The 'noughties' were meant to be the caring decade but we're buggered if we noticed it at Londonist, especially with a whip-cracking editor having no sympathy for fingers bleeding through too much typing. It seems, however, that the softly softly approach is now de rigeur.
First off, the coppers in Wandsworth have decided to send letters to people who don't turn up for court and bail appearances. This Is Local London's story quotes Inspector John Hayward, who says, "Those who have received the letters have the advantage of avoiding being detained overnight or even for a weekend."
Now, keen readers of Londonist may have noticed we're a fairly liberal bunch but we can't help asking ourselves why the flipping hell should people be given an 'advantage' when they haven't presented themselves at court? Presumably they're supposed to be in court for a reason, one presumes for (alleged) criminal activity. We can't imagine they'll be too fussed about receiving a letter asking them very nicely to appear in court at some stage, at their convenience, if it's not too much trouble, pretty please? Maybe the police will embrace text messaging next: "Hi. U shld be in crt now 4 da crime wot u dun. Can u do 2moro instd? C ya. luv, PC Pld. xxx"
A second story in This Is Local London shows pressure groups are softening too. Not content with petitions and placards to protest against the demolition of the Ladywell Leisure Centre, Save Ladywell Pool campaigners have decided instead to... put on a pantomime in Lewisham High Street. (The next performance is on 22nd January.) They'd better watch out though. In Reading last Christmas, the mayor actually joined in as a pantomime dame.
Co-writer Max Calo says, "We hope to embarrass Mayor Steve Bullock to highlight the fact the council doesn't care about the views of the people." Lewisham council didn't say, "Ohhhh, yes we do!"