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Monday, August 22, 2011

Alcohol Free Zones – ‘ two sides to the coin’ (old artilce)

Thank you, Central, for raising the very important debate on the topic of ‘Street drinking and Alcohol Free Zones’. I read with interest the divided views on their effectiveness and it appears there is valid argument in both camps. There is no doubt that the misuse of alcohol underpins a wide range of pressures on many local community services and causes misery for many residents both in social and private sector housing. I am personally in favour of any enforcement tools that can be used by the police to ensure that local people can enjoy their homes and public space without the fear of being harassed and intimidated by a rowdy group of drinkers. However, the selecting of individual streets does create a sense of inequality and discrimination. Why is it ok for one street to be able drink outdoors but not another? Some authorities in the U.K and other countries operate a council-wide ban, where drinking is prohibited in all open-air unlicensed public places near residential areas - this is a more equitable and sustainable position. Until such times where there is political momentum and spine to make such a move, we have to settle for the current situation of targeted hotspot areas. The difficulty with hotspots only AFZ’s is that they can go on to result in the criminalisation of an already highly vulnerable and marginalized groups, which thus deepens their social exclusion and adding fuel to an already very complex issue. When you operate AFZ in selective streets you are only are band aiding - this leads to street drinkers re-locating to other areas and creating a whole new set of community challenges. Increased effort and resources from all levels of Government is required into treating the cause of alcoholism and helping those with chaotic lifestyles. Including: improving access to rehabilitation, social, health and housing support services, the establishment of managed ‘alcohol control zones’, and the trial of wet centres where ‘street drinkers’ can drink without causing a nuisance to others, and whilst having access to professional and peer support. These measures would go much further to addressing the problem than AFZ’s in isolation . Of course there are those who would argue that a total AFZ in the city is letting the minority cause restrictions on the freedom of those who enjoy a drink but can act ‘responsibly’. The reality is that if you are resident of any area that had constant groups drinking, causing noise, mess, and showing displays of aggression, fuelled by alcohol outside your home, 24/7, you would welcome the enforcement of an Alcohol Free Zone. The problem of anti-social behaviour is one that is affecting most of the LGA communities. Anytools used are step in the right direction but much more is required.The city council should be proud of their achievements and forward thinking in this regard to date. Mike Shreenan, Local resident and community worker, Waterloo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

God Meets Bureaucracy

In the beginning God Created heaven and the earth.

Quickly he was faced with a class action suit for failure to file an environmental impact statement. He was granted a temporary permit for the project, but was stymied with the Cease and Desist order for the earthly part.

Appearing at the hearing, God was asked why he began his earthly project in the first place. He replied that he just liked to be creative.

Then God said, "Let there be light." Officials immediately demanded to know how the light would be made. Would there be strip mining? What about thermal pollution? God explained that the light would come from a huge ball of fire.

God was granted provisional permission to make light, assuming that no smoke would result from the ball of fire, that he would obtain a building permit, and (to conserve energy) would have the light out half the time.

God agreed and said he would call the light "Day" and the darkness "Night." Officials replied that they were not interested in semantics.

God said, "Let the earth bring forth green herb and such as manyseed." The EPA agreed so long as native seed was used. Then God said, "Let waters bring forth creeping creatures having life; and the fowl that may fly over the earth." Officials pointed out this would require approval from the Department of Game coordinated with the Heavenly Wildlife Federation and the Audubongelic Society.

Everything was OK until God said he wanted to complete the project in six days. Officials informed him it would take at least 200 days to review the application and the environmental impact statement. After that there would be a public hearing. Then there would be 10-12 months before...

At this point God created Hell.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

50 Pure Dead Giveaways That You Are Scottish (taken from a facebook page )

50 pure dead giveaways that you are Scottish

1. Scattered showers with outbreaks of sunshine and a cold northerly wind, is your idea of good weather.
2. The only sausage you like is square.

3. You were forced to do Scottish country dancing every year at high school.

4. You have a wide knowledge of local words, and know: Numpty is an idiot, Aye is yes, Aye right is No, Auldjin is someone over 40, and Baltic is cold.

5. You have an irrational need to eat anything from the chippy, as long as its deep-fried - Haggis, pizza, white pudding, sausage, fish, chicken and battered Mars Bars.

6. You used to love destroying your teeth with - Penny Dainties, Wham Bars, Cola Cubes, and Soor Plooms.

7. You always greet people by talking about the weather.

8. Even if you normally hate the Proclaimers, Runrig, Caledonia, Deacon Blue, Big Country, etc, you still love it when they are played in a club abroad. (In fact you'll probably ask the DJ to play it)

9. You have an enormous feeling of dread, even when Scotland plays a diddy team.

11. You used to watch Glen Michael's Cartoon Cavalcade on a Sunday Afternoon with his lamp Paladdin.

12. You got Oor Wullie and The Broons books Every Christmas.

13. You only enjoy Weir's Way on the telly, when you are pissed.

14. You are able to recognise the regional dialect,(Glasgow) 'Awright pal, gonie gies a wee swatcha yir paper nat, Cheers, magic pal. (Aberdeen) Fitlike Loon? Furryboots ya bin up tae? Fair few quines in the night, min.(Inverness) Ah-eee right enuffff! How's you keeeepeeeen?

15. You know the police are about to arrive when you hear someone shout-Errapolis.

16. You have witnessed a 'Square Go'

17. You know that when you are asked which School you attended they really mean, 'Are you Catholic or Proddy?'

18. You have eaten the following: Mince and Tatties, Cullen Skink, Tunnock's Teacakes, Snowballs and Caramel Wafers, Porridge, Macaroon Bar, Baxter's Soup, Scotch Pie, Oatcakes.

19. A Jakey has asked you for 10p for a cuppa tea.

20. You wait at the shop counter for 1p change.

21. You know that the right response to 'you dancin?' is 'you askin?' followed by 'am askin' and finally 'then am dancin'.