Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on revellers, logburners and preserving the magic of Santa

As another violent, vomit-streaked New Year approaches in our town and city centres, has anyone yet figured out the difference between yobs, hooligans and revellers?

A woodburning stove – friend or foe?

A report by a Tory think-tank suggests that woodburning stoves should come with some sort of health warning about the micro-particulates they may emit. These stoves, usually damned in the mainstream media as “trendy,” are blamed for everything from lung cancer to strokes. On the other hand, the newer models are claimed to be much cleaner and safer. So is this an issue that will solve itself in time? If so, why are the politicians getting involved?

Judging from the online debate, some folk believe kindly MPs are simply doing the right thing for public health. But cynics point out that logs, unlike almost any other fuel, cannot be regulated and taxed. According to this wicked-capitalist conspiracy theory, if you persuade Joe Public to chuck out his woodburners, he stops being a rugged, pioneering splitter of logs and becomes an electric-consuming customer and milk-cow, at the mercy of energy companies and the taxman.