Thursday, 1 April 2010

Who Are The Fools?

As part of a move to cut binge-drinking the government is proposing that pub customers carry a card licensing them to drink outside their own homes.

The Publican has seen draft documents apparently drawn up by pubs minister John Healey in which he outlined proposals to ensure anyone over the age of 18 entering a pub carries the credit card-sized ‘drinking licence’.
Very droll.

Yes, of course it was an April Fool, and it was amusing watching the commenters falling for it. However, as Simon Clark mentioned this morning, we have already seen laws passed which would have been deemed laughable just a decade ago.

During a heated pub discussion three years back, I suggested to a friend that, in time, we could require a swipe card or stamp book to be presented at pubs, clubs and off licences when buying alcohol. He wasn't convinced. But if the current attitude of legislators continues in the same puritannical vein, such a scheme is perfectly plausible for the future - the near future, even.

So who are the fools here? The ones who fell for the Publican piece? Or those who refuse to stand up to the bully state, believing that power drunk MPs can be trusted to know when to stop?

Binge-drinking is a relatively minor problem, but binge-bansturbation by way of collective punishment is evil, hugely addictive to members of parliament, and extremely dangerous to the public.


Sam Duncan said...

“...believing that power drunk MPs can be trusted to know when to stop”

I laughed when I first read PJ O'Rourke's line about giving power and money to politicians being like handing whisky and car keys to teenage boys, but I've come to realise that never a truer word was said.

DaveA said...

This is not an April Fools joke as this was suggested quite seriously on LabourList by John Cowan who is Labour's Parliamentary candidate in South East Cambridgeshire. John is also a member of the Labour East Regional Board and a Local Councillor

"One possible solution could be an entitlement card that people would carry and swipe when every time they buy Alcohol or Tobacco and record their usage. Is that too radical? I don't think so."

With the card, people who got into trouble for, say, minor crimes or drunk and disorderly conduct in public would receive a fixed penalty notice and 3 points on their entitlement card with points disappearing over time for in the same way works on driving licences.

More serious offences would result in endorsements on the entitlement card and the cardholder would not be able to purchase alcohol, tobacco or other drugs available for sale through the entitlement card scheme."

Dick Puddlecote said...

Now you mention it, I remember that article, Dave. It makes the Publican story even more like a glimpse into the future.

BTS said...

Having clicked to read the comments, I couldn't help but notice that the word verification, should I choose to leave one of my own, is 'wastr'.

Close enough..

Oldrightie said...

The day will come when we are to carry a permission to live card, with a variable date of expiry depending on who you vote for. Labour, eternity, Tory, 55 if you are lucky, or even 70 if you hand over every penny you have to UNITE for onward transmission.

Demetrius said...

I tried flashing my free bus pass but I didn't get free beer.

Anonymous said...

and didn't Julian Le Grand propose a licence for smokers a couple of years ago?


Unknown said...

April the 1st and the yearly 'spoof' news report has to have some credence stolen from real life that the masses can identify with. The masses have been overloaded these past 13 years with enough rules and regulations that anything that has a whiff of truth about it is taken as gospel, however the lie, depending on your outlook on life and your lifestyle, you will be duped into believing it!

One of the reasons, and I thought about it, I did not try and do an April fool item today was It would most probably have been about the smoking ban and would have been either optimistic in view or pesimistic in outlook and I just knew that our blog readers would have sussed me straight away.

This item today illustrates how you can be 'partisan' when it comes to what is true or a piss take, thriving on peoples fears and expectations or just having a larf?: Smoking to be banned in pet owners' homes?

If the above is an April the 1st joke then I may feel relieved, however, if it is true...

The biggest 'April Fool' joke on British TV was this Panorama footage from 1957.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Look at the article I posted at 17:48, TBY. ;-)

Unknown said...

Saw it DP, knew you would do it justice. Well done mate.

Anonymous said...

I remember only to well the
methods used to reduce the number of bars in East Berlin (DDR) in the seventies ,all in order to
protect the citizens,of course.
1,6 million population and 24 bars ,20 of which one had to book in advance for admission and then get the close attention of a
multilingual waiter.
Not surprisig as the well pissed Soviet Officers were quite "talkative"
The Friendship Inn on Karl Marx Allee had more "eyes" than a valley full of pyramids and the
Masonic Compass on the ale jugs
tok my mind of the watered down mead.

Now free or am I