Some of the buskers are good, and I give them money if I'm in a good mood. Some of them are bad, and a lot of them are far too loud. The bloke with the bagpipes is a real pain. The one who brings his own piano is certainly in the way.
There is no doubt that the pedestrianised Cornmarket is a bad place to shop and there is a severe problem with congestion. Personally I would like most of this "vibrant street culture" swept away into side streets so that the buses could go straight through up to North Oxford. But even so, I think that the new penalties being proposed by Oxford's Labour City Council - a fine of up to £2,500 and a criminal record - are absolutely draconian.
Come on, the bagpipes are bad, but not that bad. The maximum fine should be £100. People sleeping rough are not criminals - they are symptom of other, far larger, social and political problems that the Labour party refuses to address. The worst sights in the city centre are put there by the Council. The hacked-off tree stumps in Castle Street, the hideous mess they have made of Bonn Square, the huge piles of rubbish... because they give planning permission to endless fast-food chains.
Along with the vagrant-proof "benches" and the CCTV in all buses and taxis, this new anti-busker law is one more sign of a police state. Protest!