A real pearler this time: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/drunk-tanks-and-minimum-prices-to-help-britain-sober-up-6917683.html
Well – it’s a few days old, but it gives an insight into how a senior, experienced (?), powerful (undoubtedly) and influential politician’s mind works. In essence it goes like this:
Complex social problem ->
Simple solution dreamt up by blue-sky thinkers ->
Improved popularity ratings ->
Job done !!! Gin and tonics all round.
Basically get the Police (after all it will be us who do it...) to drive round the rowdy town centres of England and Wales by night and scoop up the drunks and place them in a mobile booze bus so they can think about what they’ve done...
In reality, it ignores the practical and very real problems of dealing with inebriated people, drinking to oblivion for a wide range of reasons, from boredom, addiction, lack of self control, low price, easy availability, inexperience, peer pressure, shifting expectations of society – I could go on... you get the picture.
It’s fair to say that David Cameron has no experience of looking after a drunk angry man. Or woman. Or child. And certainly not in a moving vehicle. And not with mental health problems. And physical health problems. And recent injuries. And recent drug consumption. I dare say he wouldn’t know where to start, and it’s one of those things where a wrong decision potentially leads to a rather tragic end for our erstwhile comedy drunk. Because, after all drunks are just loud, noisy, silly and a nuisance. Not violent, unpredictable and very labour intensive to look after safely, checking for head injuries, medical conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy masked by copious quantities of alcohol.
Happily enough, the Police Federation poured plenty of cold water on this particularly ill thought out wheeze:
Oh well, as long as it’s not me who has to staff the vomit bus. That would make for a very long, trying night.