I meant the hoddies, not the woman and her daughter. Labour’s artificially-created client-underclass may contain many individuals for whom there will be no earthly use. It is a tragic and useless waste of human potential.
And ive just found this here.
I,ll reprint it just in carse, I’m sure the man won’t mind. The blog master says it should be in red to show its been lifted.
Well, this is possibly Labour’s last ever party conference in power, so I was expecting some big gimmicks, but Gordon Brown’s attack on 24-hour drinking is weak.
The move will be part of a wider package of crime measures that the Prime Minister will unveil in his crucial pre-election party conference speech. He has previously indicated that he is unhappy with parts of the licensing law changes that were brought in while Tony Blair was Prime Minister but has stopped short of overhauling the legislation.
As a teenager the one cause I really felt passionate about was not global warming (as we called it back then), third world poverty or the Rwandan genocide (which I don’t even remember) – it was 24-hour drinking. I hated the fact that all pubs shut at 11 and we then had to find a nightclub, queue for ages, and then pay over the odds to stand around somewhere so loud you wouldn’t hear Ian Paisley if he was standing next to you. Lloyd George ruined my teenage years.
Conservatives, who win most arguments through the law of unintended consequences, were strangely averse to the obvious fact that our First World War-era licensing laws only encouraged people to drink quickly and then head to even boozier venues. It was left to New Labour, in a rare moment of liberalism, to change the law.
The phrase “24-hour drinking” is misleading, creating the image of some Oliver Reed-style epic bender – often it just means theatre-goers popping in for a couple or people choosing to stay in their local past 11 rather than making a night of it. And it does not make alcohol-related social problems any worse – it doesn’t make them hugely better, but it doesn’t make them worse. In fact the number of venues open 24-hours is tiny, and the number of pubs open past 1 am is not huge, either.
The Government knows this, of course, but the real problems with alcohol are too difficult to deal with. The initial inconvenience is that too many city centres are dependent on alcohol – if they raise the duty on alcohol or arrested drunks wholesale or did anything to reduce the number of rubbish chain pubs then they may as well evacuate Liverpool or Newcastle.
Secondly, and more importantly, too many members of the violent community are also part of Labour’s 5-million-strong welfare army, people who do not pay fines because they know the authorities won’t chase them, and who do not modify their bad behaviour because they know the state won’t kick them out of their taxpayer-provided homes. This is why “drink Asbos” won’t work:
The measure will be part of a wider package of anti-social behaviour policies that the Prime Minister will unveil. It includes “drink anti-social behaviour orders” being extended to force courts to consider imposing a Drinking Banning Order against anyone convicted of a crime who was under the influence of alcohol.
The Drink Asbos will give magistrates the power to bar problem drinkers from bars and off-licences, Mr Brown will say.
Parents of any child guilty of anti-social behaviour will be given a parenting contract and where they refuse to comply with them, their benefits will be stopped. He will also announce a four-fold increase in the number of families covered by ‘family intervention projects.’
He will say: “These are binding contracts which require people to take one to one support or lose their benefits. We will double the number of these family intervention projects so that for the 50,000 most chaotic families and their 100,000 children there will be clear rules, and clear punishments if they don’t comply.”
But Asbos have been a terrible failure – half of them are breached and most of the time the authorities simply give the hooligan another “last chance” warning, like some ineffective and weak teacher. On the other hand they are genuinely illiberal and can and have been used by the authorities to persecute the merely eccentric or children with serious disorders.
This issue is relevant to the suicide of Fiona Pilkington, driven to her death by yobs while the police did nothing (for fear of “criminalising” the bullies by sending them to prison), because even if the authorities did intervene to stop her ordeal, they would still be bound by the law to re-house Miss Pilkington’s tormentors, the Simmons family, and scumbags everywhere know that.
If Labour really wanted to get tough on anti-social behaviour, whether committed drunk or sober, it would change the law so that the state no longer had to find a home for criminals among ordinary, decent people. But then, you wouldn’t want people to actually take personal responsibility for their behaviour, would you?