Monday, 26 November 2012

No sex please, we're from Broken Barnet: and One Barnet Casino Royale, the Tory vice

Barnet Council: taking a firm stance on sex and gambling. Except in the Town Hall.

Updated 23rd December 2013:

A merry xmas to some of Mrs Angry's friends in Istanbul, who also take a firm stance on sex and gambling. 


Mrs Angry xxx

Apologies. Mrs Angry must lower the tone of what is, of course, usually a wholesome blog dealing only with matters of political debate, moral quandries, philosophical debate, and all that kind of stuff.

Tonight at our Town Hall there will be a meeting of the rarely seen Licensing Committee, whose Chair, Councillor Andreas Tambourides, receives a well deserved allowance of around £16,000 a year, despite the fact that it will be convened for only the second time in a year (more frequently than normal, it must be noted).

The committee will be meeting  to discuss two matters that weighs heavily on the minds of many of our Tory councillors: sex and gambling. 

Not necessarily at the same time, of course -but in some cases, yes. 

Mrs Angry will not be attending, as she cannot trust herself to sit in the same room as Cllr Andreas Tambourides and friends debating this subject without feeling unwell, or disgracing the high moral standing of the Barnet blogosphere.

The issue of licensing sex entertainment venues in the London borough of Broken Barnet is discussed with admirable probity, and in some rather eyewatering depth, in the accompanying reports, as it happens. 

Mrs Angry has wasted a good deal of her time this morning on your behalf, studying these in detail.

In order to meet the requirements of the One Barnet vision - no, not squeezing every last penny out of those residents least able to afford it, to develop 'a successful London suburb', we are told we must have a plan to regulate sexual activity in the borough.

The meaning of sexual activity in this context is 'entertainment’, that is to say, 

any live performance or live display of nudity which is of such a nature that, ignoring financial gain, it must reasonably be assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of an audience (whether by verbal or other means)’ ..... 

Oh. What if it is only an audience of one? Or two? Mind your own business, councillors, Mrs Angry would say.

Mrs Angry is also trying to imagine what sort of show that would be, with only verbal sexual stimulation ...  limited audience, one would think, no? Niche market. About as much of a turn on as sitting through a council meeting in Hendon Town Hall. Probably less, in fact, if Councillor John Hart is speaking.

The definition of relevant entertainment would apply to the following forms of entertainment as they are commonly understood : Lap dancing,  Pole dancing, Table dancing,  Strip shows, Peep shows, Live sex shows. Peep shows? How quaint. 

The report also explains to our innocent councillors the definition of a sex shop.

Any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating:

(a) sex articles; or
(b) other things intended for use in connection with, or for the purpose of stimulating or encouraging:
i) sexual activity
ii) acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity.

Dear me. And we are also given a definition of a 'sex cinema': look away now, if you are easily offended, or very innocent. (If you are, what the f*ck are you doing reading this blog? Go away.)

 Any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used to a significant degree for the exhibition of moving pictures, by whatever means produced, which : 

(a) are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, or are intended to stimulate or encourage: i) sexual activity; or ii) acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity. 
(b) are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, genital organs or urinary or excretory functions, but does not include a dwelling-house to which the public is not admitted

Portrayal of ... dear me again. A vessel, or stall?

Currently we have no such licenced establishments in Broken Barnet, and it is not likely that any will be allowed by the council: or so we must presume. Admirably moral position for our Tory masters to take, in their roles as upholders of virtue and family values. Sex, in Tory Broken Barnet is like culture, according to the philosophy of Councillor Robert Rams, who recommends we go into central London if we want to visit a museum, or an arts venue. 

All very well: shame that our councillors do not seem to concern themselves with the rather more apparent and disgraceful sexual exploitation of women, some of them trafficked, in what is one of the highest densities of suburban brothels, here in this borough - or with the blight of dogging activities in parks and open spaces like Scratchwoods.

(To be fair, as noted in this post, according to a local Times story in 2006, Councillors Brian Coleman and Brian Gordon did, at one time, show some (entirely professional) interest in the activities in Scratchwoods ...)

Also on the agenda tonight is another proposal, of rather more significance than perhaps some might appreciate: to consider a 'Gambling statement of Principles'.


3.1 Under the Licensing Act 2003 there are three statutory objectives to be met through licensing:

 (1) Preventing gambling from being a source of crime, being associated with crime or being used to support crime 

(2) Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way 

(3) Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

Gambling, we are told, in the absence of any principles, raises the significant risk that would leave our council open to challenge by judicial review.


And they are particularly keen to protect the residents of Broken Barnet from the dangers of casinos: there is a proposal therefore, that recommends: 

"That the resolution not to license casinos be reaffirmed and recommended to full Council for adoption as policy."

Mrs Angry heartily concurs with the recommendations of this report. Gambling and the absence of principles is not something we want to see here, in this successful London suburb, is it, citizens? We don't want our children and vulnerable residents exposed to harm or exploitation, or encourage criminal activities in our borough.

Why then, Tory councillors of Broken Barnet, are you taking the biggest gamble of all time, and exposing us all to the £1 billion risk of One Barnet?

No casinos in Barnet? 

Not what it says here:

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