Thursday, November 09, 2006

Incendiary devices

Okay, so Bonfire Night has been and gone, but I was heartened to come across this post today from the influential Labour blogger Kerron Cross, calling for a ban on the general sale of fireworks.

Says Kerron: "I don't really understand the arguments for keeping fireworks on sale to the public when you look at the nuisance, injuries and disruption they cause. I welcome the Government clamp down on sales but...we need to ban the general sale of these devices - they should only be used by trained professionals at properly organised events."

I couldn't agree more. Apart fom the noise nuisance of having fireworks going off up to a month either side of November 5, there is absolutely no need for them to be on general sale given the growth of organised events. I went to an absolutely marvellous one on Sunday night at Belper Town Football Club which had everything you need - a great bonfire, plenty of food and drink, and a stunning diplay set to the music of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.

Anyone in any doubt about the destruction fireworks can wreak in the wrong hands should read this horrific tale from the pages of the Blackpool Gazette.

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skipper said...

If I can chip in on behalf of the old farts, I am fed up with rockets still going off every night and sounds in the background like Baghdad on a quiet night. Recently I got up ant 3.30 am for a pee and heard fireworks going off even then. Yep, ban the sodding lot of them.

Toque said...

I don't really understand the arguments for keeping motor vehicles on sale to the public when you look at the nuisance, injuries and disruption they cause.

Sorry to be so dismissive of your argument but I really hate the 'ban it' mentality.

Paul Linford said...

How about the fact that motor vehicles are actually useful for something?

David Gladwin said...

Fireworks are already illegal. Have been for donkeys' years. Have a look here:

Avalon Project

"The making and felling of fireworks and fquibs, or throwing them about in any ftreet, is, on account of the danger that may enfue to any thatched or timber buildings, declared to be a common nufance, by ftatute 9 & 10 W. III. c. 7. and therefore is punifhable by fine."

stalin's gran said...

If I went to someone's house and started shouting bang repeatedly and randomly through the letter box, I would be arrested (or possibly sectioned). So why does some a*se think letting off fireworks in his garden is acceptable (yes, I mean you number 18)? Ban them. But then I am a totalitarian.

Toque said...

Fireworks are really useful for something (having fun) - that's why they are so popular.

Cars are useful to some, not all. You are simply advocating banning minority pursuits because you find them as nuisance-causing as non-car drivers find cars.

Why not ban dogs because they foul the pavement, or chewing gum for that matter. or cigarettes...

The moral high-minded supposed majority can get off their high-horses as far as I am concerned.

If I were a dictator I'd probably ban iPods because I am sick and tired of having iPod-wearing students at university ignore me until I resort to shouting at them. Fortunately I am not a dictator.

I should add that I have never purchased a firework in my life, and my dog is terrified of them (it has to be medicated on bonfire night). I'm just vehemently opposed to the banning and legislating-against-everything culture that we seem to have developed.

james higham said...

Paul, not sure this is right. Why not have them - there was never any problem some years back. Or is it all the new ASBOs who have caused the problem? Fireworks are part of our tradition and I'm not sure we should be meddling with our traditions, just at this worrying moment in our history.

Richard Bailey said...

If we banned fireworks, we would never have such interesting learning experiences retold in our media, like this one...


Reading on the Bog said...

Toque said...
"Sorry to be so dismissive of your argument but I really hate the 'ban it' mentality."

Hear, hear ...they will be banning murder next.

I remember, the bonfire parties of yesteryear. Jacket potatoes, Bengal matches, sparklers, bangers, jumping jacks ...Catherine Wheels that got stuck on the nail and somebody playing the harmonica. Everything happened on November 5th and if it fell on a Sunday, the night was celebrated on Saturday or Monday.

In the 70's the trend was for large, organised events using pro display fireworks. What has emerged in recent years is the use of these powerful fireworks by the public, over an extended 3 month period. Result, it's like living in a war zone - night after night

Perhaps the government could arrange to sound the "all clear" sometime in February.