Diary Entry for Wednesday, 11th July 2007
It seems that our Green may have been saved a fate worse than death! I and the other residents had been most disturbed that one of the houses at the far end was planning to open a roulette and craps room.
In our quiet little backwater this seemed most inappropriate. Dear Mrs Benedict was the fist to denounce the plan. She is a staunch Catholic, but errs further to St Francis than the mainstream of that era. Although she has a most noble home, gloriously bedecked with tasteful objet d'art, she is in constant state of guilt over the sin of personal possession. That being the case, you need only imagine her views on gambling of any kind - especially formalised!
Mrs Peach was the second to foray. She bashed on my door to announce the fact of the project. This was a scandal, the good lady announced from the very depth of her magnificent girth, and the post mistress would have been most upset by the news, had they not already closed the post office.
There was another side to the argument. The far end of the green is less affluent than our end round the monument. It leads onto our regrettably decaying shopping high street and establishments such as the football pub complete with large vulgar TV screen. IT was being promoted that this establishment would provide colour and gayety to the area, jobs for the unemployed, and bring money in.
This is where I started getting very confused. For I have, on occasion, been forced to spend an evening in such establishments around the world. My experience is that they are often built in the cheaper, areas of cities to save money. That the local economy benefits in no way whatsoever since the casino also offers accommodation, restaurants, shops, entertainment - anything and everything to keep people indoors. And that the only gayety that is provided is some pretty garish bright lights.
And of course, the one set of people who cannot afford to go to the casino are those that live next door.
Now, legislation as it stands, means that the establishment cannot open, but my local Labour MP assures me that there is a great demand for it and so they are changing the law. Great demand from whom? Everybody, apparently. And she proved it by showing me a piece of paper. Sure enough, it said "every body want a casino in the Green." And it was signed by Ricardo Castilliano (Sicily & Las Vegas) Ltd. Independent researchers.
Well, that was that. It was researched - though all in the green were a little confused that nobody had actually asked them.
Now, you can probably understand my relief when the First Lord of the Treasury stood up today and more or less said, to hell with that idea and sat down again. Actually he announced a review, but you could see the outcome of the review all over his face.
I think I might grow to like this First Lord!
See also Nick Robinsons Post