Friday, 15 January 2010

And the verdict on the snow is....

Judge: Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today at the Court of Natural Fairness in bath to discuss a prosecution case. It is: “The snow and ice has been a disaster for this area.” Can I ask the prosecution to outline their case?

Prosecution: Thank you m’lud. Your honour, this is an open and shut case. This bad weather has turned many roads and pavements into ungritted death traps, people’s gardens are resembling recycling sites because no-one has picked up their rubbish and businesses have lost millions. The snow has been a total disaster. End of story.

Defence: And what about aesthetically?

Prosecution: I beg your pardon?

Defence: It’s the beauty of the whole thing. You can’t deny that everywhere looks wonderful in the snow. Every time you walk round a corner you spot a potential Christmas card for next year. And it’s not just the usual Bath beauty spots – every single estate, every suburb and especially every village looks utterly glorious at the moment. And all of these sights are improved further because they tend to have happy smiling children’s faces illuminating them as well.

Prosecution: That is all very well but you mentioned there about ‘walking round a corner’. Have you tried to do that? Have you seen the people falling over, skidding and being forced into the road to face cars that are also skidding? I don’t think that people would see much beauty in that.

Defence: No, you are right, getting about hasn’t been easy for people – but many have still managed to do so. This weather has really shone the light on some local heroes and put Bath’s community spirit back to the fore.

Prosecution: Heroes? What heroes?

Defence: Well, apart from the emergency services who have been brilliant as usual, if you scratch the surface you will find heroes on every street in the area. People who have been helping others to move the snow and the ice from their drives and paths, people who have been doing extra bits of shopping for those on their own and people such as milkmen, newspaper delivery boys and girls and local shopkeepers who have done their very best to keep their communities alive and kicking.

Prosecution: That’s all very well, but try telling that to the businesses who have lost money, children who have missed vital schooling and people living on ungritted roads with overflowing bins. I doubt you will find much ‘community spirit’ among those people.

Defence: Of course, this has been a difficult period but I still believe it has shown some of the “Best of British” and if we see this as a bit of a war with Mother Nature, the evidence is that after a war there is an upsurge in optimism and businesses can, and do, bounce back in style. Just watch and see.

Judge: OK, OK, enough. I have heard all the arguments but I just cannot make up my mind. I, therefore, will ask the people of Bath to be the jury on this one. Has this been a week we will remember with affection or with sadness? Answers on a postcard etc, etc...

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