Anorak News | Abandon Hope…

Abandon Hope…

by | 18th, March 2004

‘TO some, the music of Cliff Richard brings a lump to the throat, followed instantly by the burning desire to rush to a bucket.

Hopeless cause

To others, Cliff, Sir Cliff, is a bringer of hope. And he gave hope to the people of Birmingham when he turned up on Millennium eve and lit the city’s so-called Flame of Hope.

That night was one of wonder, as Brummies wondered why Sir Cliff and not some favoured son of the city like Ozzy Osbourne had lit the beacon and sang something more uplifting than the Millennium Prayer.

But this was the age of hope, and the flame that flickered atop the 33ft-high globe in the city centre was a sign that only better things lay ahead.

Whatever the hopes of the assembled masses, whether it be that the ball came loose from its moorings and chased Cliff out of town or that they would one day live in London and see the Millennium River of Fire and such epic scenes, hope sprang eternal.

But no more. Councillors have decided to turn off the flame, not because they sense that all hope is forlorn but because they cannot afford the £12,000-a-year gas bill to keep it alight. Oh, and it contributes to global warming.

Many are not best pleased. The Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Rev John Seantamu, says the beacon offered hope to all the people.

‘I don’t know how you can put a price on hope, but I suppose it is the council’s job to do that,’ he says.

‘It’s mildly pathetic to suggest that burning the Flame of Hope is damaging the global environment.’

But Birmingham’s head of leisure, Ian Ward, is sure that every little bit helps.

‘In a world where we are increasingly aware of greenhouse gasses, we need to consider whether burning £12,000 worth of gas every year is a responsible attitude to the environment.’

So the light has been extinguished, and there is now no fear of a hole developing in the ozone direly above Birmingham.

And if the council gets its way, nor will there ever be because plans are afoot, says the Mirror, to replace the polluting gas with a neat electric light.

What wattage this bulb will be will doubtless spark much debate and expulsion of hot air in the council chamber. But these are important matters, and we hope they are resolved soon.’

Posted: 18th, March 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink