Richard Littlejohn dedicates his main piece today to more ‘elf ‘n’ safety’ bans, calling it ‘a special Guy Fawkes edition of Mind How You Go’. I was going to go through the claims one-by-one, but as the first claim unraveled it become so amusing and lengthy that I don’t think I’ll bother. Instead, enjoy a look at how Richard gets paid to recycle and embellish his old crap over and over again.
The claim: ‘On the orders of elf’n’safety, residents of Ilfracombe, in Devon, were forced to watch a virtual bonfire on a big screen.’
I just knew this story was rubbish, given that generally speaking those responsible for health and safety don’t ban things, let alone give ‘orders’. A quick Google search reveals the truth:
The idea was hatched after rugby club officials started to wade through the mountain of health and safety paperwork needed to hold the event.
Officials at North Devon District Council, which owns the rugby club land, have cracked down on safety rules after yobs hurled fireworks onto a nearby football club bonfire four years ago.
Under the new regime the club would be required to hire five qualified fire marshals, recruit dozens of volunteers to watch over the 2,000-strong crowd and fix metal barricades around the fire to keep people at a safe distance.
So, it was the case that the organisers didn’t want to go make the effort to comply with health and safety regulations that most people would consider sensible – especially given the incident that made North Devon Council become stricter in their approach to safety. Isn’t this the whole point of health and safety legislation, protecting people not just from themselves (which they might argue they do not need) but from the irresponsible actions of others.
Yes, perhaps it is a shame that we have to fence off bonfires because of the idiot actions of a few, but then it is also a shame that the actions of a few Muslim extremists lead to the whole Muslim population being smeared by the tabloid press. The press cannot bemoan one whilst actively reveling in the other.
The organisers and participants actually seemed to enjoy the event according to reports:
The organisers of the non-fire night built a fire on private earlier this week and Ilfracombe rugby player Joel Cooper, 25, and his 22-year-old brother Leo, recorded it with a video camera. Joel said: “I think it was a brilliant idea. The health and safety stuff was a real pain.
“We used to have the bonfire on the pitch so we have the added advantage of a clear ground for the next game.”
What is clear, as usual is that nothing was banned, at all. No orders were given and in fact the council, who declined to comment on the tabloid rubbish did point out that ‘the rugby club had not been in contact’.
The best thing about this claim is where it was dredged up from, step forward the book ‘Littlejohn’s Britain’, written by, you’ve guessed it, Richard Littlejohn. An abridged version of the story already appears on the Mail website, it was put there in April 2007:
On November 5, 2006, a crowd of more than 2,000 people assembled in a field in Ilfracombe, Devon, to watch a virtual bonfire on a big screen.
Heaters were arranged strategically around the field to give the sensation of the warmth of a real bonfire and loudspeakers played the sound of wood crackling.
The organisers decided on this performance after concluding that it would be uneconomic to comply with precautions insisted upon by the local council’s elf ‘n’ safety officers.
They would have to hire steel safety barriers, an army of stewards and first-aiders, and have the fire brigade on standby. They concluded it wasn’t worth it.
Hilariously, in 2007 Richard conceded that no orders were issued by ‘elf ‘n’ safety’ but that it was a decision made by the organisers in order to avoid having to meet or bother with the new requirements. Not only is he lazy enough to copy and paste the bulk of his ‘new’ column from stuff that has already appeared on the Mail website at least twice and in his book, he actually feels the need to embellish his own bullshit a bit further.
This column provides a perfect example of how Richard Littlejohn gets paid to recycle his own shit.
First of all, he produces his shit by rehashing Daily Mail articles or reader emails (normally making them even more dishonest than they were originally) and publishes them online and in print. At some point he collects all of this shit, staples it together and calls it a book. He then abridges this shit and prints the same shit back in the Mail again. He can then copy and paste the same shit – with some new embellishments – years later into a ‘new’ pile of shit.
Somehow, he gets paid every step of the way for doing this. You couldn’t make it up.
One of the other snippets from Littlejohn’s column today has already been laughed at by Primly Stable. Littlejohn hilariously wonders whether after prisoners have been given the right to vote why don’t we ‘go the whole hog and let them stand for election’. As Primly Stable points out, they already can stand for election.
Just a reminder that Littlejohn gets paid nearly a million pounds a year to write this shit.