COLUMN: Dozy’s Rambles on fireworks

What is your view on fireworks?
What is your view on fireworks?

FIREWORK season comes to an end yet again . . . or has it?

Via a Government website, I discovered that, and I quote: “It is a common misconception that you can only let fireworks off on or around Guy Fawkes. You can in fact let fireworks off any time of year and any day of the week, including Sundays, but you must let them off before 11pm.”

There are some exceptions to the 11pm rule and they are November 5 (Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes) when you can actually let fireworks off until midnight. On New Year’s Eve (December 31), the government goes on to tell us that ‘you can let fireworks off until 1am’. At Diwali (which I believe falls in October or November) you can also let fireworks off until 1am. For Chinese new year, you can also let fireworks off until 1am, although I am not sure if you have to be Chinese to celebrate!

I quote also from the Government website: “It is courtesy to notify your neighbours if you are having a display especially if it is not on November 5 or New Year’s Eve.” But I wonder how many would actually do this?

The big question now is, of course, and I know this argument has gone on for many years, should the public be allowed to purchase fireworks and should the Government be legislating for only organised firework displays to take place?

Maybe a highly-charged (financial that is) licence fee should be paid by both the sellers and the users of fireworks. Let the debate begin.

There are many disgruntled people who complain that their pets have been disturbed by the explosions and flashing lights. This, of course, cannot be used as a reason for banning private firework parties, especially on November 5.

For as for as long as I can remember, responsible pet owners have been urged to lock up their pets on that particular date. So any discussion must be based on the use of fireworks at other times.

There was a time when we were urged to ‘Remember, remember the 5th of November’ as the anniversary of the gunpowder plot. But now, it appears that if the 5th does not fall on a ‘convenient’ day, then it will be held over to the nearest weekend, be it before the 5th or after. Therefore it appears that we have now actually lost ‘the plot’ (excuse the pun).

Should we be banning thunder and lightning as well? The storms we had over the weekend were far worse than the bangs from expensive fireworks. That’s another thought, all that money just going up in smoke, surely it is just obscene.

With the recent ruling on literally a blanket use of fireworks, there is little we can do, except urge our MPs and Government to actually do something about it. But we know they wont.