Is this country going to hell in a hand-basket – discuss…

It is, by the way, hand-basket, not hand-cart, as all those manglers of language and idiom would have it.


Anyway, down in leafy Aldeburgh, on the Suffolk coast, 20 of that village’s population of around 3,000 have lodged a petition with the local council claiming that the ringing of the bells at the local church of St. Peter and St. Paul, disturb the Sunday peace, which under environmental laws amounts to a statutory nuisance. Think about that, for a moment – church bells – Sunday – a statutory nuisance; is there the slightest hint of sanity in that petition?

It is, I suspect, a given, that these whinging tossers are incomers who contribute nothing to the community life of the village – locals would have far more sense. I sincerely hope that the council responds in an appropriate manner – fuck off and die seems about right -and it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. Personally, I hope whatever businesses there may be in Aldburgh tell the 20 numpties to take their business elsewhere. Mind you, anyone who’d be happy to incur the enmity of the entire village probably spends little or nothing in the village anyway.

There is not – there cannot ever be – any justification for 20 moronic people attempting to impose their will on an entire community in this way. Did they somehow overlook the church before moving there (no doubt driving up property prices beyond the reach of native-born Aldeburghians in the process), or are they too stupid to realise that churches have bells? Dear god, even the most unregenerate townie must know that. And it’s not as if they ring the damn things in the middle of the night – in my experience they tend to start around 8.30 in the morning. Back in the days when I was able to go camping, one of the pleasures of my temporary country home was the village church bells, ringing out over the woods and fields on a Sunday morning – and I’m an atheist! In Aldeburgh (I’ve just checked their website), the first service is at 8.00, so bells at 7.30, perhaps, may be annoying. Too bad, though; that’s one thing that should have been considered before deciding to move there.

There is, for example, a road not far from me, in Oxton Village, Wirral, with a pub at one end – a pub which has been there maybe a century or so, and yet people, coming to live in that road, repeatedly try to get the pub either hermetically sealed, so no noise escapes, or closed down, often with the connivance of the Oxton Society, who seem to have taken against the current manager in a big way (can’t say I blame them!). OK, the place can be noisy, especially in the summer (if we ever get one!), when the garden is extremely popular. They never consider that the pub was there first, and they should have thought about the potential nuisance before buying property a few yards away. I have no axe to grind here – I don’t actually like the pub, or drink there any longer, as it’s been ruined by it’s current owners who, in a recent half-arsed refurbishment, failed to notice that the contractors has simply varnished over chewing-gum stuck under the edge of the bar! Gives you an idea of the quality of the rest of the work…

The principle in both cases is the same – an urge, by a few self-obsessed people, to change the community to fit their pre-conceptions of what it should be, rather than admit they got it wrong, and either live with it or move somewhere more in keeping with their selfish ideals – a remote and barren Scottish island, perhaps? Mind you, they’d probably try and take out an injunction to stop the sea rattling the shingle, or launch a campaign to have the gulls culled. These people, whoever they are, will never be happy wherever they live – their kind never is – unless they are making life miserable for those around them.

There is, though, a slightly more sinister aspect to this. I’m assuming that this is no more than a bunch of pillocks being a pain in the arse, but is there a religious aspect to this affair? There are, after all, a Catholic and a Baptist church in Aldeburgh, too, so why no complaints about them? Actually, I don’t know about Baptists and bells, but Catholics are into them in a big way. There seems to be no information available online about this sorry affair, but I’d love to know who these 20 killjoys are – the onlne parish magazine, perhaps tactfully or maybe slow to react – there may be something in the next edition – is silent on the subject.

If I find out anything else, I’ll update this, as I’m finding it as intriguing as it is objectionable.

3 thoughts on “Is this country going to hell in a hand-basket – discuss…

  1. I very much agree with your point of view on this story. When I first saw it reported on the BBC I was surprised that the petition was receiving support from a human rights ‘expert’ on the grounds that the residents were entitled to their peace and quiet.

    I’d like to see the same argument used successfully against an airport or motorway bulldosed through a community!

  2. That sounds like you’re as bad off as we are over here. How has this type of attitude become so universal? It seems like every year we’ve got a supreme court case involving some moron being offended by a nativity scene or something. I always wonder if these people couldn’t spend their time and resources on something more productive.

  3. Well, it looks like Cyril Kornbluth was right – the morons really are on the march. The bells are just the tip of a massive iceberg of intolerance.

    Over here, every Christmas, there’s always someone wants to ban Nativity scenes, or ban carol services or municipal Christmas lights, lest a passing Muslim be offended (and it’s always Muslims, no-one cares about offending Jews, Hindus, Rastas or Buddhists, or any other religious or ethnic group – or offending me – I’m an atheist), but we are officially a Christian country, and anyone who objects to that – no matter what colour they are or what religion they favour – can bugger off.

    Likewise with atheists – we’re not all like Dawkins – the nativity means nothing to me, but I have absolutely no right to object to its celebration, nor would I, or any atheist I know, ever consider doing so. It would be quite absurd.

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