They are noisy, messy and often indulge in large-scale vandalism, defacing monuments and blocking drains; sometimes they die and leave their corpses to rot in hard to reach places, they can carry up to 60 different diseases which isn't a pleasant thought and they have a tendency to gather in huge, intimidating groups in public spaces and have been known to scare small children and nervous Far Eastern tourists. If pigeons were people, they would have have ASBOs coming out of their ears but sadly, the only time they get close to sentencing is when they decide to offload a particularly dribbly streak of poo on the pillars of the local magistrate's court.
We'd all like to see less of the feathered fiends and organisations such as the RSPCA, Animal Aid and international Pigeon Control Advisory Service recommend anti-perching, anti-roosting devices, the hire of birds of prey and getting the lady pigeons onto the Pill as a softer approach to pigeon population control. Kingston town centre management with its sinister lack of capital letters has chosen instead a far more straightforward plan of action: they're just going to kill them all.
A three year extermination programme is due to begin this month, with an aim to rid Kingsotn town centre of the current excessive numbers of pigeons. Hundreds of birds will be killed and disposed of, in what has been promised to be humane and hygienic ways. Kingston market traders are pleased that their avian enemies have such bleak futures but the pro-pigeon party are sceptical - killing off large numbers in one go may not have much effect overall.
Choosing sides seems necessary as this extermination programme divides the public between "let them live!" and "Kill them all!" but before picking which side of the fence you want to stand, have a good look at the fence. If it is covered in matted, rotting pigeon feathers and layers of reeking, diseased pigeon shit, you know which side to go to.