25 August 2005

Boris Johnson on the new licensing laws.

Boris desperately tries to stick to the Tory line of 'liberalisation is madness', but even he is forced to conclude,
"The awful truth is that I doubt the relaxation of the licensing laws will make much difference; in fact, if they slow down these binges, the new hours might even help."

Which is pretty much what Labour have been saying from the start! So what is all the fuss about, all this Daily Mail fuelled panic which has changed the police attitude from advocates to outright opposition!

What the Tories havn't grasped is that this change is actually quite popular on the ground. The solution to our binge drinking problem lies not in the hours of consumption but the type of venues and location.

As Talk Politics argues, what did the police (eagerly backed by councils in search of new revenue) think would happen when they insisted on locating all the pubs+clubs together in the middle of our town centres and handing it over to the big chains who chase higher turnover to maximise profits. This means places like Yates Wine Lodge and others are encouraging speed drinking by ripping out seats and making conversation impossible with loud music. People who stand up generally drink more and have a greater propensity for violence. Just look at how seating has gentrified football.

To top it all off they are all turfed out onto the streets together at the same time with the inevtiable fighting for kebabs and taxis! Lets force these places to be all seating (like football).

The new laws will mean people who want a drink late at night can have one in their quiet local rather than being forced into the centre of town and this binge drinking hell! The dispersal of people around town and the varying times that they leave, will alleviate all sorts of trouble. It might take a while for the new laws to bed down, but this is the most sensible thing Labour has done to control drink related trouble!
Even Boris has reluctantly seen their point of view!

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