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Saturday, 23 February 2008

Charles Moore talks sober sense

In the face of our chief police officers (again) and the BMA getting their panties in a twist over our drink culture, Charles Moore talks some sound sense in this morning's Telegraph. Plod seems upset because he has to work at night, rather than the 9 to 5 job he'd love to do. Sadly, yobs and criminals don't keep the same hours as office workers and police are told before they join up that it's a 24 hour job. No sympathy.

The BMA, which used to look after doctors' interests, seems to have become the aerobics wing of the Labour Party rather than a posh trade union. Doctors complaining about sickness is a bit like the NUM campaigning against mining on environmental grounds.

Before we became so infantilised as a nation, we had 'drunk tanks'. Between eleven and twelve at night, the drunk and incapable would be rousted from the streets of our city centres and dropped into cosy cells for the night. A plastic cup of sweet tea in the morning and a stern warning were often enough to ensure no repeat offence. Now plod is squeamish about vomit, and would rather tazer drunks than roust them.

We don't need more laws, we don't need massive tax increases on booze, and we don't need more restrictions on a licenced trade already reeling from the smoking ban. We need plod to do his job using existing laws and doing what we pay them to do - being out on the streets at night. And we need the BMA to shut up and go back to niggling the Department of Health and leave the rest of us alone.

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