The Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has issued a Community Guide to celebrating Bonfire Night and thus challenged “health and safety zealots and the politically correct who have tried to suppress the celebration of this British day.”
Mr Pickles says:
“Bonfire Night is a great British tradition, and it continues to have resonance as we give thanks for the longevity of our Parliamentary democracy and the British Monarchy.
“This new guide challenges the municipal killjoys and health and safety zealots who want to stop bonfires and fireworks. The public should be encouraged to celebrate this day in the traditional way, together with some common sense tips to ensure a safe and fun evening.
“Important occasions like this bring people together across colour, class and creed. Britain is stronger as a nation when we celebrate these ties and traditions that bind our country together.”
In Peterlee the traditional display was cancelled over supposed health and safety concerns.
In Lower Hartshay in Derbyshire the council attacked the gathering up of wood and grass cuttings as “fly-tipping”.
Whitby Town Council have also been a dampner on proceedings.
The BBC has suggested that the cry “Penny for the Guy?” is seldom heard and that Halloween has taken over.
Christine Odone spotted a bit a of trend a couple of years ago. She wrote:
“The directives on bonfire night will do nothing but alienate citizens, infantilise grown-ups and disappoint children. The weekend gave us a taste of things to come: at Ascot Racecourse the organisers of the fireworks display banned sparklers. At another organised event in Birmingham a “Strictly no sparklers” sign was on site.
“And in Scotland, the Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham issued a “Bonfire Night safety message” to the nation, urging them to attend only organised parties. (She also pleaded with the Scots not to beat up firefighters: figures for 2011-12 recorded 112 incidents where attacks on fire fighters occurred.)
“A shame. Bonfire Night, unlike Halloween, is a truly national tradition. Yet it risks being ruined by heavy-handed authorities – the kind to make one feel sympathy for Guy’s plot to blow them all up.”
At least after the intervention by Mr Pickles the various killjoys can no longer claim to be attacking with any kind of official endorsement.