Wednesday, 13 January 2010

More Government Bizarreness


If you wish to serve alcohol in England and Wales you have to either have a personal licence to do so, or be authorised by someone that does. Simples? Getting one isn't that difficult, though even if you pass the test, the coppers can still object to your personal licence application if you have been convicted for some particular offences. These are quite sensible in the main and include murder, rape, theft in many forms, blackmail, drunk driving and various forms of drunkenness and drugs. They are subject to a test: Is the offence relevant to carrying out the duties required of a personal licence holder?

All fine and dandy, but not for this nanny state government. They propose to add a whole raft of offences to the list including such bizarre things as: supplying firearms to a person drunk or insane; intercourse with a defective; incest; causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act; intercourse with an animal; sexual penetration of a corpse; the list goes on.

Given that only 0.7% of applications are refused on current grounds, this seems a bit of overkill unless of course the Dept of Culture Media and Sport has spotted a loophole allowing, necrophiliacs,animal shaggers and other sexual deviants to predominate in the licensed trade. Somehow I think not. This exercise in public consultation (this is what it is) is a requirement of law. Fair enough, but do we really need to double the number of pages of offences from four to eight, especially when they reckon that the percentage of refusals won't materially change? ("The Government does not estimate that this would be significantly increased by the proposed changes".)

It would be amusing if we weren't paying for it all.

18 comments:

Velky Al said...

"intercourse with a defective" - what the hell is a "defective" according to the government? Has Mengele been resurrected and is now working as a consultant?

Ed said...

Funnily enough I've been applying for a personal licence today and it's a pain in the arse. I need to do a one day course (£149) and get a CRB done even though I've had it done before (£23) and this is all before I can even apply for the licence!

Tandleman said...

Al - It isn't defined, though you'd probably know one if you came across them as it were.

Ed. I've got mine so I'm OK then. Or so it might appear. It'll be another £37 at the council too.

Tandleman said...

It seems it means "a person suffering from severe subnormality as defined by the Mental Health Act 1959".

Kristy said...

Overkill maybe but running a pub is a huge responsibility, and not a job we respect highly enough in the UK, and I want to feel confident that any pub I'm in is run by someone capable and competent of providing a safe, well run and enjoyable environment.

Melissa Cole covers it well http://girlsguidetobeer.blogspot.com/2010/01/knee-jerks-on-both-sides.html and I agree with her.

The reality is that people are often at their most vulnerable in a pub after a few drinks, if it's too easy to get a license then it opens it to misuse and that could mean more and more people staying at home if they don't feel safe in a pub environment.

RedNev said...

Bizarre. This sexual obsession says far more about those who devised the form than it ever will about those who complete it.

Paul Bailey said...

My Personal Licence expires in 2015, so I'm ok until then. My wife and I were both holders of the old Justices Liquor Licence, so it was just a formality acquiring a Personal Licence each.
The premises licence for the shop itself though was a whole different ball game, involving a detailed plan of the premises, and all sorts of policy statements on alcohol awareness, public safety, not selling alcohol to underage persons etc, in other words the sort of bollocks that only local government officials could dream up!
There was nothing wrong with the old Licensing system, which had operated for hndreds of years under the control of the Licensing Justices. The 2003 Licensing Act was just another excuse to over-complicate things with red tape AND, of course, to screw more money out of business owners.

Tandleman said...

Kristy. If there was any evidence that the current arrangements were missing a large number of inappropriate applicants then you might have a point. There are some sensible additions to the list but if you think any of this will make you safer in the pub then I'd have to reckon your thinking is on the wishful side. To me it just seems overdone it a tad.

Paul Garrard said...

Like Paul I have a Personal Licence which expires around 2015, and which was transferred from the old Magistrates Licence.

I don't care for red tape much either but one of the reasons for it is the change that has happened in the ways that laws are made in this country. Quite a while back there was a shift from law made on the hoof by bewigged sots (sorry that should be judges) in favour of laws made by our elected representatives. There has always been lots of guff written down, but whereas it used to be in the form or precedent it is now enshrined in an act or three.

Sorry.

Tyson said...

"Intercourse with a defective".

Surely that's unavoiadable in parts of Middleton?

Tandleman said...

All parts I'd guess.

Brew Wales said...

The new rules will prevent any MPs from gaining a licence when they look for a new job come the election.

Jeff Frane said...

This isn't some of that vaunted British irony, is it? Will you need to swear that you're not a necrophiliac when you're granted the license (note correct American spelling) or will they take your word for it? Will you have to bring in character witnesses to provide testimony? "I swear I have never seen Tandleman mount a defective sheep, nor to force any of his mental friends to watch."

You Brits are silly!

Tandleman said...

No. It's all too true. You don't have to swear though. If you are convicted of these things they'll know. If you have got away with it so far .. you are in!

RedNev said...

"You Brits are silly!" Maybe so, with our bureaucratic criminal records checks and convoluted licences (note correct English spelling of an English word).

But then you lot voted in George W. Bush. People in glass houses, etc.

Paul Garrard said...

In legal terms you never need to swear at all if you choose not to. I had the pleasure 30 odd years ago of throwing a court into turmoil because as a witness I wanted to affirm and they couldn't find the card with the wording on. Eventually a clerk was found who knew it off by heart and I repeated after him.

Erlangernick said...

Voting in GWB was not "silly". Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Does sexual contact with Dubya count?