Dunno if it would have helped, but Alf gave some thought to inviting the organisers of the Erotica Expo to stage the event in his garage. He reckoned it would trigger a huge influx of visitors to Eketahuna and be great for the town’s economy.
Alas, Mrs Grumble was not too thrilled about the idea and made various threats about the withdrawal of certain services she provides. Alf backed down.
That leaves the expo with nowhere to go, after Hamilton city leaders banned it on moral grounds.
City councillors have vetoed an approach from the expo’s promoters to book the Claudelands Events Centre in March, despite the venue facing at least a $1 million loss.
Alf is delighted to see the good people of Hamilton are not the straight-laced bunch he imagined, and
… the call has stunned many residents who say the decision should have been a financial one and that councillors had no mandate to make moral judgments on their behalf.
The councillors’ vote – by nine to one – has prompted a huge online reaction, overwhelmingly critical of the decision. Most people wanted the right to make up their own minds whether to attend.
So who are the precious prudes who have subjected the city to their moral guardianship?
Councillor Dave Macpherson is one of them.
He has defended his part in the decision (as he was bound to do, come to think of it).
“To all those who think council should allow the Sexpo at Claudelands – why would you support the right of an outfit whose only objective is to make money out of exploiting women? I’m proud to be the mover of the motion to prevent that.”
Has he talked with the women about whom he is talking to see if they regard themselves as being exploited?
Betcha the answer is no.
Meanwhile scores of residents are accusing their councillors of forcing their morality on to ratepayers.
A Waikato Times facebook poll showed 111 of the 115 people are saying the expo should have been allowed.
“Believe it or not Dave, women like sex too,” Leith Gibbons said.
Paul Adams accused the councillors of hypocrisy: “Dave, I’m assuming council still takes rates payments from sex shops, brothels etc in town?” The comments had a persistent and strong theme of anger and frustration at council bumbling.
“I am feeling dominated by the people I elected and pay through my rates,” said Zeb Davies. “It is however heartening to see that I am far from on the fringes this time.”
Stuff tells us the Erotica expo’s promoters are still mulling over their options after obtaining legal advice that the councillors’ decision could be open to challenge through the courts.
Spokesman David Crow said it was “most definitely not the end of the road”.
He said the council had no authority under the Local Government Act to have made the decision on moral grounds, and “we have challenged and won against the Auckland City Council on a similar basis. We also have an opinion from our lawyers that clearly shows we can challenge this decision”.
Alf looks forward to Crow proceeding with his legal action and finding what the judges think.
Mrs Grumble tells Alf, by the way, that the city of Hamilton was named after a Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton, a Scottish commander of HMS Esk, who was killed in the battle of Gate Pā, Tauranga.
He prefers to think the city was named after Lady Hamilton, best known as the mistress of Lord Nelson who seems to have enjoyed a bit of rumpy-pumpy.