Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's that time of the year again---Guy Fawkes!

There are some traditions that we follow in New Zealand that throw back to the old days. One of these is the doubtful celebration of an old English festival whereby we celebrate the failure of a person dissatisfied with Parliament, to attempt to blow it up. His consequent death and burning are celebrated; well not really---people just use it as an excuse to light fires and set off fireworks. To carry on this custom in NZ is at best fraudulent and at its worse---completely nonsensical and dangerous. I will no doubt be accused of being a 'killjoy' or a member of the fun police, but since when has been caring about the plight of animals, property and yes---people, been a quality that attracts criticism? For years fire departments have had torrid times because people do stupid things; setting fire to buildings, forests and grassy areas, injuring one another, yet year after year, various Governments refuse to act, putting the issue on the back-burner rather than make the call. There is only one solution---that is to allow 'public' displays under controlled conditions; these to apply for all celebrations involving any use fireworks. Gone are the days when we all had large sections that allowed for a few crackers, but with the advent of a far more dense urban environment, it just doesn't make sense. OH--those of you in country areas, feel you can be exempt, but think of your animals! They are your 'investment.' Why would you risk putting that at risk? It is time to act and consign this irrelevant festival to history.