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British Bureaucrats to Chop Down 180 Year Old Trees to Stop Muggings

UPDATE: Reader Matthew pointed out that the trees mentioned below are actually called "New Zealand cabbage palm trees" and that Torquay is a town in England, NOT New Zealand. My apologies to all. How embarrassing.

Pop quiz.

You're worried about muggers in your resort town. Should you:
a) Ask for a bigger police presence.
b) Install high powered lights in dark areas.
c) Cut down all the palm trees because muggers could hide behind them.

If you're a bureaucrat living in town of Torquay, England you probably picked C. Because, well, you're a bureaucrat, and your professional life seems to be based on picking the most senseless decision you could possibly make.

According to a story in the London Daily Mail, the New Zealand cabbage palm trees have stood since the 1820s. But they decided to cut them down, because teenagers have been hanging out there, and because they could – COULD – conceal muggers.

Torquay town councillor Robert Excell was shocked by what had happened. He told the Daily Mail, “I understood they were going to thin them and improve views across the harbour. I didn’t expect this carnage – it was a bit of a shock. There should be consultation with residents and traders on replacements.”

Two years ago, the Torquay Council got into some hot water for knocking over some other trees, because they were a safety risk. They were worried the sharp leaves could injure pedestrians.

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  1. Try re-reading the the article... New Zealand cabbage trees, cut down in Torquay, a place in England... UK bureaucrats; innocent NZ trees.

  2. Oops. Thanks for the catch, Matthew. I appreciate it. I've fixed it, and you get the credit.


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