There is something incongruous about promoting gambling as a family friendly activity. And indeed there is a marked contrast between Christmas and gambling. At Christmas the infinite God became small. In gambling it's the dream of turning something small into something outlandishly large.
Hatteresley does not hold back from criticising his own party,
Supporters of the law which promoted the creation of mega-casinos — and the related decision to allow gambling adverts on television — will argue that, in a free society, men and women should be at liberty to spend their money as they choose. That’s true.
But that does not detract from the obvious truth that some freedoms are corrosive to the good society and, although they should be allowed, should not be encouraged.
And the decision to promote gambling as a weapon in the war against economic decline — shamefully taken by a Labour Government — is an affront to the idea of Britain as it was and as it ought to be.
Once upon a time, we built our greatness on engineering and textiles, shipbuilding and steel. We made railway engines for the world, our ships carried cargoes across every ocean and — even in more recent times — we aspired to play a major part in the information technology revolution.
The idea that our country will benefit from encouraging people — some of whom cannot afford it — to feed small change into slot machines is an affront to the memory of what we used to be. And, more important, it holds back — rather than encourages — the regeneration that we desperately need.