The Metropolis

Silencing the Brick Lane curry touts could be fatal for the city's self-esteem

Mike Pollitt | Tuesday 20 September, 2011 14:30

There are moves afoot in Tower Hamlets to stop curry houses on Brick Lane from accosting passers by and threatening them with discounted meals. These measures should be vigorously opposed.

I can’t be the only person whose faltering self-esteem has been inestimably improved by cunningly tricking these touts into throwing in free poppadoms and a bottle of beer as a bribe for visiting their restaurant.

I know that in most cases this is the deal anyway, and that my bartering success is wholly superficial. I know that the touts know I know this. But the charade goes on, and when I triumphantly lead my co-diners inside and grab hold of those free poppadoms, it is as if I hold in my hands the trophy of a vanquished foe.

Please please please don’t take this minor social victory away from me. Shy Londoners everywhere need all the help they can get.

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