I don't want to get involved in arguments about whether this club should operate or not, or its advantages or disadvantages - but it really is a bit much of the FT to claim that the 'Liberal Democratic' (they mean Democrat) 'regime' is immoral or irreligious because permission may be given. I sat on Southwark's Licensing Committee for a year and on the Planning Committee for 12 years, and whether or not you give permission is not a matter of personal morals or opinion but governed by strict legal rules. It is ridiculous to imply that the Chair of the Committee is in some way 'better' than other members because he is a Muslim - good luck to him, but other Committee members also have religious convictions. However, at the end of the day they can't let their religious faith decide the case for them. And as for the LibDems being responsible for naming the area 'Bankside' - this is a silly one. I was a LibDem Councillor for the area for 16 years, but I certainly don't claim credit for this - it's surely been Bankside for a few hundred years. The FT, who have been in Bankside for several of them, and have been quite helpful to the community in some ways, should surely at least know that.
Hilary, my Mum recants frequently about the time when as a child her family was flooded out, the water marks came several feet up the walls , the rats were every where as big as cats, the smell was dreadful for months - when was this - she says early twenties ( ?) and where was this - she says BANKSIDE!
(As for Bankside, I was irritated by an article in the Independent recently that started like this: "The area south of the Thames ... has become known as Bankside and is one of the hottest patches of Thames waterside this autumn." Some of us have known it as Bankside for many years - just because it didn't appear on the radar of property journalists doesn't mean that it didn't exist!)
In fact, what's it got to do with any of these: <<the Dean of Southwark Cathedral, the Chief Executive Officer of London Bridge Hospital, The Bishop of Woolwich, the Diocese of Southwark, >> ??
The police obviously need to have a say in licensing matters. Other than that, the rest are surely just sticking their noses in.
Southwark Cathedral is nearby, but (unless they've started regular night-time services) the clientele of the strange fetish-dressing establishment will never have to cross paths with Wicked's members.
Local businesses and residents should obviously have a say, but we've got to distinguish between moral and practical complaints. If I don't want a fetish club near my house/business because it's noisy and its visitors take antisocial behaviour into the streets with them, then fair enough. But I've not really got any right to expect people to listen to me if my complaint is just because I personally don't like something and find it against my personal morals.
What next? Teetotallers campaign to ban all off licenses in the vicinity of their meeting place.....Jews and Muslims ban sale of pork near mosques and synagogues?
Ah, but regardless of whether you agree with him or not, he does have a right to comment. In fact, given that this is ground-breaking stuff, everyone should have the right to comment, as it has implications far beyond our little patch of London.
Plus, Ivan, you said "Southwark Cathedral is nearby, but (unless they've started regular night-time services) the clientele of the strange fetish-dressing establishment will never have to cross paths with Wicked's members."
One of the things Wicked will do if they are awarded the license that allows stripping is start a table dancing club http://www.southwark.gov.uk/Uploads/FILE_4919.pdf page 6, ch 43. This is likely to have a far bigger impact on the area than the BDSM night, and I think this may be what the Bishop was referring to when he said this was the thin end of the wedge (or words to that effect.)
I think the arguments for and against Wicked's application have focussed too much on the BDSM/ fetish nights, and not enough on the ramifications that granting the nudity and sex licences would have. Personally, despite being as liberal as they come, I do not relish the idea of having a lap-dancing club in my backyard - as a woman, I just find that sort of establishment completely objectionable.
(Hmmmm... until I started typing this, I was unsure as to where I stood on this matter - it seems I have made up my mind now!)