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Should there be legislation covering drinks promotions?

Did Tokyo club in Oldham go too far with their £5.99 invitation to get drunk?

Published on February 2nd 2009.

Should there be legislation covering drinks promotions?
Yes: - 33%
No: - 67%

Police have criticised the reporting in the MEN after the paper inadvertantly ‘promoted’ the £5.99 all-you-can-drink night at an Oldham club.

The top copper in the town, one Caroline Ball, said: “The irresponsible reporting of the drinks offer at the club this week and the publicity surrounding it meant the venue was considerably busier than usual. The increase in capacity inevitably led to some incidents of violence.”

You can see her point.

Splashing the name of a club where you can get as smashed as you want for less than £6 all over the front page of the paper was bound to attract more punters. The resulting isolated trouble caught by a waiting MEN cameraman – how clever of him, did he know something? – was unsurprising given the number of youngsters that went along and the amount they could swill for such a low price. So maybe it was irresponsible.

Then again you could argue that the paper had every right to run a story about a situation which troubled it – freedom of the press and all that. The reporting was certainly within the public domain (or interest) and also fitted the MEN’s permanent tone of righteous indignation. Maybe Caroline Ball should have kept her thoughts to herself, the Police should be seen and not heard: they are mere public servants.

But the story did raise the question of whether drinks promotions of this kind should be prohibited? And not just in bars either but in supermarkets too. Do the pious promises of provenance and good practice from the latter stick in anybody else's throat?

But we have to weigh several things.

One of the joys of living in a democracy is the amount of autonomy we have over our lives. If a business wants to offer us this amount of bargain basement liquid relaxation it’s up to us if we take them up or not. And any trouble consequent upon that is the police and emergency services’ job to clean up. That’s why we fund them with our taxes.

But if the problems of cheap alcohol are destructive of our freedoms – they impinge on other people’s enjoyment of a night out, cost the emergency services loads of money, have ramifications in other areas of society – then maybe we should make sure that they are taxed highly to cut down on the abuse, or in the case of 2-4-1 deals and so on, simply banned.

Vote on the Homepage if you think yes, we should control drinks promotions and no, if you think personal freedom means even the freedom to get smashed out of our heads in a public place.

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25 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2009.

Oh for gods sake. NO, of course there shouldn't be legislation to stop drinks promos. The only, ONLY, reason the gov't wants to bring any in is so they can stop cut price booze and get more tax in, end of. When are we going to say no to this awful big brother nanny state and start acting like a grown up society?

alFebruary 2nd 2009.

love it love it love it, as I read this article, a banner above from Ithaca offered "enjoy beer for less" the irony works on so many levels!

emma graceFebruary 2nd 2009.

I agree with anonymous, but the problem is that there will always be those who take it too far and cannot control themselves. Then they end up taking up beds and doctors and nurses time in A&E. If the government stepping in and introducing some legislation will reduce this, then I'm afraid I'd have to be all for it.

alFebruary 2nd 2009.

I read about it in the news of the world on sunday, they reported three "shocking incidents"1) a fight broke out between some lads2) a girl was sick in the street3) a bouncer was hospitalised after a drunk man bit him on the chinfirstly the drunk chin biter carried out his act of aggression because he was refused entry, ie he hadn't been able to take up the drink bonanza, he'd got smashed elsewhere.Secondly, is a fight and a pukey girl anything out of the ordinary outside a club? I agree that binge drinking is a bit of an issue but I'm not sure that the Tokyo club deserves all the attention when some places offer alcopops for 50p a bottle. You don't need to be Carol Vorderman to work out how many bottles 6 quid will buy you at that price!

BobbyFebruary 2nd 2009.

Its thirteen isn't it?Buy buy twelve and get another one smashed over your head on the way out?

Tokyo Club PromoterFebruary 2nd 2009.

Next time it's going to be free for all Confidential ranters. I'm going to put your name on the bar list for whoever puts their details on here. Bring I.D! We'll let you know when as soon as it's organised and the authorities are happy.

esquiloFebruary 2nd 2009.

Jeez, the last thing this country needs is MORE legislation. Nobody forces anybody to drink til they're a puddle of vomit.

JimFebruary 2nd 2009.

Where can you get alcopops for 50p? Seems ridiculous anywhere else except a youth club.

gorFebruary 2nd 2009.

I went to tokyos and it was no different to how it usually is. There are always idiots in there anyway. All the media are doing now is advertising the place and making more people want to go for the cheap booze I bet the owners are rubbing their hands! It is being made out that underage drinkers and trouble causers are the only people that go. I went in a group of 10 and we are all 30 ish and respectable people who just like a good bargain!When I was a student I used to pay a fiver to get in the Footage and Firkin on Oxford road and drink free all night and there was no problem.

rosieFebruary 2nd 2009.

