You might have read about Ken Livingstone's recent visit to the now former Railway Tavern, which has just turned into a Paddy Power. I'm sad to see the pub go, partly because I used to know the landlady (hello Tina) and partly because I agree with Livingstone - and with Jules Pipe Lammy who was also on the scene - that the proliferation of betting shops is going too far. That said, the arguments for halting it need to be solid. Do they really encourage crime and anti-social behaviour? If they do, wouldn't restricting the number of high street bookies just send it elsewhere? Some politicians, including the more libertarian Tories, would probably maintain that these things are better left to the market and point out that betting shops close down as well as open in response to local demand (though they might find a stroll down Chatsworth Road enlightening). Others would complain that do-gooders have no business depriving the working - or non-working - man of a traditional pleasure (a workerist position) or that the real growth in betting is online so getting agitated about a few more high street shops is missing the point (a betting industry view).