Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Flaming Idiots?

Ahhh! More evidence of Twits In Power has surfaced.

One of the many reasons I loved my time in England has taken a hit.

Every year on November the 5th, the Brits commemorate the foiling of a 1605 plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Named after the plot’s ringleader, Guy Fawkes Night usually involves lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks.

However, as the following article from The Daily Mail that I found just yesterday recounts, health and safety fears have prompted the Ilfracombe Rugby Club in Devon to treat revellers to a “virtual bonfire” night. Well, at least the article uses one of my favorite Brit words - yobs.

Here is the article -

It's NON-fire night! Thousands forced to watch big-screen TV bonfire... after health and safety killjoys ban the real thing

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:40 AM on 05th November 2009

There's something magical about the moment a bonfire roars into life on Guy Fawkes night.

But in Devon this evening there won't be any waiting around for the flames to take hold.

The blaze will be raging just as soon as the organisers press the on-button on their giant television.

Revellers will enjoy a 'non-fire' night at Ilfracombe Rugby Club in Devon after organisers deemed a real bonfire not 'financially viable'

Thousands will celebrate November 5 crowded around a screen showing film footage of fire after organisers gave up wrestling with health and safety rules to hold the real thing.

The event - dubbed 'non-fire night' - will leave families holding sparklers and staring up at a 16ft by 12ft screen showing images of a roaring blaze.

Organisers at Ilfracombe Rugby Club say they were put off having the real thing by the 'mountain' of paperwork and regulations set by council bosses.

Officials at the authority said that to have a bonfire they would require five qualified fire marshals and metal barricades to keep onlookers at a safe distance.
What's on the box? A boy left holding a sparkler as the virtual bonfire flickers in the background

What's on the box? A boy left holding a sparkler as the virtual bonfire flickers in the background

The non-fire night will also involve giant heaters, lighting and a smoke machine to give the crowd the taste of a real bonfire night.

Sounds of crackling wood will also be broadcast on loudspeakers and £2,500 of fireworks will be fired into the sky.

Club captain Leo Cooper, 25, said: 'Certain regulations make it difficult for us to have a real bonfire. It is not really a financially viable option.

People will be treated to a fireworks display after watching the virtual bonfire.

'So we tried to come up with an original, imaginative and fun way to fill the void left by the bonfire.

'The bonfire is often the focal point so we decided to have a big screen that would do the same job.

'I think it was a brilliant idea. The health and safety stuff was a real pain.

'The idea of the virtual bonfire was to give our event an edge.' The scheme was hatched after organisers began to 'wade' through the strict rules behind the lighting of fires at public events.

But residents branded the virtual blaze 'health and safety nonsense'.

Amy Collins, 26, said: 'The whole point of Guy Fawkes night is to watch and smell a real bonfire. I doubt Guy Fawkes would have been able to blow up Parliament with virtual gunpowder.'

Zoe Payne, 31, added: 'If I want to watch TV I'll stay in and watch EastEnders.'

Officials at North Devon Council had cracked down on safety rules after yobs hurled fireworks on to a nearby football club bonfire five years ago. A spokesman for the council said the virtual bonfire did not fall under health and safety laws.

She added: 'If people are employed to provide a real bonfire or firework display then health and safety legislation will apply.'

Once again it is time for my daily omphaloskepsis. Tinged with a deepening sadness...

1 comment:

  1. Somewhat comparable to consuming a turkeyburger and pumpkin yogurt for Thanksgiving....