Saturday, December 02, 2006

Nostradamus Update...

The following article titled

My prediction: Nostradamus will get it right more often than the Mail

appeared in The Times (UK) on Nov 13, 2006 :

NOSTRADAMUS, Tony Booth and Christopher Biggins would seem strange bedfellows. Yet they share something in common. All have, at some stage, written about the end of the world. There is, admittedly, a difference between them. Nostradamus delivered his doomy predictions under the patronage of the French monarchy in the 16th century. The stars of, respectively, Till Death Us Do Part and many series of pantomimes, did so last year on behalf of the Daily Mail.

Cast your mind back 12 months. What then was the raging controversy? It was the proposed reform of the licensing laws. An editorial in the Daily Mail promised an apocalypse on a scale almost unimaginable. The police, it said, feared uncontrollable drunken yobbery, judges were forecasting an increase in violent crime, hospitals expected longer waits for treatment for ordinary, decent citizens as staff sought to cope with “ a flood of injured drunks”. As for the public, they faced “more no-go zones and vomit-splattered pavements in towns and city centres”.

In a conclusion calculated to strike fear into the heart, the self-styled mouthpiece of Middle England said: “We can only await the outcome of this wretchedly irresponsible piece of misgovernment: the legacy of a coarser, uglier, more disordered society bequeathed by politicians who never listen, never think things through and always imagine they know best.”

And who was recruited to serve as chief expert witness? Enter Tony Booth. In what he insisted was “not me taking a cheap shot at a Government that happens to be headed by my own son-in-law” (I believe him, I bet it was a well-rewarded shot), Mr Booth cited his many years of past alcoholic excess and, to paraphrase Enoch Powell, like the Roman he saw the Tiber foaming with much lager. The move was “wrong, muddled and dangerous”. The Continentals might be able to sip wine in the early hours of the morning but: “We drink in a more primitive, frightening Anglo-Saxon way. We drink to get drunk.” Some people, he prophesied, “will never be sober again”.

Read the full article here.