Round-up of the day’s news, first for a long time. Plus ça change.
- Manchester gets first super-casino, Dome owners consider suing
So Manchester becomes the gambling capital of the north west while the American backers of the former Millenium Dome make noises about litigation to get the decision reviewed. After all, they’d already invested a lot in developing a good relationship with John Prescott. Darn, all those school races I lost through being chronically unathletic…instead of walking away dejectedly - well, collapsing actually - I should have threatened legal action against the judges for not holding the faster competitors back. Today we have at last seen the death of competition - what’s the point of winning if the losers are going to court afterwards to grab the prize off you? Unless they’re too poor, like Blackpool council, who have been reduced to whining “But it’s not faaaair!!”
You may question the regenerative benefits of siting a huge gambling complex in a (notionally) poor and depressed area inhabited by vulnerable people but fear not - Tessa Jowell assures us that the business will be strictly regulated and all the staff will be specially trained to spot “problem gamblers”. And we know how assiduously highly trained minimum wage staff pursue their duties, as anyone who’s ever shopped in a major retail chain can testify while waiting for service or trying to return something.
Oddly, the slick computer rendition of the proposed casino looks a lot like a typical retail park development. It’s a natural progression; after years of driving out to a place where you have untold opportunities to exchange money for goods, you can now drive somewhere you can throw your money away for absolutely no return at all, unless destitution is a desirable commodity.
- Take a moment’s silence for the NME awards
A piece of fluff in the Indie about why everyone hates Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell (uh…because any right-thinking person would hate all the perpetrators of the current rash of interchangeable indie rock?) casually drops in the fact that “trading was briefly halted on the LSE” during yesterday’s announcement of the shortlists for NME’s Shockwave Awards.
It’s like hearing that the Queen broke off from a state visit to catch the Big Brother finale, or parliament was suspended while Robbie Williams gave a press conference to announce his new album. The worlds of celebrity trivia and establishment ritual are now inextricably entwined. Ghod help us all.
- You’re going down, son
The Metropolitan Police slowly close in on a known felon and his high profile criminal gang - yes, they’ve arrested “Loans” Levy, Butcher Blair’s right hand man (the one who always holds the briefcase at the rendezvous), again. Let’s hope they don’t slip the net once more (what are the odds, eh?). The Sweeney seem convinced that Downing Street are being less than truthful about the disposal of several slightly soiled peerages, while Downing Street insist they’re being completely straight, guv. And we’re sure they really believe that. Unfortunately, their grip on the concept of Truth has been somewhat elastic since even before they took over the lease. The truth is whatever one says or thinks it is, and the act of saying or thinking it makes it so. Sold peerages for loans? Well, technically yes, maybe but actually no, not really, if you look at it like this… And anyway, it’s time we all moved on.
And to end, we’ve just seen Right Said Fred performing their biggest…uh, only hit on a Daz advert (yeah, we don’t much telly for some reason). The apocalypse is nigh.