Monday, 31 May 2010

and now.. the news...

Some interesting articles in the news lately, that I can't help myself but comment on.

Another club/pub in Portsmouth has had its alcohol license withdrawn. This time for breaching the terms of its license by allowing music to play late into the night, and disturbingly continuing to serve alcohol to under age persons. It transpires that this latest venue, The Citrus Bar in Albert Road in Southsea had failed under age sales tests on three occasions last year. Is it just me, or how is it that they have been allowed to continue to this point ? If there was no sign that they were going to be mending their ways, and managing their business responsibly, then why was their license not taken away sooner?

It's hardly rocket science that by squeezing all the pubs and clubs into a square mile in the city centre, you pretty much create a no go area for the rest of the public. The sheer concentration of all those boozed up people is bound to lead to trouble. Silly really that the council thought that it wouldn't.

There may be cynics that might suggest that the real reason for moving the clubbing area of Portsmouth to the centre of town was actually to move it away from the expensive houses and apartments along Southsea seafront., or even to release large buildings that were previously night clubs, that could be redeveloped into expensive housing. What also doesn't help is the fact that the thousands of people out for a 'night of it' aren't presented with any other options nearby.

In short, it's great to see that publicans that do not operate their businesses responsibly are held to account (although frustrating that it has taken so long to take any action), but that the underlying problems are around our society's addiction to heavy alcohol consumption, and the council's ill fated decision to have only one clubbing area in Portsmouth, and have it so compacted.


Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Laws has resigned this week as it became clear that he had broken expenses rules that prevent you from paying a partner rent. Although he had stopped doing it in August 2009, he had claimed about £40,000. He has agreed to pay this money back, and shortly after the news broke about this expenses, he submitted his resignation. With all the furore last year about MPs expenses claims, why had he not repaid or admitted it before ? His press release refers to a desire to keep his sexuality, and his relationship with is partner secret. It is sad, in the 21st century that anyone feel that they have to keep their sexual preferences secret. What is even sadder, is the gay rights brigade criticising him for taking advantage of the advances in society that he can be afforded, that were brought about by the brave actions of out gays before him.

Thankfully, the media circus didn't so much focus on his sexuality, as the 'root' of the indiscretion, but did pose the questions about if it was valid that this be a reason for him to try and excuse not following the rules. Surely, he knew that the rules were there to prevent MPs from being charged rents by their partners (of any sex) and then claiming that back on expenses.

Ironic, is it not, that the ones making the sexuality the issue are the very ones that should be championing the exact opposite.

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