There was a story in the Citizen yesterday about a chap who had a glass thrown into his face at the pub, leaving him with a two-inch scar. So far, so depressing. The perpetrator of this act of violence, full of remorse, then vowed from the dock to “campaign for glasses to be banned from pubs and replaced with plastic to prevent similar offences in future”.
So let’s get this straight: here is a guy, reportedly of usually good character, who after a few beers got himself worked up into a lather about something that, from the report seems to have been none of his concern, and couldn’t control himself from assaulting someone. Now he wants to go off on a crusade to make the rest of us drink from plastic glasses in case some other idiot has similar urges in the future.
What a great idea. And whilst we’re at it, the pub has chairs: some nutter could easily use one of those to clump someone over the head, perhaps they should be banned too. And the pub sells food – best we replace all of those dangerous, pointy bits of cutlery with plastic Sporks immediately.
Or here’s an idea: why can’t we all somehow just learn to behave like decent human beings?
I would treat this as a non-story, but a similar issue raised its head last October, when the Citizen reported that pubs and clubs in Eastgate Street were replacing their glasses with “Poly-carbonate alternatives… to reduce the risk of glasses being used in violent outbursts”.
- Drinking from a plastic glass is nasty. They quickly become scratched, cloudy and battered but are too expensive to replace readily. They also seem to taint the flavour of your drink.
- If you turn up to a city where all pubs use plastic glasses, what are you going to infer about that city? I suggest you are going to fear that “violent outbursts” are common-place and you will go elsewhere to drink.
- By removing glasses it is taking away individual responsibility and accountability – it is saying “it’s not your fault; it’s the fault of the pubs for having all of these dangerous glasses about”. What we should be doing is coming down hard on people who seem incapable of stopping themselves from turning innocuous objects into makeshift weapons, and making them accountable for their anti-social actions.
Any act of violence, however perpetrated, is terrible and I don’t wish to make light of it, but I also don’t think that everyone should be restricted in how they live because of the actions of a minority of idiots.