Sunday 18 June 2006

I told you so!

Only two weeks ago (scroll down) I warned what was on the cards.

And today there's an "exclusive" in the Scottish 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.

So, we become an international laughing-stock, we kiss goodbye to much of the Edinburgh and Glasgow tourist business and, just like 1920s America, we create a vast criminal class. The tyrannical morons who propose things like this have no understanding of human behaviour. The insane "war on drugs" is the biggest subsidy to crime in history, and now some idiots want to expand it!

Restricting freedom merely drives the target underground. Does anyone think that the five-pints-a-night man will refrain from upgrading to a higher-strength beer? Will those of us who prefer something less powerful find that our's is the one to be dropped by the breweries?

Then the "human rights" lawyers will have a field day. Poor old Joe Bloggs in his one pub village is limited to four pints. He realises that his cousin in Edinburgh can buy 2,400 pints a night quite legally - there are around 600 pubs in Edinburgh. This is discrimination against those living in the countryside. Ruralism, we could call it. At least it's another earning-opportunity for the likes of Cherie Blair. In fact, Joe's Edinburgh cousin may well decide to get as many in as possible before ID cards or forehead bar codes limit him to four drinks a night.

To hell with betting on the World Cup - I'm off to place a bet on when Scotland will see its first lynching of a politician.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

The US has had an over-21 drinking law for years now. Actually, it's managed state by state, but states that don't limit drinking to over-21s lose a large portion of their Federal highway funding, so the states had to give in on it. 
The end results: Still preposterous numbers of highway deaths due to drunk drivers, and a major boom in the illegal ID industry.

24 June 2006, 02:55:31 GMT+01:00
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There was a similar scare in North-East England a couple of years ago, when the police advocated a similar ban. Sod all happened of course. There is too much money at stake.

23 June 2006, 17:52:21 GMT+01:00
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A licensing board has power to do this at present. The Executive also has power to do this by introducing subordinate legislation to amend schedule 3 (containing mandatory licence conditions) of the new Licensing Act.  
The reason the story is nonsense 
is simply that the measure would be so unpopular.  
There's certainly no way this can be done in the next year: there's an election coming up. Even if someone inside the Executive has been flying a kite by placing the story in the Mail on Sunday, they will look over to Glasgow and see the embarassment the licensing board there has heaped on itself as a result of the proposed glass ban.  
The smoking ban is a completely different matter - it's very popular, including with me.

22 June 2006, 21:32:02 GMT+01:00
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Was there any indication that this person in the medical profession had the ear of government? Ie, had they produced a report for a gvmt department or were they just an individual expressing their opinion? 
I'm happy that doctors are free to suggest whatever they want, however crazy. That's just basic free speach. I only get worried if that person has power and will to force their suggestion on everyone else. 
Did the Mail article say with some authority that the Scottish Parliament was likely to introduce this ban (ie, if it is supported by Labour in Scotland), or just that one particular member was considering proposing it? 
I suppose it isn't impossible given the recent record that something like this will be passed, but so far the evidence saying it will is rather too weak to get too worked up about.

22 June 2006, 17:49:14 GMT+01:00
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dave fordwych
The idea of limiting drinkers to 4 drinks a night was floated in the (non tabloid) Scotland on Sunday a few months back.If memory serves it was suggested by someone from the medical profession.

22 June 2006, 13:35:32 GMT+01:00
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Hardly. I certainly agree that if the story is true, it is an infringement on liberty and I would not follow it. 
However, tabloids have a history of reporting hearsay and in some cases just making stories up. I'm not saying they're necessarily doing that here, but another source would be a good idea before we get too wound up. 
I haven't read the Mail on Sunday article. Who is supposed to have proposed this new law? Is this the policy of any particular party or an individual member? If it is attributed to a party, is it mentioned on their website? 
Sorry if I interupted your two minute hate.

22 June 2006, 10:03:32 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Yet Another Paul
Just because it is in a "tabloid" always seems to make the liberal left sniffy. Then when the legislation is finally passed, they seem to forget how indignant they once were and simply kow tow.  
It will take time to for the legislators to adjust perception but I am willing to bet that a 20 year old Scot will not be able to legally buy a drink in a decade from now.

22 June 2006, 00:01:05 GMT+01:00
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Let's not get carried away here. 
Is there any more reliable source for this "plan" than a single story in a tabloid newspaper?

21 June 2006, 11:03:10 GMT+01:00
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dave fordwych
I fear the possibilities for Joe Bloggs cousin will occur to our Lords and masters. 
To prevent such abuses,it will be necessary for all drinkers to register with their local authority and be issued with identity cards which they will need to take when going out for a drink. (one for each day of the week) 
As each drink is bought the barman will stamp their card and both will be liable for prosecution if he serves anyone without a valid card or who has already had that day's four drinks. 
If you think I'm joking,you don't know The New Scotland.

21 June 2006, 10:43:22 GMT+01:00
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I'm moving south... after this pint though.

20 June 2006, 18:02:40 GMT+01:00
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When we still had the "bona fide traveller" restriction on Sunday boozing, lots of Scots used to stroll across the old Solway Viaduct that ran from Annan to Ingerlund. Many plummeted to their deaths when attempting the return journey. That, I was told as a nipper, was why the viaduct was demolished.

20 June 2006, 15:23:35 GMT+01:00
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This goes through, all it will result is in the under 21's saving their money for a weekend away where possible south of the border for an all weekend binge. FACT.

19 June 2006, 23:19:08 GMT+01:00
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Contrast: my father was sent to an Edinburgh boarding school in the 1920s. The choice of drink at morning break - milk or small beer.

19 June 2006, 15:30:02 GMT+01:00
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Mr Eugenides
I can't believe that they would ever get this through. Even by the dizzying standards the mendacious shower that run this country have set, this is a shockingly ill-conceived and nannyish proposal. Where satire goes, it seems, our Executive is seldom far behind.

19 June 2006, 14:15:52 GMT+01:00
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Scotland for the socialists, with faces like sucked lemons. Awa' wi' freedom, the curse of the capitalist running dogs. We pray for independence for Scotland, a form of quarantine which, god willing may prevent the more virulent strain of the plague passing South of the border. Union with Trinidad and Tobago above all!

18 June 2006, 19:23:55 GMT+01:00