pass
and the right to free street advertising has traditionally been
one of the few freebies the state gives us to allow us to bridge this
We dont live in an unregulated free market.
Tourists are a resource but they are a limited resource.
The exploitation of other naturally limited resources such as coal, oil
and gas is
carefully regulated by central government - so why not tourists?
Since email and the internet took much of the chore
out of booking acts everyone and their dog had become a promoter.
While competition on the whole is a good thing ...
Clearly this is an unsustainable and inefficient ecconomic model
that can lead to the exploitation of new acts as cheap manual labour?
Partnerships are not neccessarilly a bad thing but the
of commercial regulations in obscure environmental legislation
superficially about "litter"
or public safety is politicians treating the public as stupid and leads
to the suspicion
that the public are not being treated as equals in the public-private
This leads to ordinary people being extremely angry as they do not
the true political purpose of the laws and so feel betrayed,
unconsulted and lied to
and leaves those who's job it is to enforce these laws in an
increasingly invidious position.
The public need to know what they are getting back for the freedoms
they are relinquishing.
And business needs to know what new access rights the BID levy actually
Otherwise one side or the other is being conned.
Is it possible that as the Public and Private sector intermesh more and
....those most likely to be ignored are public sector workers and small
on the fringes of the PPP model who aren't involved in government.
In the words of Matthew Taylor, director of the IPPR: