I have never quite got the idea of marching bands

Apparently the London New Year’s Day Parade has now been going 23 years, which means it may not be – as I’d always assumed – a Ken Livingstonism, creation of a man addicted to spectacle and in control of too much taxpayer’s money. (When he was Mayor, the local term for City Hall’s occasional newsheet was ‘The Daily Ken’, since it concentrated so heavily on informing us precisely how wonderful Mr Livingstone was.)

But even if it’s not the brainchild of some despotic leftie, I must admit I don’t get the point of it.

I’m sure it’ll be a reasonably potent opiate for the masses, like the X Factor or EastEnders. I admit such distractions for the proletariat are necessary: look at what the chav classes get up to if they’re not entertained. (With bread and circuses you can control your city; we haven’t really come that far since ancient Rome.)

But – why is a London event about 90% American marching bands? I mean, shouldn’t the London New Year’s day Parade be about… London? Marching bands in general just don’t do it for me; if you march, you’re aiming to get somewhere. Why do it in a big circuit that takes you back where you started? For me, the only purpose of marching bands is that it gave us Alyson Hannigan in gym shorts.

Bah, humbug.

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