Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Judicial lunacy

Judge Charles Harris, QC, has condemned any relaxation of drinking laws in England and Wales as "close to lunacy" as they will "fuel violent disorder on the country's streets".

"They are so ill-educated or made crude by inadequately civilising influences in their homes that they seem unable to drink in an acceptable 'continental' fashion." Restricting access to drinks is only a short term measure, the long term solution would be to educate and civilise them. Has eleven years at school really achieved nothing?

Meanwhile, Michael Howard is asking judges to temporarily suspend application of the law by restraining themselves from "aggressive judicial activism". Is restraint required due to poorly drafted Parliamentary legislation?

6 comments:

Mike Cunningham said...

As I I think that there has been a lot of noise at the wrong time!
If these people thought things were wrong, they should have spoken at the right time!

Mike Cunningham said...

Got the link thingy wrong!

Apologies!

Snafu said...

Mike, no problems with the link thingy!! I think you forgot an < / a >

You're right about the timing issue. For the judge to claim that the number of rapes will increase due to longer opening hours is absurd.

I think longer hours would be better, even if there was a temporary spike in loutish behaviour. Rather than penalise everyone for the behaviour of a loutish minority, I would prefer penalties for loutish behaviour to be increased. Why not charge drunken yobs who require NHS treatment!?!

BigRedOne said...

Have to disagree here.

Ireland extended it's licensing hours a few years ago in the hope of generating a continental drinking culture.
After three years they found that, for the most part, people were drinking at the same speed for longer instead of spreading the same amount that would usually have been drunk over a longer period. The amount of money lost to the economy due to increased days off work and alcohol related illness was increasing so rapidly that the government had to take action, and promptly drastically reduced the amount of late licenses.

snafu - how would you enforce those penalties, seeing as theres usually about a dozen police officers assigned to city centres with some thousands of drinkers on any given evening?

Snafu said...

FBB, I struggle to understand how Ireland ever managed to relax their licencing laws when they already appear very relaxed! I do however take your point.

The only way to enforce law and order would be to have more Police Officers on city streets as required. Rather than charge local pubs to pay a supplement to their taxes in order to provide the policing, I fail to see why it shouldn't be self-financing by fining those guilty of yobbish behaviour more.

Another more obvious solution to loutish behaviour would surely be to restrict the alcohol content of beers served in city centre. It's all too easy to find "export" strength beers in pubs. Most Swedish beer is about 3% in comparison.

BigRedOne said...

Snafu,

I definately like your idea about serving lower strength lagers, that would almost certainly help. Maybe increasing the price of spirits in pubs as well?

By increasing the police presence financed by more fines on yobs, aren't you creating pressure to catch/fine a certain 'target figure' to make the exercise worthwhile? It's a great idea in principle but not sure if that's entirely workable.

Great blog btw - nice one!