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Tuesday 4th November 2003

The people I like best around Bonfire Night are the ones who spend huge amounts of money on expensive fireworks and then let them off during the daylight. Fair enough fireworks aren't an entirely visual experience. They tend to make a big noise and smell a bit queer too (though for any sensible person they won't have too much effect on the taste or touch senses).
Maybe the people who like to let off fireworks in the day just love the loud bang they make. But plenty of things make loud bangs and don't cost twenty quid a pop. Why preclude yourself from the spectacle that they can give your sense of vision. It's all argh! and no ooooooh! for these people.

I suppose it is possible that the fireworks that go off during the day are all part of a special display for the blind. It doesn't matter to them about the little green and red swirls falling from the sky. Just the noise is enough for them. But I'm sure that guide dogs are now trained to oooh and aaaah with the best of us, thus giving their owners a metaphorical window on an evening display.
Most of the daytime firework firings do not seem very organised and mainly happen in the street. Perhaps their aim is to create more blind people, so the people who are already blind don't feel like it's just them. It's a nice gesture, but one that I doubt any blind person would condone. We don't have to show solidarity with the blind by poking out our own eyes, or worse by blasting out the eyes of a passing stranger who is unlucky enough to stray into the path of your pointless daytime missile.
But if you want to blind people with fireworks then you can still do that at night time and then at least you can enjoy the firework as it was intended. As a visual treat. And even the person you blind will get some comfort from the fact that the last thing he or she saw was a pretty amazing splash of colour and light.

I am going to propose a TV campaign not to warn people of the dangers of fireworks, but the wastefulness of letting them off under the light of the Sun. People have to be told. It's a waste of fireworks.

And remember, in the kingdom of the blind firework legislation is largely redundant.

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