I haven’t forgotten the Freddos competition. I’m still in recovery from the recent chaos. It will happen. Yesterday we had a sample of the Green Life – a power cut from 9 am to 3 pm – and if it had continued into the evening we’d have been glad of that wood burning stove. Easter is here and will be over soon. Maybe then normality, such as it is, will be restored for a while.
Anyway, today it seems Diane Abbott has been photographed sprawled out in a train carriage, surrounded by vomit and cans of Special Brew.
Not really. In fact she was quietly sipping from a single 250 ml can of Marks and Spencer Mojito and not bothering anyone.
I never thought I’d see the day when I would take Diane Abbott’s side on anything but there you are, sitting quietly on the eleventy-thirteen train home, not causing anyone any bother, and suddenly a mob of Puritans appear and lynch you.
Yes, it is against the law, but it’s a stupid law. We already have laws to cover drunk and disorderly – in fact I believe ‘drunk in a public place’ is against the law, so even the lone guy staggering home from the pub in silence is breaking the law. I have broken that one many times. We do not need an absolute alcohol ban anywhere other than while driving anything or while at work (politicians really should take note of that one, especially Anti Sobriety, because it applies to everyone else).
The whole point of public transport is that the alcohol driving limit does not apply to anyone but the train staff. Sure, being drunk and obnoxious will, and should, get you refused transport or thrown off at the next stop but one can of 8% booze (roughly half a pint of a not very strong wine by equivalent) isn’t likely to do that.
I mean, she’s taking public transport home at a time when a lot of those politicians are demanding a full police escort everywhere they go. Why isn’t that the story? All she did was sit in a seat and drink a can of what, to me at least, could almost be considered a soft drink.
She drank two units! Two! She drank all of both those units and had the nerve to walk off the train without falling over! How could she! Shock! Horror! Call the Sun! They’ll print this shit.
Pfft. If I had to work with Grandpa Cordite and The McConnellator all day, I reckon I’d be necking vodka straight from the bottle on the way home. And hitting myself on the head with the bottle between swigs.
Some are going to say I am advocating drunks on trains, with waves of urine wafting across the aisles on every curved track, and tsunamis of piss and vomit building up along the train at every abrupt stop. You’re not going to get that from a game of two units, one can.
Scotland does not allow drinking on trains between 9 pm and 10 am. The 10 am part is irrelevant really, you can’t buy any in Scotland before 10 am anyway. The 9 pm part is so that those leaving pubs don’t get any more plastered on the way home. If you want to open a can of Tennent’s on a train at 1 pm, no one cares. The buffet will even sell you a can (at far above minimum price).
Nobody’s really likely to bother you if you take a swig from a hip flask at 9:30 pm or later. As long as you aren’t causing any bother… no one cares.
Of course, if you are sitting in a warm-but-cooling wet seat and swearing incoherently at the other passengers, you’re going to be met by the transport police at the next stop, whether it’s your stop or not. And that is as it should be.
There is no time limit on the Transport for London ban. There is no sensible in-between. They see it as all or nothing. If you so much as sniff a beer, you are a raging alcoholic likely to smash every window then stab the passengers with the shards of glass. So they have banned it entirely.
I can understand a ban on late boozing on public transport. It’s likely to be those who have come, pie-eyed, from the pub and are already blootered. You don’t want them tipping over into vomit-factory on your old and smelly train, it’s bad enough in there as it is. You can’t even rely on a friendly smoker to quench the stench because that’s been banned for a long time too.
Same with buses. I have taken the very late weekend bus home from Aberdeen a couple of times in the past and they put the shittiest vehicle in the fleet on that route. It’s not called the ‘vomit comet’ for nothing. It doesn’t come out this way – nothing does – so I don’t go drinking in Aberdeen now.
But really, a whole newspaper article over a can of premixed plonk? Being drunk by someone who didn’t cause so much as an inconvenience to anyone?
I know, I know, ‘one rule for us and another for them’ but is this a rule she was involved in making? I rather suspect it’s one of Sadold Khunt’s idiotic pronouncements to distract from his dire record of actually doing his job. It’s not a national law. It’s just That London. They had seven to choose from and they chose Dopey. Grumpy was already employed as Squeaker in the House of Conmen but that still left six.
It is, I repeat, a stupid law. One among many. Diane Abbott is right to ignore it and was wrong to apologise for it. The idiots calling for her to be prosecuted should instead be calling for the idiotic law to be dumped.
That never happens, does it? It’s never ‘Well it’s a stupid law anyway’. It’s always ‘Enforce the stupid law!’
I have no hope for this current iteration of civilisation, and I doubt the next one will be any better.
There are times, like this, when I am glad I don’t have too many birthdays left to endure.