Health Hell in a handcart

Scots politicians (warning, includes swearing)

If it didn’t mean moving away from family and friends, I’d move out of Scotland and go somewhere sunny. Seriously.

Mr Eugenides prints a story from the Mail on Sunday:

Scotland is set to become the first country in Europe to ban alcohol for under-21s as part of a radical shake-up of licensing laws. The controversial crackdown would also see all members of the public limited to only four alcoholic drinks per visit to a pub or club.

Presumably that four-drink limit doesn’t mean four bottles of wine.

As The Devil’s Kitchen puts it in his inimitable way:

I have been spending some time in Glasgow, a city in which you are not allowed to smoke inside public spaces and you are not allowed to drink outside in public spaces. And, from January, all pubs will have to adopt plastic containers instead of serving drinks in a glass. What the fuck is going on?

This country is leading the way in nanny-state, illiberal, totalitarian bullshit; it’s time to get the fuck out.

A bit later…

The daft glass ban has been shelved: it seems that after an “11th hour climbdown” by officials, the compulsory use of plastic glasses will only apply in venues open after midnight and in places with a history of “glassing” attacks.

And another thing…

It’s bad form to rant and rave without offering an alternative, so here’s mine: why don’t we take the radical step of, y’know, enforcing the laws we already have? Like the ones prohibiting the sale of alcohol to underage kids, or the ones about being drunk and disorderly in public, or the ones prohibiting the sale of booze to people who are completely and utterly pissed?

7 replies on “Scots politicians (warning, includes swearing)”

>>prohibiting the sale of booze to people who are completely and utterly pissed?

Unless there’s ben a change in the law since i last worked in a bar, the law is that you cannot sell to people ‘under the influence’. As in ‘shouldn’t be driving’. So, the 4 drink limit would be an improvement.

No-one ever did explain to me why this had never been enforced. Although, in this instance, I for one am rather glad about that.

I’m pretty sure that the law prohibits serving drunk people, and it’s also an offence to enter licensed premises if you’re completely trolleyed. According to the institute of alcohol studies, the relevant law’s ancient:

The Licensing Act 1872 created two main kinds of drunkenness offence:

1) Simple drunkenness – being drunk on any highway or other public place,
or on any licensed premises. It also provided an offence of being drunk
while in charge on a public highway of any carriage – which includes a
bicycle, a horse, cattle (which includes pigs and sheep), a steam engine,
or when in charge of a loaded firearm.

2) Drunkenness with aggravation, which includes being drunk and disorderly;
refusing to leave licensed premises when requested; being drunk whilst in
possession of any loaded firearms or while having charge of a child aged
under seven.

I think we can all agree on the dangers of being drunk while in charge of a sheep.

Even the most recent stuff I can find (eg the licensing bill) says much the same:

Section 102 – Drunk persons entering or in premises on which alcohol is sold
224. This section provides that it would be an offence for a drunk person to attempt to enter any relevant premises (defined in section 114 – basically any premises on which alcohol is lawfully sold). It also makes it an offence for a person, whilst on relevant premises, to be drunk and incapable of taking care of himself or herself. A person committing an offence under this section can be arrested without warrant by the police.

Section 103 – Obtaining of alcohol by or for a drunk person
225. This section provides that it would be an offence for any person to buy or attempt to buy alcohol for someone who is drunk or to help a drunk person to obtain or consume alcohol. The offences only apply where the alcohol is to be consumed on relevant premises.

Section 104 – Sale of alcohol to a drunk person
226. This section provides that it would be an offence for any responsible person working on relevant premises to sell alcohol to someone who is drunk.

> If it didn’t mean moving away from family and friends …

That’s why we’re still in the UK.

> why don’t we take the radical step of, y’know, enforcing the laws we already have?

Because politicians like to think they’ll leave a legacy. They all imagine that, when they pass a new law, they’re doing just what Disraeli and Peel did.

Forgot to say:

Our idiot councillors are about to ban walking dogs off the lead. Completely. Everywhere in Bangor. Because some people still don’t pick up after their dogs. But leaving shit lying around is illegal, so why not enforce that? And the people who don’t do it still don’t do it when their dog’s on the lead.

This new law is actually a serious health problem for our dogs. There is literally no way we can give Phoebe sufficient exercise without letting her off the lead. So we’ll have to put them both in the car and drive miles away to somewhere we can walk them properly. Every single evening. Can’t be done if you have a job. Certainly can’t be done if you have a baby, as will soon.

The real reason for the law is that the NI parties are trying to pretend to be useful in government to distract from the fact that our MLAs are paid very handsomely to shout at each other in a chamber with no legislative powers.

The whole thing’s so dumb on so many different levels. The four-drink thing is yet another great welcome to tourists – which, when you consider that tourism is about the only sodding industry we have left, is particularly inspired – and the under-21 thing’s just going to increase carry-outs. And of course, in the absence of any enforcement of the existing laws, the four-drink rule’s just going to mean people moving from pub to pub when they’re out, and getting absolutely plastered at home before they do go out.

I know I’ve said this before, but if we were really serious about doing something about drinking we’d take a long hard look at vertical drinking premises, at the widespread use of loud music to discourage chat, etc etc etc. And if we were serious about booze-related violence we’d do something about getting people out of city centres in the wee small hours, instead of having the equivalent of several stadium gigs all pissed, all trying to get home and all milling around.

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