There's no getting away from the fact that we're a bunch of sinners here at the Londonist HQ so it's odd that we have a soft spot for Philip Howard, the winner/sinner man who has become such a staple of London life. Maybe it's because we just like megaphones and when you get right down to it his sub par Dr Seuss rhyming skills amount to nothing more annoying than the snippets of conversation you hear every day on the bus or tube. Then again we don't have to work on Oxford Street and deal with him on a regular basis. Anyheck, the mighty Westminster Council now has it in for him and are readying one of those asbo things:
The council wants to prevent him from using his loudspeaker in Oxford Street and the surrounding area. It said it had applied for the order following complaints about Mr Howard from the public. The council alleges that he has acted in an anti-social manner likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. But Mr Howard said the council had chosen to listen to "a few of the moaners" rather than "the majority" who come and pat him on the back.
We can't say we've ever seen anyone pat him on the back, and he goes on to say that our fair city has no soul... the cheek!
He's also divided opinion between a couple of street newspaper vendors. One chap says there's no harm done while another litter peddler says that he's a pain because he says the same things over and over. Which is a weird thing to say when you earn a crust shouting the word 'Standard' over and over like a poorly scripted alarm clock.
So what do you think? Should Phil be asbooed off our streets? He is after all preaching for the side that doesn't like Black Sabbath. Or is this a free (albeit mega phoned) speech issue?