Well, you knew that whatever the instigators would have you believe, filling a tube train with people hell bent on drinking alcohol to mark the end of our freedom to drink alcohol on public transport was never going to end up as a good news story.
This all relates back to the London Mayoral elections. Old Boris declared that come the 1 June 2008 it would be illegal to carry open containers of alcohol or to drink alcohol on public transport (tube/bus/DLR/trams) the idea being that if people were discouraged from getting drunk on the way to pubs and clubs, they would be a little soberer by the end of the night and less violent, as well as not scaring the shit out of regular travellers who were afraid to get into a carriage with a bunch of drunks. It seemed fair enough, in twenty years I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve drank alcohol on public transport, usually New Years Eve… Yes, I am a goody two shoes however I’ve probably snorted more lines of narcotics on the top deck of a bus, horses for courses :)
Well, anyway. Some bright sparks decided that they should mark the end of liberty by encouraging everyone to get on the tube and get rollicking drunk in a protest against the law. Can anyone hear disaster waiting to happen? Of course we doom sayers were proved right as stations were closed due to alcohol related incidents, Underground staff were assaulted, police were assaulted and lots of people were no doubt waking up today with very sore heads, caused either by alcohol consumption or the effects of being twatted on the head by a bottle being thrown by one of those liberators of freedom.
I wonder how many of those campaigning against their lack of freedom were regular drinkers on the public transport network? Very few I imagine. One mentioned that there were other things to be worried about than people having a beer on the tube, things like knife crime. Well, perhaps that enlightened accountant was talking after a few too many and didn’t pause to reflect that if the knife carrying youths weren’t getting fuelled up on cheap drink on the buses and tubes at night, they wouldn’t be as inclined to think they were invincible and ergo they might not decide to go stabbing people who they thought had given them a dirty look!
Perhaps if people actually considered the various laws before mouthing off about them they might just stop themselves from making prats of themselves. Yes, the majority of people probably can handle a few drinks but time and time again it has been shown that just as many can’t. I don’t know about you but having a drink on the tube is not high up on my list of things that constitute a good night out and I’m not sure I know many people who count it on theirs. Usually it’s done in order to get a few cheap drinks in your gut before being fleeced by whatever West End club you stagger into, which is pretty pointless nowadays as these clubs all accept debit and credit cards, so after a belly full of booze you forget that you object to paying £8 for a vodka and coke and simply hand over your card and rue it the next day or two when you check your account.
I’m all for campaigning against injustices, if the few thousand revellers would care to join me for a protest outside Downing Street to raise awareness of the indiscriminate deaths of civilians in Palestine I’d be more than happy to join them, but I very much doubt they give a shit as it won’t involve restricting their right to drink where they want.