The Loneliest Jukebox

Graham Barnfield's weblog, being gradually replaced by his Twitter feed -

Graham Author Page

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Contemptuous? You bet!

Observer gossip columnist Nick Cohen has a grudge against the gaming industry. Plans to turn the Millennium Dome into a giant casino have tickled him as a source of rich political symbolism. I’m just glad someone has found a use for the bloody thing, which has been idling down the river for as long as I’ve worked in Beckton. Four years is a long time to feel an obligation to argue in Defence of the Dome ; if I have to say ‘crap content, great architecture’ to one more person I’ll smash up my Dome memorabilia collection. Or boycott the beautiful tube stations surrounding it.

Nostalgic for the old days when religious killjoys ran the Labour Party – OK, when a different sort of religious killjoys ran the Labour Party – Cohen treats the current relaxation of gambling laws as yet another example of New Labour’s capitulation to big business.

And maybe it is. But what’s missing from his analysis is any recognition of the way casinos have entered the UK urban regeneration mindset as a panacea to deprivation, based on a superficial reading of similar trends in the US. A trip to Shreveport or Detroit’s Greektown will show the rather limited impact of such institutions on their immediate environs. Yet schemes
to regenerate Blackpool or the 21-year plan for the Thames Gateway South East hint that casinos can play positive role. For regeneration planners, ‘casino’ has become yet another empty mantra to chant.

New Labour proposals on gambling do not stop at a formal liberalisation of the law. They also include bringing in greater intervention from the counselling industry, to step in and police the ‘problem gambler’. Does that include me? I’m not big on US-style casinos, as the noise from fruit machines does my head in, but I do like jai alai or a dogs night. The net result of these outings is that I’ve yet to break even overall, but the main point of doing these things is the social event. (Something missing from Old Nick’s account: maybe he has no mates.) In his pious world, fools and their money are soon parted. But if ordinary people can’t be trusted to have a flutter now and then, you might as well give up on us altogether. ‘Without prejudice’? Don’t bet on it.


Blogger Tonythebest said...

casino online To play free of charge casino online Free software. casino online

6:33 pm  
Blogger Casino online said...

apuestas Juegos en línea para jugar gratis o por dinero. apuestas

5:14 pm  
Blogger job opportunitya said...

Exciting blog. Your site was amazing and will be
back again! I never get tired of looking for blogs
just like this one.
Hey playa! You need to check out my plastic surgery pic blog.

9:43 am  
Blogger job opportunitya said...

Nice blog. I seen the site and I adored the work,
that I want to visit it more each day! I like
searching for blogs that have the same content like
this one!
Please take a journey to my plastic surgery cost blog.

4:53 am  
Blogger job opportunitya said...

Wondrous blog. Your site was very pleasing and I
will go back again! I like surfing the net for blogs
as good as yours.
You got me! I will check out your plastic surgery miami blog a.s.a.p!

1:25 am  
Blogger job opportunitya said...

Fruitful blog. I favor your site and I shall
return to it! I go to sites like this when I get the
chance, and find blog just like this.
I hope you can look through my best home loan deal blog.

10:22 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home