Monday, December 17, 2007

Seasonal Charity

How I love local TV news. It brings you all the best stories, especially this time of year. Take tonight - a magnificent tale of a man who has been forced to tone down his external Christmas lights by his local council. Tired of congestion on his street due to sightseers turning up to gawp at the lights, the council obtained a court order limiting him to only four inflatables, no music and no roof-mounted lights. Of course, the whole story was given a 'Bah, humbug' angle, with the council cast as kill joys. Just to emphasise how villainous they were, the story made great play of the fact that this bloke used to collect for charity when people turned up to see his lights, collecting £55,000 in three years. Apparently the council won't even let him do that any more. Bastards!

Now, apart from the fact that anyone who blights residential areas with these appalling displays of Christmas lights is, in my opinion, a nuisance neighbour and should be prosecuted, its the way that the fact he collected for charity (although which charity was never specified) was used as some kind of defence which amused me. These days the refrain 'it's for charity' is used as the standard defence for all manner of atrocities ranging from novelty records to Comic Relief. Presumably, if you were to systematically bum rape a pack of cub scouts, it would be OK just so long as you said you were doing it for charity. "Honestly, your Honour, I was being sponsored by some geezers in my local peadophile support group - for every inch of penetration I achieved, Children in Need got a quid" would constitute a legitimate defence guaranteed to get your case dismissed. Indeed, I'd love to see Terry Wogan accepting the cheque live on TV for that particular charity stunt. If only Gary Glitter had thought to get sponsorship from some his music biz chums, like former Radio One DJ Chris Denning, perhaps...



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