don’t offend the tourists

September 15, 2006

London Assemblyman Brian Coleman says protests in Parliament Square should be banned because they will drive away tourists. The trouble with these mealy-mouthed politicians is that they don’t go far enough. Noisy protesters with their shoddy placards are only the tip of the iceberg. Other people who, in my view, are likely to have a deleterious effect on tourism and should therefore be banned are people with BO, naff T shirts, unkempt beards (notice how I skillfully avoided charges of sexism there- I’m against unkempt beards whatever the gender of the wearer), people with silly grins on their faces or unintelligible Glaswegian accents. Perhaps a simpler solution would just be to have an exclusion zone from which Londoners were banned, except for essential services including taxi-drivers, prostitutes and traffic wardens. This could be fairly simply policed with an electrified perimeter fence and guards at a couple of checkpoints. No doubt a few foul-smelling hairy Glaswegians and the odd Londoner will jump up and down muttering things about human rights and freedom of speech. I would just say this: where would we be now if our forefathers had allowed any Tom, Dick or Harry to have freedom of speech?

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