In an extraordinary move Home Secretary David Blunkett has forwarded proposals for the cheesy pop/ novelty covers band Steps to be reclassified.
Mr Blunkett said that possession of small amounts of the band's material would no longer be an arrestable offence. "This will free up hundreds of man hours and hundreds of thousands of pounds for police to crack down on more dangerous bands such as Liberty and Atomic Kitten." Possession of either larger amounts for sale, or the band themselves, will still lead to criminal proceedings.
Groups opposed to Steps are outraged. NME editor Ben Knowles said "We are very disappointed in the Government. This amounts to an endorsement that Steps are safe. Usage of Steps will rise exponentially among young people and be a gateway to worse bands such as Hear'Say and, God help us, Atomic Kitten."
Other Groups point to a study published last month in the journal Science. It showed the results of a study which proved that prolonged use of Steps led to lethargy and, in extreme cases, possible toxic psychosis. "The kids out there need protecting," said Paul Rees, editor of Kerrang!. "They see Faye and H in their shiny clothes and think 'that's cool'. And while it might be nice for a short period, those covers can take their toll and alter kids perceptions."
On the flip side, Student Unions across the land have welcomed the move. "Everyone knew that Steps were being used at cheesy student discos every Saturday night. Now we can be open about it while we drink large quantities of dubious ALdi vodka!" said one representative. Tory MP Peter Lilley has also backed the move, but says it doesn't go far enough. "I want to see full legalisation," he said "I tried Steps with a group of kids and I don't see what's wrong with it. I can't really understand it's appeal though. I thought it was a bit bland and uninteresting."