That was kind of a shame really - if I'd done a proper post I could have pointed out that his claim that:
And in Watford, bonfires were banned altogether on the grounds that they contravened the council’s ‘key objectives of having a smoke-free town’.is a complete load of rubbish.
Watford had no bonfire a few years ago. It gave a few reasons, and Littlejohn monkeyed around with quotes to make it look as though the environmental one was the main one, as I pointed out in my first ever post about Richard Littlejohn waaay back in 2007. Here's a link to a list of all the bonfires taking place in Watford this year, proving that 2010's bonfire night column was spectacularly lazy even by Littlejohn's standards.
Anyway, that's all by the by. What Littlejon's columns nicely illustrate is the paper's approach to Bonfire Night. Health and safety considerations - sorry - elf n safety (shudder) = bad bad things. This September, the paper lauded David Cameron in 'Bonfire of elf 'n' safety: Cameron plans to tear up regulations which 'have become a music hall joke', trumpeting:
...killjoy council officials will find it much harder to ban firework displays and street parties.Hurrah!
It's something the paper is uncharacteristically consistent about. This year, the paper calmly reported a horrific accident with a stray firework in 'Man, 21, seriously injured after being hit in chest by stray firework' without attacking safety measures, calling for bans, highlighting outrage or seeking emotive quotes from relatives. It even states is the final paragraph:
She [a police spokeswoman] said SECAmb and St John Ambulance dealt with 127 individuals with 14 people needing hospital treatment, while a total of 23 arrests were made, mostly for drunken behaviour, possession of class C drugs along with a couple of minor assaults.14 people needing hospital treatment in just one celebration, and not a word against it.
So what would it take for the Mail to be outraged about accidents at bonfire nights? In true comedy Daily Mail style, what about if the item causing the injury was...foreign?
'Mother calls for Chinese lantern ban after son, three, is burned by molten wax on bonfire night'. Don't get me wrong, this is a horrible accident and if Chinese lanterns are potentially dangerous, we should be very careful about where and when we use them. It's just very surprising to see the Mail agreeing, and giving over a story to sympatetic coverage of anyone calling something to be banned.
Even when a child is involved the Mail doesn't tend to give time over to people who want to ban things on bonfire night - according to the Child Accident Prevention Trust, over 550 under 16s end up in A&E every year in the weeks around firework night. Ever seen the Mail use any of those to call for anything to be banned?
Ah, will the Mail ever tire of parodying itself?