Wednesday, 30 September 2009

It’s not a civil liberties issue

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.

8 comments:

  1. You're in a right mood tonight, PC, aren't you? You have that right though TBH.

    Do you think knob-headed, arrogant CAMRA righteous might be getting the message yet? Or do you think they still need time to work out that they on the menu?

    ... with relish.

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  2. I suspect those that enjoy a glass of wine in the park might be prepared to have a diet coke with their sandwhich if it meant an end to pissed up tattooed yobs necking spesh, abusing passers by and pissing in the street?

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  3. Some of us have worked it out Dickie.

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  4. At the CAMRA AGM in Cardiff in April 2008, I took part in a workshop called "The New Temperance Movement", which was based on work carried out over the previous few years. It covered all the things I've seen mentioned in beer blogs about the anti-alcohol campaigns and more. I think CAMRA was probably ahead of you on this one, Dick.

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  5. Dick,

    Why shouldn't I drink in the street, if I'm not doing anyone any harm?

    If I am doing someone harm, it's the harm that is the problem, not the drinking.

    Your position is rather like blaming shoe manufacturers for the damage done when people are kicked in the head.

    Rgds,

    Brian, follower of Deornoth

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  6. Brian, isn't that a response to Cookie's point, not Dick's?

    Cookie, your argument is a bit like saying everybody should have to drive around with a bloke in front of their car waving a red flag because we get chavs teararsing round council estates in nicked cars and occasionally running over kids.

    There are already perfectly adequate laws to deal with "pissed up tattooed yobs necking spesh, abusing passers by and pissing in the street?" Drunk and disorderly, anyone?

    RedNev, I've seen precious little sign of it so far, and even a number of examples of CAMRA seeking to make common cause with the anti-drink lobby, for example over minimum pricing.

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  7. Curmudgeon: you may be right, but that's not the point I was making. The question was "Do you think knob-headed, arrogant CAMRA righteous might be getting the message yet?" The answer is clearly 'yes'. But CAMRA being aware of the problems doesn't mean they are reaching for the right solutions.

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  8. Superbly dealt with by The Devil's Kitchen here.

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