Drinkers in Oldham will have to queue at bars and buy no more than two beers at a time in an attempt to curb violence and binge-drinking.
Customers will be encouraged to stand behind rope barriers similar to those used in banks and post offices as they wait to be served, while drinking in the queue will also be discouraged, under new proposals.
What the fuck? Seriously, where do these people get off?
Derek Heffernan, a Liberal Democrat councillor, said: "There would have to be some form of barrier so people couldn't push past, either a rope or perhaps something stronger.
"It would be the end of buying a round but we have to do something to calm things down."
Well, fuck me, Councillor, why don't you just put fucking Valium in the water, eh? It would be just as illiberal.
But how on earth could these conditions just be put in place? [Emphasis mine.]
The new rules have been put in place by Oldham Council in all 22 pubs in the town centre. The 2003 Licensing Act allows police and trading standards to apply for variations in a pub licence if these is concern about alcohol-related violence.
Oh, this old chestnut, eh? Why am I not surprised?
Oh yes, it's because I wrote a longish piece a while back, in which I pointed out that this is how NuLabour have gone about making laws these days.
This is NuLabour's standard tactic—learned, no doubt, from the evil fuckers in the EU who are adept at this sort of thing—of proposing something ridiculous and then pretending to drop it.
What they then do is to pass a law that allows them to go far, far further because, unlike the previous incarnation, this new clause doesn't define what the law actually is.
Each one of these clauses is, in effect, an Enabling Act in that it enables any designated minister to change the law without having to argue the case through Parliament—and thus ensuring that has no right to vote on it.
Often, the media miss it entirely: after all, legalese seems to be designed to bore the living shit out of anyone brave enough to try to trawl through it, c.f. the EU Constitution. Further, one is generally looking for a particularly illiberal measure made explicit within the law itself, not an all-encompassing clause that allows a minister to decide that the law is whatever they say it is at any given time.
A couple of years ago, bloggers scored a hit when they introduced the MSM to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, known colloquially as "the Abolition of Parliament Bill". This would have allowed the government to change any piece of legislation via ministerial fiat—in other words, without having to go through Parliament. After a concerted protest from both the MSM and the blogosphere, the Bill was watered down into a slightly less terrifying form.
But the fact is—and this is another tactic that the government have learned from the EU bureaucrats—that so many Bills similar to the one described above have now passed into law that the Abolition of Parliament Bill might as well have been passed as originally mooted anyway.
This is the really terrifying thing about NuLabour: they have pushed though thousands—tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands—of new laws, many of which contain these mini-Enabling Acts. And the Civil Contingencies Act is only the most egregious of these; there are others which allow ministers to remove our liberties on a whim.
Sure, they are far smaller matters, but taken together they all add up to an Executive wielding power with no brakes upon it: statutory instruments are bad enough and would, were your humble Devil in charge, be rendered illegal—these Enabling Clauses are, quite simply, the fence-posts for a totalitarian regime.
Sure, this law is able to be changed by people other than ministers, but that is not without precedent either.
There are times when your humble Devil hates the fact that he is utterly correct so very often...