A very long time ago a chap in England tried to blow up the Parliament — Guy Fawkes failed and since then it’s been routine to burn wads of cash every 5 November in the form of gunpowder and other explosives.
Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
As a kid and as an adult I have often enjoyed the fireworks, but these days I think there’s plenty of spectacle in our lives, and I don’t see any reason for the city to burn so much money every year. Perhaps every 5 years would be special, and in the meantime leave it to the rugby matches and other such events to provide the public with explosive entertainment.
And, with every passing year I feel more and more strongly that fireworks should absolutely not be on sale to the general public. I’d be OK with them being sold to registered bodies such as schools, but not to individuals who set them off at all times of the day or night for weeks before and weeks after the official event.
Police in Hamilton are warning the people responsible for hospitalising a high school student after aiming a sky rocket at his back are likely to face serious assault charges. …the worst of the 50 fireworks-related incidents they have attended this week. … most involved young people who had been drinking.
[Via Newswire: Charges Likely After Fireworks Incident.]
Last year, when I did go up the hill to watch the show, there were idiots firing off fireworks right over our heads. When they set fire to the gorse on the top of Mt Victoria the crush of traffic prevented the fire engine from getting through. The roads are narrow and winding in these parts, people park on both sides of the road and those who haven’t found a place to stop try to pass through. There was simply no room for the fire engine. [And that patch of ground still shows clear evidence of the fire.]
This year the Council put up signs, but as I didn’t go up the hill for the show I don’t know if they worked.
But the routine damage and destruction was evident as always:
Firefighters have spent a frantic night answering hundreds of call-outs to fires sparked by Guy Fawkes celebrations. … the most significant [Wellington] call-out was to a fire in Stokes Valley which threatened a house and another in Palliser Road in Wellington where a helicopter was need to put out the fire.
Police also report a large number of disorder offences in the capital.
The news report continues to detail problems all over the country. But there is hope:
Wellington Central MP Marian Hobbs is attempting to introduce a bill to ban the sale of fireworks. … The Fire Service complained [30 October] that the season had got off to a bad start with more than 300 fires and one arson in the first three days of the 10-day sales period, outstripping previous years’ figures.