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The nanny state advances apace

By ATWadmin On May 20th, 2007

Often, young children are provided with plastic beakers to drink from, in preference to glasses. This is because children are deemed by their parents, nannies, and others to be incapable of acting in a sufficiently safe and mature manner when handling potentially dangerous glass objects. And this cautious approach is fair enough, when you’re dealing with the under eights.

However, good old Plod now wants to treat adults in the same manner. Police forces across the country are pushing for pubs and clubs to be banned from serving wine, spirits, or beer in glasses, in case those glasses are subsequently used as weapons by the children drinkers. Tory whip Mark Lancaster also supports such measures, and has introduced an early-day motion in support of a prohibition on the use of real glasses after 11pm. Or, as he terms it, "lights out".

This is just the latest in a series of increasingly bizarre attempts to remove every potential risk from people’s lives. Of course, Plod seems to have missed two things. First, insofar as violence does occur in pubs (and in the vast, vast, majority it does not) then it is not the glasses which are the cause of the problem, but their contents. Perhaps Plod should have proposed a ban on drinking alcohol in pubs, to accompany the recent ban on smoking in them. In the current climate, where we must all be wrapped in cotton wool every minute of our lives, that does not seem so ridiculous as it otherwise might.
Second, if the police spent a bit more time worrying about preventing young thugs from using real weapons, and a bit less time harassing decent drinkers, they would do more to make society a safer place than any number of these ridiculous measures.

12 Responses to “The nanny state advances apace”

  1. Evidently, guns don’t kill people, glasses do.

    They’re getting closer to the truth, but are not quite there yet…

  2. Excellent post FR.

    Next up they’ll want to ban matches because arsenists use them to burn down buildings…

  3. Or cars. That said, I can’t offhand think of any other country in the world where such a measure (pardon pun) would even be up for discussion. Says a lot about the English drinker.

  4. Put those who would use a glass as a weapon in jail for a very long time. The UK judicial system is way too soft. Those who would use a glass as a weapon do so because they think they can get away with it, and if they did get caught the consequences are light.

    If we must, use tempered glass containers. That way offenders can resort to more traditional spidish behavior, like headbutting and such. In that case, no doubt we will all soon be soon forced to wear a crash helmet after 11:00 PM. Seems perfectly reasonable!

  5. McGrath:

    A crash helmet? I’d have thought they’d just make it mandatory to be in bed with a glass of warm milk by 9.30.

  6. Well, a plastic beaker of warm milk, anyway.

  7. While disagreeing with this nonsensical approach I can’t help but think it’s a sad reflection on the society in which we live.

  8. One of my favourite hobby horses – drinking is far more anti-social and does far more damage to those not actually participating than smoking!

    I agree with McGrath – long jail sentence for anybody using a glass or a bottle as a weapon.

  9. test

  10. That said, I can’t offhand think of any other country in the world where such a measure (pardon pun) would even be up for discussion.

    The is a lot of talk in the ROI of this as well. Most gigs and such, be they festival or venue based, now have plastic glasses making already poor pints worse.

  11. Paul,

    "I can’t help but think it’s a sad reflection on the society in which we live"

    I don’t think it’s a reflection on society, at least not directly, rather it’s a reflection of the rampant control freaks in charge of the state.

  12. I think it is, unfortunately, an indirect reflection of society. I’d wager these measures will go through in many places and might even become law in the future. The nation is so full of ignorant apathetics who either don’t know about this or who won’t bother to write to their MP objecting (twice, to make sure they get a personal response instead of a cookie cutter) that anything can happen.

    Regardless of our own opinions of the Iraq war, that went ahead despite, I believe, the overwhelming opposition of the vast majority of the country. If that had happened in 1800, there’d have been a revolution. Today, we havn’t got the balls, nor the principles or the force of will.