Categorised | Big Brother, Civil Liberties, General |

Nanny state gathers pace with further bans

Ministers are considering draft proposals whereby up to 186,000 licensed premises, including bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants would be banned from offering free drinks and will face restrictions on so called “happy hours”. The proposals also suggest that wine should be served in ‘marked’ glasses and health warnings placed on drinks. New Labour, not content with the cigarette ban, which has seriously contributed to the closure of over 5 pubs per day, are now to consider having a second bite of the cherry. Yet, this government claims to be “business friendly”. This is simply not true.

Whatever your views on smoking, an outright ban was a significant attack on the civil liberties of millions of people, yes, non-smokers also have rights, but neither group should have had preference over the other. An alternative for example, would have been to allow ‘smoking pubs’ or clubs. The same goes for restaurants, they could have been allowed to have a smoking room, much the same as those at many airport terminals. Instead, this government chose to ride roughshod over millions of people, whatever the consequences to civil liberties and business. Now we are seeing 5 pubs a day close and behind each one is a story, an individual or family that has invested their life savings, or another that is working as an employee and subsequently risks losing their job because the pub, bar or club is scheduled to close.

Banning pubs and clubs from offering free alcohol or restricting the traditional happy hour, is not going to solve the binge drinking or yobbish behaviour that we see on our streets almost every night. We all have a choice as to whether we go to a particular pub or bar, partake in ‘free’ offers or take advantage of discounts during happy hour. That choice must not be removed, because to do so, only demonstrates, that the state is attempting to control the people, rather than the other way around. It is not simply an issue of a tired looking government trying to act responsibly, it is yet another example of the state trying to dictate how we run our lives. Already they tell us where we can smoke, how much of our own money we can keep, how fast we must drive on the roads, where we can park, the list is endless…and yet this is supposed to be a democracy.

I am not advocating that there should be no rules, regulations or laws, that would be anarchy, but I am suggesting that there needs to be a commonsense, joined up approach…..moderation. There are 65m people in the UK, yet we are all tarred with the same brush, we could all, technically, have the toughest anti-terrorist laws in the world used against us, by our own government. Even though genuine ‘terrorists’ count for an infinitesimal number of our population, the legislation assumes that the problem is much, much worse, introducing a fear fact designed to push us all into submission to another draconian peice of legislation. This scattergun approach to new legislation seeks to destroy the civil liberties of us all, given it does not even attempt differentiate between good and bad. By imposing a ban on everything the government doesn’t like they get, more and more control over the people. 650 Members of Parliament, ruling 65m people…maybe they feel they need this type of legislation to control us all.

What happened to personal responsibility? if people want to binge drink, that is their choice, however, if they overstep the mark, that is to say they interfere with other people trying to enjoy themselves, then they should be dealt with severely. Instead of a smack on the wrist and being sent home, or a night in the cells and sent on their way the next morning, they must be punished in a way that they will remember their transgression for a while to come. Yobbish or anti-social, drink related behaviour should be punished by at least one months income, irrespective of whether the individual is a high earner, on the minimum wage or on social benefits. These sums should be deducted direct, so that employers are made aware of the behaviour of some of their employees outside the workplace and those on benefits cannot refuse to pay. Harsh yes, but it is likely, that unless the individual has a drinking problem which requires help, then they will remember the lesson for a long time to come. Similarly, high earners would be hit proportionally to their earnings, everyone being treated equally.

If I drive too fast and have an accident, I wouldn’t expect the government to ban cars, if I cut myself whilst shaving, the state does not need to ban razor blades. In each case it was my decision, I would know the risks and expect to pay the consequences. No-one else. On the other hand, if we were talking about my children, then I may impose restrictions, until I felt that they were old enough and mature enough to make their own decisions…but only until then. So what do these restrictions on our civil liberties say about what government thinks of us? They treat us like children, they assume that none of us are capable of making our own decisions in life, instead, we must be controlled by rules and regulations.

We must not look at things like this potential ban as a single issue, that is what government wants us to do, instead we must look at each example as further evidence of this nanny state, further evidence that the state wants to control every aspect of our lives, even if this means new draconian acts of parliament to get those powers. We have seen this government use the anti-terrorist act to sequestrate the assets of the Icelandic bank, that was not what the legislation was for and in a prime example of how state can, will and does abuse the trust that we all put in them, when they are elected. There was plenty of other legislation that could have been used in the example I cite, without resorting to anti-terror legislation.

We should all be telling our MP’s the the vast majority of us are sensible, law abiding and have large doses of commonsense…in fact, much more than many MP’s. Therefore, we do not need, nor do we want a nanny state, we want less regulation and rules, not more. Does anyone feel safer as a consequence of the 7,000 additional laws introduced by this government? The answer is an emphatic NO…and that is why we must tell our elected members of parliament, that enough is enough.

If you want to see how the state is interfering in our everyday lives, even in our children’s schools, then it is worth reading an article written by Shrewd Mammal, (White Rome Burns).

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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Something to Say Says:

    I am sick and tired of this government attempting to control everything I do, say or think. We need less government intervention, not more. The problem is, New Labour rely on the people that keep asking for something for nothing, in order to stay in power. Noone considers the rest of us who have to pay for it.

  2. Chromeneo Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. The government are very controlling in everything they do. As well as stripping us of our civil liberties, which Great Britain has prided itself on developing over the years, it also is taking away our personal responsibilities.

    Something needs to happen and soon!!

  3. New Wallasean Says:

    Very good article, if Gordon had spent more time keeping an eye on the economy instead of dreaming up silly new laws we might not be in quite the pickle we are in.

    Like the idea of a 1 month wage fine for anti-social behaviour, that would make them think twice.

  4. Frustrated Voter Says:

    Thanks for your comments New Wallasean. The irony is, if the state was to understand the issues within the economy, such as those facing SME’s, and the citizens, we could go much, much further. Instead, they go on a walkaround, talk to half a dozen people, and claim to be experts. It is a very sad state of affairs and we all need to shout louder to have our voices heard.

  5. Slobba's Views Says:

    News that the nanny state now want to provide sex education to 5 years olds has be outraged. Who the hell do the state think they are, that they can decide, without reference to the parents, as and when sex education should be taught. They should hang their heads in shame.

  6. perturb8 Says:

    What a brillian article! Thanks Frustrated Voter.I am with you. Same goes for here in Australia! Inch by inch our liberties are being eroded and most people are blissfully unaware.

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