Nottingham City Council is planning to become the first city in the country to ban all drinking in public places. No matter that the authorities already have extensive powers to deal with threatening or abusive behaviour, they have to deal with the “problem” by introducing yet another law to criminalise people having a glass of wine with a picnic in the park.
Amazingly, City Council leader Jon Collins said: “I do not think it's a civil liberties issue. It's about saying we do not want people drinking in the street.”
Umm, Jon, the whole point about civil liberties is that you tolerate people doing and saying things you might strongly disapprove of. You can just hear him saying a couple of years ago, “I do not think it's a civil liberties issue. It's about saying we do not want people smoking in pubs.” I don’t think he has the first inkling of what the concept of civil liberties means.
Mind you, Nottingham is also planning to do its best to drive business out by becoming the first city in the country to introduce a workplace parking levy, so it seems to be leading the field in arrogant, “we are the masters now” restrictions.