Drinkers and smokers could be targeted in a bid to change Colchester after dark.I’m tempted to say ‘Change it into what..?’ but I think I already know the answer…
More than 40 recommendations have been made by a task group to breathe life into the town from 6pm to 9pm and stop it becoming a no-go area after 9pm.Now, I can see the sense in cracking down on unruly, rowdy drunks.
Ideas include an early warning scheme where police will warn pubs not to serve customers they have identified as having drunk too much already.
Another plan is to ban outdoor smoking areas from the streets and improve taxi marshalling in Head Street and Queen Street.
That is, after all, what we’d all prefer to see, rather than blanket bans and revision of the licensing laws. It’s sensible, and a proper use of council and police time.
But banning outdoor smoking..?
When was the last time a smoker made me fear for my life, or was sick on my shoes, or started a fight with another smoker?
Or stole some private property from a complete stranger? That seems to be something exclusively confined to the smokeophobes…
A report is to be presented to Colchester Council’s policy review and development panel on Wednesday, September 1.Is it?
Nick Barlow, chairman of the task group, said: “We get lots of people complaining about the town centre at night, so we were looking at what can be done to improve the experience.
“People think there are simple solutions, but it is quite a complex issue.”
Drunks and vandals are simple criminals, causing simple crimes. Smokers are neither...
His biggest desire is to see a cultural change with people taking part in all kinds of activities.Does it?
Mr Barlow added: “If we get a greater mix of people out for different reasons, it changes behaviour and makes people out drinking more conscious of their behaviour.”
I think you’ll find that if you are prepared to get hammered and cause trouble, you’ll do it no matter who happens to be around…
And what other kinds of activities does he want to see to supposedly get ‘a greater mix of people’ in Colchester Town Centre at night? Anyone able to figure this out, because I certainly can’t!
It seems to me that what people want to do in Colchester is drink and smoke and get a taxi home. Why not try making that easier for them, rather than harder?
But we all know what this is. Just another front in the ongoing war against a perfectly legal activity, and moreover, one that brings in a great deal of tax revenue.
“With the decline of clerical power in the 18th century, a new
kind of mentor emerged to fill the vacuum and capture the ear
of society. The secular intellectual might be deist, sceptic or
atheist. But he was just as ready as any pontiff or presbyter
to tell mankind how to conduct its affairs. He proclaimed, from
the start, a special devotion to the interests of humanity and an
evangelical duty to advance them by his teaching. He brought
to this self-appointed task a far more radical approach than his
clerical predecessors. He felt himself bound by no corpus of
revealed religion. The collective wisdom of the past, the legacy of
tradition, the prescriptive codes of ancestral experience existed to
be selectively followed or wholly rejected entirely as his own good
sense might decide. For the first time in human history, and with
growing confidence and audacity, men arose to assert that they
could diagnose the ills of society and cure them with their own
unaided intellects: more, that they could devise formulae whereby
not merely the structure of society but the fundamental habits of
human beings could be transformed for the better. Unlike their
sacerdotal predecessors, they were not servants and interpreters
of the gods but substitutes.”
Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, 1988.