Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Heavy-Handed As Usual

The Government has decided to do something about the alarming rise in binge-drinking. Okay, binge drinking is a Bad Thing, both for individuals and for society, but the proposed measures,typically for this government, are unnecessarily draconian.
Pubs clubs and off-licenses are, guess what, licensed by their local authority (that's a job magistrates did until a few years ago, but that's another issue) so they have a lot to lose by breaking the terms of their licenses. The licensing authority has considerable powers to ensure proper management of its licensees, those powers being subject to appeal to a magistrates' court
So what is this flat-footed nonsense about huge fines and, for heaven's sake, six-month jail terms other than a knee-jerk reaction by ministers with one eye on the impending election?
I cannot imagine any scenario where an irresponsible licensee could not be brought to heel by the threatened or actual removal of his license, with appropriate fines for deliberate breaches thus losing his livelihood - so what's the point of threatening prison? Prison has its part to play in our justice system, but not for this, on any analysis.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Posts are pre-moderated. Please bear with us if this takes a little time, but the number of bores and obsessives was getting out of hand, as were the fake comments advertising rubbish.