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Issue 55 - A stupid move

Whisky Magazine Issue 55
April 2006

 

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A stupid move

Plans to ban drinking from a glass in pubs and clubs in Scotland are wrong,says Dominic Roskrow

Once upon a time the drinks trade went through a quiet stage just after Christmas until Spring, and again for a month during summer. No more.

Such is the success of whisky at the moment that it's not just a case of 24/7 but 31/12, too.

Even February seemed to have 31 days. And after a period of self-imposed exile and relative calm February and March was the professional equivalent to getting swept down the Sound of Jura. Most of what is going on is happy and positive, and there can be no doubt that the interest in the sector continues unabated.

But occasionally alarm bells have been sounding, too. The most serious of these is the decision by the licensing authorities in Glasgow and Edinburgh to move towards banning glasses in city centre pubs and clubs.

Let's make no bones about this. It is a stupid, incomprehensible and thoroughly retrogressive step. The theory is that removing glass will reduce serious acts of violence in the cities – a noble enough idea in principle.

But hold on – are Edinburgh and Glasgow that much more violent than other major ‘civilised' cities? Do these councils really want to highlight the fact that their city centres are apparently out of control? And by doing this aren't they just sending out a message to visitors that at night these are no-go areas? Is glass crime that significant? Presumably the introduction of plastic cutlery at city centre restaurants and the use of paper pool cues is just around the corner.

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