Am I the only one who can't quite believe that this supposedly Labour government is happily introducing a Las Vegas style casino culture into the UK?
What the farkin hell do they think they're up to?
I have no idea how often, if ever, anyone reading my frequent rantings has visited a casino. I have been on two or three occasions when my stakes were provided by an obliging airline hoping to get me to book more passengers with them rather than a rival. I was always surprised to find that my host considered this to be a "bit of fun". I can't understand what the "fun" is: all you are doing is pouring money into some be-suited shitbag's bank account in return for absolutely nothing. It's quite obviously a pretty stupid way to spend both time and money.
Casinos are not bright, shiny playgrounds full of the beautiful people sipping vodka martinis. They are full of sad, downtrodden people desperately hoping for "the big win" which will never come, because roulette, blackjack et al are legalised theft (quite similar to the insurance industry in a way, but seriously less regulated). The national lottery is a voluntary tax on stupidity, and now the government wants a bigger slice of our money to be surrendered voluntarily, just to provide more wealth for the few and extra income for Mr Brown's department.
As regards the extra job creation being mooted - would you like to work for minimum wage in a place open 24 hours (or near as dammit), trained to ensure that everyone is quietly and efficiently ripped off? Don't think for a minute that anything above the minimum they can get away with [of the wealth created] will go to the workforce, it'll line the pockets of the already fabulously rich businessmen who will get the licences to run these money-factories. I don't suppose the casino owners and senior managers will be too pleased if the workforce tries to unionise or protect their own rights either.
The victims of this national con-trick will be the poorest and the least well educated (exactly those who spend more than is sensible on the national loottery or blow a week's housekeeping on the Grand National) and I predict that within a few months of these places being licensed there will be reports of a massive rise in gambling related problems. It is simply wrong to make gambling so much more accessible. I don't know how Ms Jowell sleeps at night after spouting such arrant nonsense (and she must know it's nonsense) in the House yesterday.
Has our cultural life really dumbed down so low, has the great British public's imagination been so corrupted as to think that throwing away money to enrich a few mealy-mouthed legalised thieves is a worthwhile pastime? More importantly, has our government taken leave of its tiny little senses?