Oh, do fuck off

Look, this has all got out of hand, hasn\’t it?

More than 700 “controlled drinking zones” have been set up across England, giving police sweeping powers to confiscate beer and wine from anyone enjoying a quiet outdoor tipple.

Local authorities are introducing the zones at a rate of 100 a year, The Times has learnt. Some cover whole cities, a radical departure from what the law intended.

Once a control zone is in place, police can seize alcohol from anyone who is not on licensed premises, even if the bottles or cans are unopened. Although drinking is not banned in the zones, police can ask anyone to stop drinking and it is an offence to refuse, punishable by a maximum £500 fine. No explanation or suspicion that the person could be a public nuisance is required. The highest fine will soon rise to £2,500.

….

It found that police are routinely ignoring Home Office guidelines and confiscating bottles of wine and beer from peaceful picnickers and other adults having a quiet drink outdoors. In some cases, drinks have allegedly been seized by police from adults who have just bought them from an off licence and are on their way home.

Hang them, hang them all.

16 thoughts on “Oh, do fuck off”

  1. Reading the article makes clear that there’s nothing wrong with the law – just that police, and especially the minimum wage pretend plastic rozzers, aren’t following it.

    Tim adds: True…but then those who make such laws should be aware of the prodnoses and jobsworths they have enforcing them.

  2. There’s everything wrong with the law, john b: a PCSO receives training measured in days not weeks, doesn’t know the law, knows little of the guidelines or even the rationale, and yet has the power to seize alcohol with no checks on the exercise of their power.

    It is the law that fails to provide for any checks on PCSOs. The Home Office can issue “guidelines” all it likes, but on the ground we citizens are powerless.

  3. Hmm, This:

    “Reading the article makes clear that there’s nothing wrong with the law…”

    Seems to conflict with this a tad:

    “Although drinking is not banned in the zones, police can ask anyone to stop drinking and it is an offence to refuse..”

    A law so poorly written and open to abuse by the state isn’t exactly my definition of a law with ‘nothing wrong’ in its making.

    But then, I’m not as keen as johnb to abase myself before the authoritarians in the hope they will leave me alone and merely bother the people and ideas I don’t like….

  4. The police naturally target the law-abiding, honest and courteous among us, because that way they can achieve their targets of arrests, ‘detections’ and other sanctions with a minimum of unpleasantness (for them).

  5. PCSOs aren’t pretend plastic rozzers. They’re a distinct form of policing, set up with a specific intent distinct from that form of policing (the apprehension of criminals) that we are used to in the western tradition. They are a moral police force akin to the religious police of muslim countries. They may not beat you with sticks- that isn’t our way (or at least didn’t used to be)- but the basic idea is that of policing the moral sphere, identical to religious police. The only difference is that instead of a stated religion, they police the quasi religious “secular” morality of the Progressive Left. It has a lot in common with true religious policing (such as suppression of drinking, dancing or daring to enjoy yourself) because it is rooted in religious tradition (or you could argue that such religious morality is a precursor of what we call social engineering, take your pick).

    Of course there is nothing new in the policing of public morality- public decency laws for instance. The difference is one of degree. There is always some degree of moral hegemony in any society, but over the past few decades the intensity of moral hegemony in the anglosphere has reintensified after a period of relative laxity. The state has assumed an absolute moral role.

    There’s a misapprehension among people on the non-left that the “left” are amoral, laregly due to their promotion of a few high profile but limited “liberalisms” e.g. homosexuality. In fact they’re the most terrible austere puritans, entirely disinterested in reducing moral hegemony, but instead in enforcing their own with absolute ferocity. The rules have been rewritten, not abolished.

    With narcotics illegalised (by progressives) and tobacco virtually illegalised (by progressives) only alcohol remains as a legal and socially acceptable drug. This is an intolerable situation to progressives, and keeps them awake nights. They will not allow this to continue. Expect alcohol to continue following tobacco into the “entirely unacceptable in a decent society” bin.

  6. This allegation:
    “In some cases, drinks have allegedly been seized by police from adults who have just bought them from an off licence and are on their way home.” sounds rather iffy to me. Can The Times name the source, (will they?), or is it tabloid style blather from the DTM?
    It’s not a good law, however, where I live there is a ‘street drinkers’ problem, and it is effective in clearing the place up. I’ve yet to hear of a local example as in The Times.

  7. JuliaM

    “A law so poorly written and open to abuse by the state isn’t exactly my definition of a law with ‘nothing wrong’ in its making. ”

    But, surely, if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear . . . .

  8. “With narcotics illegalised (by progressives) and tobacco virtually illegalised (by progressives)”

    Can we all stop using the word “progressive” to describe these people, please? At the very least we should put sneer quotes around the term.

  9. “Can The Times name the source, (will they?)”

    They did. A man called Dan Travis is the victim and told his story. I don’t know when you gave up reading the article, but you should have persevered and got down to the bottom.

    Furthermore, the report from the Manifesto Club cited in the piece contains more examples.

    http://www.manifestoclub.com/files/Robbedbythepolice.pdf

    Ben Canning, 19, said “I came out of the off licence next to Brighton beach, with around £20 worth of drink. I had just sat down on the beach when a CSO came up to me – they must have followed me out of the off licence. I hadn’t opened a drink – I was just sitting there with my bag. They opened all my drink and poured it away. What gives them the right to take off me something that is mine?”

  10. Can we all stop using the word “progressive” to describe these people, please?

    Valid point Kay, it’s far too positive sounding a term, though it is descriptive in the one sense that it reminds us that whatever they’re doing now, it’s part of a plan to go further, so to speak.

    I’ve been trying to popularise the term “anglosocialist” or “anglostatist” to describe the particular morally grounded state-authoritarianism of the anglosphere, with little success, it must be said. Perhaps because it’s just not a very good term. So “progressives” it is, so far.

    “C*nts” is also quite popular, so I understand, though personally I think it’s rather sexist and unkind to liken such people to something which brings pleasure to millions, when the people we are describing do the very opposite.

  11. The terms “anglosocialist” or “anglostatist” are particularly appropriate when the peculiar institution of the Notting Hill Carnival is considered.
    At this annual event the consumption of large amounts of alcohol (& drugs) is positively encouraged to the extent that the ‘local’* community sets up unlicensed stalls where alcohol is sold to all comers.

    *’Local’ in this case meaning coming from any part of London other than the street they’re standing in.

  12. At Easter time, some folk were celebrating their silver wedding on our beach. They had a trestle table set up inside their chalet, and they were handing out slices of anniversary cake, pastries, and chocolate fairy cakes , just to people passing by on the beach. They were well organised, had a large bin ready for the used paper plates. Plastic policewomen stopped them on the basis that “food and drink aren’t allowed on the beach”, and bairns began howling as their fairy cakes were snatched away and chucked in the bin.

    People have picnicked on our beach for generations. What’s more, the plackers had walked past two ice-cream vans, a chippy, and a burger wagon all selling their wares to people on the beach.

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