Monday, May 25, 2009

The war on drinkers continues

Thanks to Trixy, who pointed me in the direction of this piece of illiberal bollocks from Oldham Council.
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...


Anonymous said...

One of the topics in the Life in the UK test that prospective citizens have to take is about drinking. Specificially, you need to know what the term is for taking turns to buy drinks for everyone at the table. Guess they need to amend that now.

Rob said...

Do they seriously think that making it artificially difficult for people to get served, and then limiting what they can buy, is going to REDUCE violence? Are they fucking mad?

steveshark said...

You couldn't make this shit up if you tried.
What I can see happening is a lot of people at a table going up to the bar, buying two beers each and then taking them back to the table - result: a double round.
Also, if this catches on then it's going to result in more people staying at home rather than go out to the pub and have yet one more restriction placed on the way they choose to drink - cf. the smoking ban.
I also dislikie the inference that as a 57 year old bloke out for a drink with colleagues, friends or family that I might cause a disturbance if I buy a round of drinks.
It's just all utter, control-freak bollocks.
Why not just shut the pubs down, issue alcohol 'ration cards' and really fuck things up?

john in cheshire said...

What are the names of those responsible for this legislation? They need to be published so that the mob know who to string up.

Katabasis said...

FFS - do these morons have a social life?

Plato said...

WTF? I know we're famous for queueing but this a complete fucking nonsense.

They'll be chipping your glass next to check up on your unit comsumption.

"Oh sorry Sir, you've exceeded the 2 units allocated to you today - yes I know that's about a pint of lager but we know what's good for you."

The Young Oligarch said...


These morons do , indeed , have a social life . It involves going to "dinner parties" and drinking expensive wine with their posh leftie mates .

"Drinking beer ? In public houses ?
How common !
People who do that are mere "saloon-bar bores" , aren't they ?"

Raquel said...

homebrewers unite!

Anonymous said...

The most frightening thing is that these scumbags were voted in in the first place, even more frightening is that they will probably be voted in again so come again, who are the morons??

Dick Puddlecote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dick Puddlecote said...

The frog-boiling is continuing apace. Choice seems to be a dirty word these days.

We're all guilty until proven innocent. It's been coming for a while, but not many noticed it.

Chalcedon said...

The first act of any new government should be the reppeal of all acts passed over the past 12 years. All, EU diktats included. This is the only way to regain our freedoms and get rid of all these hate laws. They are hate laws too, hatred of the the people of this country. Noo Labour is not only imploding, it is a totally evil party. How anyone can be a member of it is quite beyond me. Unless they are traitors and despisers of the British people.

torypier said...

Derek Heffernan, the Liberal Democrat councillor is right they do need to use rope or perhaps something stronger.

I suggested piano wire. Right round the hoons neck.

What a prick!

Rob said...

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."

How about a cage? It would be in the spirit of how these "progressive" neo-prohibitionist wankers view people who dare to drink alcohol, and it would be enormously expensive to implement, thus putting many pubs out of business. Job done!

Rob said...

The voters of Springhead Higher ward of Saddleworth North know what they have to do. Vote this bastard out.

Obsidian said...

I doubt this will actually happen, especially since most of the pubs in Oldham are dying. That 22 will likely be down to 18 or less by 2010, if this comes in there'll probably just end up being a couple of bars left within 12 months of its inception.

The violence problem also has little to do with the towns pubs - much of its done by gangs from the surrounding areas taxiing in, and local pissed up on cheap booze at home then rolling in to go to a club.

Alas Oldham Council is filled with people with shit for brain, and so continually try to solve non-existent problems in an attempt to solve very apparent ones.

Paul said...

A few of the contributors actually work for charities. You lot may have something to say about this.

Idle Pen Pusher said...

The cunts NEVER tire of making life difficult.

Vicola said...

Have you ever been to Oldham? The problem is not the pubs, the problem is that 17 generations of inbreeding have created a race of lunatics and inbeciles. Oldham town centre on a Saturday night is like the Village of the Damned and if they start making people queue behind ropes for hours for a beer, all that's going to happen is that they'll turn on each a la Shaun of the Dead and carnage will ensue.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

What's the ethnic make up of the place?

Many Muslims?

Thought so.

beneaththeneonlights said...

Well, fuck me, Councillor, why don't you just put fucking Valium in the water, eh? It would be just as illiberal.