Duke’s Diary - Night job beggars my belief

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I’ve got to cut down on the St John’s Wort. Maybe from two a day to one. It’s just that the so called “sunshine pills” appear to have made me so mellow I just don’t get angry like I used to do – and anger is what has helped this column keep going for however many years it’s been filling this corner of Saturday’s paper.

I still get pretty miffed about the fact that whilst dog owners are supposed to carry little bags around to contain their pet’s poop rather than have the rest of us tread in it, horse riders can let their mounts dump huge mounds without so much as a second thought. But it’s not outright anger I feel.

I’m also not too thrilled about having to have all then lights on my car working and remember to switch them on every evening, yet it would be my fault if I pranged one of the boy (and sometimes girl) bike riders who emerge from nowhere with not so much as a torch to light their way. It’s annoying but my blood pressure doesn’t soar.

I’m not over thrilled to read that the new promenade is cracking up under the strain of all the vehicles someone somewhere must have known would be travelling along it. It’s one thing the resort having a Comedy Carpet without it having a Laughing Stock Prom too. But it’s not my rates going to pay for it being repaired so why should I give a monkey’s?

Then there’s Festival House with its B&Q look and the vacant ground floor restaurant which is unlikely to find a tenant until they can be re-assured that sandbags wont be required in the winter and a temperature somewhere between freezing and frying can be retained the rest of the year. I’m probably never going to be invited to eat there so what I do I care?

The nearest I did come recently to a bit of old-fashioned anger was when I read that police are clamping down on beggars in Blackpool town centre. Obviously I agree that they should - because there’s nothing more annoying than trying to dash round the few remaining town centre shops as quickly as possible to avoid over-zealous wardens slapping a fine on your car, only to be harangued for a few bob to go towards a new pair of trainers or a packet of cigarettes.

It’s not even the way they have to go about it that was galling – gathering evidence of persistent begging before “working with Blackpool Council to secure a Crasbo” (criminal anti social behaviour order).

No it was more the fact that one beggar who beds down in public toilets or telephone boxes when there’s no room in town in hostels claimed to be able to earn” £70 a night begging at weekends – which he subsequently spends on “food and alcohol.”

Ok, food I can understand, and I have to feel sorry for anyone sleeping in public toilets or telephone boxes (it’s bad enough just having to use them actually). But alcohol? And £70 a night?

I’ve been mugged for considerably less than that – and I’d worked hard for that money.

Maybe the same casual and callously cowardly thieves who have twice done me (and lots of others) over should set their sights on pastures new, where there’s clearly more money to be had?