Tuesday, April 22, 2008

St George may damage kids' health and safety

When I first saw this story, my mind immediately turned to "Concerned Residents Groups", "God-given rights to walk the Queen’s Highway" and such-like phrases, but it turns out that it’s not the local inhabitants of the area who’ve demanded the parade be called off, but the police:
A parade to mark St George's Day through an inner-city area where race riots took place seven years ago has been cancelled after police warned that it could put children at risk.

The event in Bradford, involving thousands of schoolchildren, was due to take place on Wednesday.

But police and council chiefs told organisers a few days ago that the parade could not go ahead as planned for "health and safety reasons

But the police have suggested the parade can go ahead on 1st July, when presumably those "health and safety reasons" would surely still apply?

No,really what the police are saying here is that in a British city, in 2008, they can’t guarantee the safety of 6 and 7 year old children parading to celebrate their patron saint.

The Bradford West MP, Marsha Singh summed it all up quite well:
"I'm quite surprised that this decision has been made.
"I feel such an event could only have been a very positive thing for the city. To have such a unifying event like that in Bradford would have been excellent.

"The reasons given seem a bit spurious to me. If the children have been preparing for this and put so much effort in this will be a bitter blow.

"I feel this would have been a great opportunity to reclaim St George's Day from those who have abused it for divisive purposes