Friday, May 19, 2006

Gambling plans

When did the Tories stop believing in free entertprise and choice?

It seems that "Big Dave's" revolution to modernise the Conservative Party is eating it's way into core values that have been held for centuries.

Local Conservatives have decided to oppose the Council's "interest" in applying for a minor casino. A small gaming establishment, if allowed, would create a small amount of new local employment and greatly add to the local economy. However, Cllrs. Donald Woods and David Potts have expressed their concerns over the effect that such an establishment might have upon the vulnerable and weak in our society. They feel that an additional outlet for gambling might just be the "final straw that breaks the camel's back" for some of them.

Gambling and gaming is a matter of personal choice, it's not one for me, but for some it is. With choice comes responsibility - a well honed Thatcherite phrase if ever there was one!

As things stand right now, the gambler may choose to throw his/her money at numerous machines paying out up to 250 pounds in many licensed premises in the Borough, they can also spend their money in countless numbers of bookmaker's shops, they can buy countless lottery tickets if they so wish, there are hundreds of "blind cards" passed around pubs and clubs every night of the week, they can gamble on cards for small stakes in any public house, they can spend hundreds of pounds playing online poker, they can choose to spend money in any of the numerous amusement arcade type shops that sit in our high streets. In a nutshell the gamblers have plenty opportunity to make themselves bankrupt right now, without the assistance of a casino. So far we have seen few, if any, hard luck stories in the Shields Gazette.

The Tories teaming up with the Salvation Army to oppose an "expression of interest" must be novel. When the Noble Organisation forced the closure of The Old Smithy Tea Room in Kepple Street, to replace it with another of their amusement arcades, there were no cries of protest from the Army and their allies then.

So let's be realistic chaps - the Council might never be allowed to compete to have a casino in the Borough, if they are, and such a (hypothetical) plan succeeds, just remember it's a matter of personal choice as to where people can spend their money - responsibly. If an operator wishes to take the risk and invest capital in South Shields, let's remember, that it's their (responsible) choice.

Let's also remember that choice and responsibility are what the Conservative Party is meant to stand up for!!


The Shields Gazette

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