In a move widely tipped to win him the next general election, David Cameron has vowed to give local communities back the power to block licensing applications for lap-dancing clubs in their neighbourhoods.
Prior to the 2003 Licensing Act, councils had to give consideration to the views of local residents. However, the act allows the clubs to apply under the same Premises License regulations as a café or pub, leaving authorities with little scope to take local opposition into account.
“This is good news for well-off people in nice neighbourhoods who are well-informed about their rights and can organise massive letter-writing campaigns,” declared Mr Cameron. “These tawdry establishments will be forced to ply their tacky trade in the run-down slums, where the scum are too ignorant or apathetic to complain.”
However, some members of the middle classes are less than enthusiastic about the Tory proposals.
“I’m damned if I’m going to entertain clients to a feast of shapely, gyrating baps if it means parking the Beemer in some run-down alley south of the river, full of widdling alkies, crazed junkies and knife-wielding hoodies,” said one City banker. “They’ll have the wheels off it before the totty gets her gloves off.”
Meanwhile, lap-dancing club owners pointed out that they were in fact providing a valuable community service.
“For many hideously-underqualified single mums without visible stretch marks, trapped in a crumbling council flat and under pressure from the Jobcentre to get some kind of job or have their benefits cut, this is a dream opportunity,” said one seedy proprietor. “Only the other day this Cameron twit was talking about offering firms a couple of grand to run apprentice schemes. We were well up for that, but now I’m not so sure. I think I’ll stick with Labour. That Jacqui Smith can have a job in my establishment any time she likes.”