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Tough love for concert is music to my ears

So cops met Ireland's major gig promoters last Thursday and they discussed a raft of measures they want to implement to avoid a repeat of the drink and drug fuelled carnage at the Swedish House Mafia show in the Phoenix Park.

Really? Are they serious? They're going to stop and search young people for drink, drugs and blades and ruin their fun?

This is yet another example of an appalling nanny State telling us what we can do; it's an inexcusable intrusion on the rights of the individual and . . . actually, it's not.

Because despite my initial Libertarian revulsion at the idea of increased stewarding and stricter policing at gigs, I think we can all agree that there are some acts that simply require greater precautions because they attract a particular crowd.

This isn't about seeing the ways we would like them to be, or seeing things the way they used to be – it's case of seeing things as they really are.

And the reality is that, just like our streets, some gigs are simply potentially dangerous to attend.

Let's put it this way – if the last show you went to was Leonard Cohen in the RHK, then the chances are the drink and drug consumption of the crowd wouldn't have extended much more than some nice wine and a few spliffs.

And none of the residents in the area was going to feel terrorised by a bunch of marauding middle-aged hipsters.

But the reality of some events is that entire residential areas can become the equivalent of location sites for The Walking Dead.

I've no problem with people getting banjoed at a festival – it's almost a rite of passage.

But concertgoers have the right to attend a show without being intimidated and randomly assaulted, and if that means we need tougher measures – or even the appropriate implementation of current public order laws – then I doubt anyone can really complain too much.

Now that's what you call one degree of separation

Wilfully refusing to accept that 'fascist' has a different context in Italy than Britain (or, indeed, Ireland, if some of the Irish people I've spoken to about it are anything to go by) the usual activist groups have been busy for the last week trying to scupper Paolo Di Canio's (pictured) new gig with Sunderland (you might have seen something about it).

And the campaigners won't rest until he goes through an "extensive" education and sensitivity programme – presumably using electric shocks if he isn't compliant enough.

But my favourite quote came from one anti-racism activist appearing on Sky News – when she was asked if she would have a similar problem with a manager who was a Communist, she replied: "We fought against fascists, but we never fought against Communists."

Which brings us nicely to the 90,000+ British soldiers who served in Korea . . .

And for my next trick I am going to find an immediate if implausible link between between Roy Keane and the Third Reich . . .

Maybe not the best idea in the world

When 68-year-old blind woman Sheila Stadler from Terre Haute, Indiana, was buried last week, her family carried out her dying wish and buried her with her beloved guide dog.

But there was one teeny, weeny problem – the dog was still alive and healthy at the time (not when it was actually buried, dumbass, when the woman died).

To the horror of their community, they put him down anyway because their mother: "wanted to be buried forever and ever with her close companion."

Why do I get the impression that half the blokes who saw this story hid it from their missus in case they got ideas?

Or maybe I'm just being paranoid.

My, you are a cranky lot

This column ran an impromptu poll recently to ask readers what irritates them the most.

And there amidst the gripes about everything from people who wear green trousers, Irish speakers, parents who think they are "friends" with their children and so forth.

But I was a little unnerved by the guy who wrote in to say he is "filled with an almost uncontrollable murderous rage" whenever he hears someone "humming under their breath on the bus".

Not singing. Not even humming loudly. No, just people humming under their breath.

So, I'd probably stay away from buses for the foreseeable, if I were you.

Because after receiving that missive, I sure as hell know I will.

Quick gag of the week . . .

Comedian Lee Nelson (whose real name is actually Simon Brodkin) was in court in England last week after his other alter ego (oh do keep up), footballer 'Jason Bent', staged a pitch invasion at Goodison Park.

In a mock-interview last Friday, his character 'Bent' defends the reputation of modern Premier League stars and complains: "People say we're overpaid compared to nurses. But I've been to a hospital and had a kick around with them and they were shit."

Horrifyingly, I can think of a dozen players off the top of my head who wouldn't have surprised me if they had actually said something like that.

Irish Independent