08 May 2008

'Freedom Loving' Boris Bans Booze On Tube.

I wonder what the libertarian crowd think of their Tory poster boy now? One day in power and he has already returned to 1980's Thatcherite authoritarianism. I think this rams home the message - DO NOT trust the 'cuddly' 'liberal' Tories, elect them at your peril. The Tories are just a bunch of liars who will say anything to...
get into power. Their duplicitousness is frightening. I find the new breed of Tory - Cameron, Osbourne, Dale and Johnson as even more frightening than Thatcher and Tebbit.

While on the radio (five live) yesterday, Ian Dale even had the cheek to mention the success of the smoking ban while defending the banning of alcohol on the tube.

There is a crucial and simple difference between smoking and alcohol.

EVERY smoker harms ALL around them simply by the act of smoking. It is therefore perfectly reasonable to protect those being harmed.

NO-ONE is harmed by someone drinking alcohol. This will do nothing to concentrate police resources on the minority who are anti-social (who may or may not be drinking). This will not stop drunk people getting on the tube, it will simply waste time and money harassing the majority who want to enjoy a drink and who cause no nuisance to anyone. This is an authoritarian measure of the highest order and it will be interesting to see how the so called libertarians view it. Will they now ditch their pro-Tory stance, I doubt it. I remember these sort of 'liberty' and 'freedom' organisations cropping up in the 70s, and every one turned out to be a front for extreme right-wing ideology that ended up with the election of Thatcher. (The McWhirter twins of record breakers fame were a notable distasteful example).

Ian Dale's duplicitousness is even more extreme - he is a member of the tobacco company-funded 'freedom association' and supports the 'taking liberties' campaign that is trying to reverse the smoking ban - yet in defending Boris's authoritarianism he quotes the success of the smoking ban (Boris got paid £10,000 to make a speech for the 'freedom association' - typically he failed to turn up but they paid him anyway - nice work if you can get it eh?). You couldn't make it up.


  1. I think you'll find that libertarians are appalled by the alcohol ban, if not they aren't libertarians, for exactly the reasons you state.

  2. I agree. Does that worry you? :-)

  3. In the choice between two bastards you takes your choice on more than one issue. So, no I don't support the drinking ban, (nice to see that you are still wittering on about the "terrible damage" caused by second hand smoke with sod all evidence behind you), but Ken still had to go because he was a corrupt little bastard.

  4. Falco: Apart from the mountains of scientific data that says that cigarette smoke is carcinogenic, you cannot deny that it makes people's clothes, hair and skin stink, burns things and people, gives us nasty coughs and obvious lung discomfort and other health problems and it does all this against people's wishes. It is quite a list of problems. As for Ken being corrupt? Evidence please? Even Boris praised Ken as a great public servant with remarkable achievements. No-one has accused Ken of having his hands in the till because it is not true. There have been insinuations about some of his employees while he was Mayor over an 8 year period. None of which accounts to very much - in fact 0.000001% of his expenditure. Any grants to businesses will incur failures and misspenditure of revenues - it is inevitable. Ken's figures are very low. You wouldn't accuse the head of the lottery fund of being corrupt and they mislay far greater amounts. Boris will be much much worse. When it comes to honesty, Boris is a proven liar. Ken has an impeccable record.

  5. What are you on about, Neil? Alcohol Control Zones were set up by LABOUR. What does an alcohol control zone do? They prohibit the consumption of alcohol. Personally I don't think the idea of blanket bans is a particulatly good one. One should police on the basis of whether someone is actually making a nuisance of themselves. However, the concept of blanket ban is one pioneered by Labour and one which Johnson has adapted to his own purposes. If the Tories came out in favour of ID Cards you'd suddenly be as hostile to them as I am!

  6. stephen: I have always opposed alcohol bans and the first one was in Coventry by the Tories in the 80s as I recall.

  7. Well, if you pop over to the devils kitchen, you'll see that the libertarian crowd are arguing over whether it's a reasonable and proportional move that was part of his manifesto, or a further impingement on our already diminished liberties.

    to me it just proves that whoever you vote for, you still get the government.

  8. Yup, comments above just about sum it up.

    Neil, if you think that Boris is a 'poster boy' for libertarians, you have got a lot of learning to do.

    Now that it looks like the authoritarian left are disappearing from the stage, I am quite sure that the small government libertarians will shift their attention to tearing into the authoritarian right.

    Well, I certainly shall.

  9. I've got mixed feelings about this one. How many people drink alcohol on the tube but aren't causing problems to others? It's not like a park where you might go for a picnic with a bottle of chilled white wine. I can agree with libertarians on the *principle* that those who choose to drink alcohol in public places in a peaceful, considerate way should not be banned fropm doing so but how many of such people actually exist? Very very few, I should think. If Johnson's policy were likely to make a difference to public disorder with alcohol then I would support it despite my misgivings.

    But it won't make any difference. There already exist powers to deal with obstreperous drinkers on the tube. If the authorities choose not to use those powers, why should they use Boris Johnson's powers any more readily? I suspect that the only people that will be fined will be those drinking alcohol and not causing any problems.

  10. It's rather rich for you to call others authoritarian when you are responsible for this post:


  11. The rest of the link that blogger cut off: