Thursday, 22 September 2011

Fight night in Preston

Earlier this month, a Labour club in Preston, Lancashire held a "fight night" in which an eight year old and a nine year old boy battled each other in a ten minute bout.

I'm opposed to boxing but would not ban it. I would ban this.

For adults to be paid to beat each other up, for fans to pay for and enjoy the spectacle and for promoters to rake in the profits is both objectionable and depressing as a measure of the kind of society we live in.  Hopefully in the future when it has disappeared, along with the social conditions on which it thrives, people will look back on boxing as we do now at the Roman games. For parents to allow their children to fight in front of paying customers is far worse.  They should be prosecuted and the club shut down.

In interviews, the parents have defended their actions by saying that children have to work off energy and it is better than them joining gangs and getting involved in crime, as if there were no other, healthier ways to keep fit and fighting for money was the only alternative to joining a criminal gang.

The parents and the promoters share responsibilty for this event with those who attended it and - even more creepily - those who paid to watch it streamed live on the internet as their evening's entertainment.

The event was apparently licensed by the local council to ensure that doctors were present, the fight was stopped in the case of injury etc. but it seems to me it was only by them licensing it that the event was able to go ahead at all. In any other circumstances, the organisers would have been prosecuted.

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