Monday, 8 December 2008

MacAskill: 'social responsibility' fees

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, or perhaps known better as the 'Minister for Booze', is apparently rethinking his barmy idea for 'social responsibility' fees, to be paid by pub and club owners whose premises take up police time.

At least he's thinking, but what he should be doing is scrapping the whole stupid idea.

PEARL OF WISDOM: Lots of people at clubs and pubs get drunk, but those who are either drunk or drunkenly aggressive enough to get the police called out are in the very small minority.

Why the hell should the owners of the premises be penalised, who are just doing their jobs, because they are unlucky enough to attract a couple of violent idiots? With the pub industry already falling fast, this proposal seems patently unfair, and is targeting the wrong people. The ones who should be punished are the ones who commit the actions - alcohol should not be used to excuse them, and the pub and club staff who provide the booze therefore should not be the ones accused! It's their bloody job!

Undoubtedly, they should exercise discretion, and not give any more drink to someone who is evidently absolutely off his head - but let me tell you, as a former barman, in a crowded pub or club it's extremely difficult to tell the ones who are pleasant enough, if a little bit merry (which is most of them), but who pose no harm to anyone, from the potential trouble-makers.

Everytime we point fingers at something else for the social problems that often come in tandem with alcohol, whether it be blaming the booze itself, or blaming the pub landlord, we diminish the notion that the individual who caused the trouble in the first place is the one who should fundamentally be held accountable.

The idea of 'social responsibility' fees is farcical.

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