Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

`I AM the man, the very fat man, who waters the workers' beer,' sang Jim Callaghan at a Durham miners' gala. He, at least, was joking. Not so Charles Clarke, the Home Office minister, who has just unveiled a plan to tackle alcohol-related crime.

One of the measures envisaged is a ban on beer glasses; in their place, clubs and bars would have to use plastic cups, treating their customers like schoolchildren embarking on a teddy bears' picnic. While this might cause some inconvenience for thugs - they might have to reach into their back pocket for a flickknife rather than `glass' their victims it is unlikely to do much to enhance the pleasure of a quiet drink for the rest of us: `Would sir care for the '66 or the '78 claret in his plastic beaker?'

Perhaps even more worrying is the proposed ban on the consumption of alcohol in `designated public places'. …

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