I think more places should have offers like this.Keeps the scrotes out of venues that normal folk go to.

PaulFebruary 2nd 2009.

Harvey nics are doing the same thing with wine is that not the same

LeeFebruary 2nd 2009.

Ladies' night at the footage I remember that! I even worked there for six months or so. Thnaks for the nostalgia gor!

cigpapersFebruary 2nd 2009.

You never hear of zanulabour bringing in legislation covering islamification of Britain!

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2009.

Whether I spend £5.99 or £59.99 on a night out, I would not behave this way. It's about the people not the promotions. Bringing in legislation to stop cheap nights out spoils it for people who can't afford the ridiculous costs of going out these days. And who's to say these people were just drunk? Taking away the £5.99 promotion wouldn't stop these idiots taking drugs and doing the same thing. The more the governmen tries to interfere with drinks prices the more people will turn to drugs for a cheap night. Sad but true.

Dick TwitcherFebruary 2nd 2009.

I've been to Tokyo's quite a few times and the crowd downstairs is fine. A good indie night and the ONLY reason anyone would venture into Oldham to be honest. The rest of the place is a hovel.It's a shame that people just can't enjoy it rather than behaving like this. As usual, the ones with more hair on their arms than on their heads are the usual culprits. Unable to behave sober or whilst drunk and no doubt drinking way to excess whilst under other influences that will keep them going all night.I would, however, wonder how the events outside Tokyo's compare to any other night club in Oldham? Is it any better or worse?

MarkFebruary 2nd 2009.

No amount of legislation will ever fully protect us from ourselves. It's pointless even to try - human idiocy is astoundingly inventive.

eugeneFebruary 2nd 2009.

Tell the governmentt (and the police)to stick it!We are all (this is up for debate actually) adults and we DO have a right to largly do what we want. We also have the obligation to behave responsibly. If people can't, thats up to them and needs to be addressed accordingly but restricting the otherwise normal and decent behaviour or the masses as a few are too immature and moronic to look after themselves and repect themselves and others is not an acceptable excuse to restrict everyone else's freedoms.PS why don't the government (local & national) look at WHY people want to get so smashed that they are out of control. Perhaps it's something to do with the amount of pressure we are all under - working hours, productivity, the impact of the media, state control, the want-want-want society, the list is possibly endless.Rant over (for now)!

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2009.

If you have ever watched someone die from alcoholic liver disease it would make you think seriously about the amount of alcohol this country pours down it's neck every day. It worrys me that because of cartoons like the Simpsons, my nephews aged 9 and 11, think that drinking is cool and getting drunk is just harmless fun. The more adverts on TV, in the papers, and through drinks promotions, encouraging people to drink, the bigger the problem of alcohol dependency, alcoholism, binge drinking and the violence which goes along with that will get in this country.

TheWineGuyFebruary 2nd 2009.

In response to Paul, who mentioned the 21 offer at Harvey Nics - it is more or less the same thing, but you only have 90 mins in which to drink, then you're done. Also, you only have a choice of 2 wines (House red and white) which are both pretty shocking...But not the best idea, certainly.

cpingFebruary 2nd 2009.

It's a non issue. Current competition policy prevents price control of anything by legislation. The Government can of course raise prices via duty and but that only make promotions more costly. There are plenty of ways of the "relevant persons" discouraging bars and clubs and indeed individuals from encouraging too much over consumption by people with or without hair (I love the class war bit here). Hurry down to Lidle were you can get large cans of an internationally branded lager for 65p a throw :-) before they are 'discouraged" (and it's for real unlike some of the 'promotions')

Been to Harvey NicsFebruary 2nd 2009.

regards the Harvey Nics wine offer, yes its only 90 minutes, but part of the deal is that you have to eat a 3 course meal to avail of the free wine. So, quite responsible really when compared against this 'all you can drink' for £5.99!!!. The food 'lessens' the effect, and Im sure if they started bottling each other outside Harvey Nichols of a Saturday night, we'd see that on the front page of more than the MEN!

Ali McGowanFebruary 2nd 2009.

Red tape and legislation sucks. The sooner the Conservatives come into power and reverse all of the retarded red tape that Labour have put in place the better. And regarding binge drinking and such drinks offers... people need to take responsibility for having a good night out. It shouldn't fall to legilsation to do this. Nanny state = pile of **** :)

ZabzyFebruary 2nd 2009.

If they legalised bing then people wouldnt get so drunk and there would be no problems except for dogs that have been sawn in half

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2009.

drinking is a working mans pass time, call me old fashioned but we all like a drink, we get taxed on wages, nearly everything we buy. what do you expect people to do when they see a bargain!! old dears at a sale are almost as bad as drunks on the piss

smythyFebruary 2nd 2009.

jesus, how old are you?

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