Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Good news today in that England’s tourist attractions have seen a rise in visitor numbers. The bad news is that only the free ones have really seen any sort of a rise - and the ones where people actually have to pay to get in, have seen a quite remarkable drop.

And that was before a chunk of our society pulled up their hoods and stole everything that could be moved and set fire to the stuff that couldn’t. I could be wrong but when Mr and Mrs Armstrong of Wyoming, US of A are planning their next holiday, I am thinking cocktails in Cancun will now win out against chavs in Croydon.

Pretty much the only thing going for a holiday to the UK was our history and culture but the chap now serving a prison sentence for robbing some water from Lidl has put paid to that USP for a while.

So, what could be done about all this? Well first, the Government could level out the playing field between the paid for and the free attractions by removing VAT from the ones whose footfall was down even before the hoodies took over.

But there is a more simple solution.

Amongst the various lefties and righties that were debating the length of time a vandal should spend behind bars on Five Live this morning (opinions ranged from asking them to write the line, “I must not riot again” ten times on a piece of recycled paper right through to “shoot them and throw away the key”), there was one man who spoke an awful lot of sense.

He said that if people really wanted to help rebuild Croydon, they should simply go back to the high street and start shopping and eating there again.

Genius. Not only would that be good for the economy, it would be good for international PR too. Rather than having our country portrayed by images of our disengaged youths putting a chair through the door of Footlocker to get some shiny white trainers, we could have shots of busy castles, bustling high streets and booming museums.

So forget #riotcleanup and it’s #riotsplurgeout all the way for me. Everyone’s a winner.


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