After such a positive and happy previous post about the joys of poetry recitals it is sad, but not entirely surprising, that this time I feel forced to report that there are those out there that clearly don't share my enthusiasm. Or at least cant rise above their own petty bureaucracy to embrace the joy of spoken word.
Apparently a poetry group meeting in the Royal Standard pub in Ely have been forced to suspend their meetings as the local council - East Cambridgeshire District Council - have decided that whilst the pub has a license for music this does not allow it run spoken word events.
This raises a number of points not least the idea that you can have a license to put poetry to music but this does not allow for you to speak the same lyrics unaccompanied. The absurdity of this position is clearly lost on the spokesman for the council who tries to defend the idea.
On a broader issue, from my perspective, is the question of why you should need a license for a spoken word event for anyway. Stealth tax perhaps?
More details of this case can be found here.
There are times when you have to fear that a country run by such small minded nongs really has gone to the dogs. I'm off to the pub for a beer to drown my despairing disbelief, but I wont make a joke with the landlord or anyone else at the bar because they may not have a comedy license.
One small note of good cheer, I did notice from the article that the poetry group was getting some Lottery Funding- huzzah!