Bin the Drinks

It would seem thatthe government is considering new regulations that will prohibit consumption of drinks in the street in Paceville. The GRTU and Chamber of Commerce have voiced their concerns and it seems that the government is willing to lend an ear. J’accuse fully agrees with this kind of regulation, especially having lived in Paceville for many years – there’s no sight uglier than the Paceville streets on a Sunday morning. Next on the target list should be the corner shops that sell overpriced drinks to minors and non.

What this issue definitely brings out is the need of a special Paceville Administration or Council. I still insist that Paceville should be run as a borough of St. Julian’s with a special committee made of different stakeholders – the residents, the police, the businesses and (hello) the usual token representative from the National Youth Council. Paceville cannot be expected to clean up its act solely on the goodwill (haha) of private enterprise and the occasional interference of a government that has no clue how to deal with entertainment that falls outside electoral periods.

There has been talk of reforming Local Councils (much of the talk involved responsibilising the latter – read brushing of responsibility by central government). I hope that they take into consideration council-less areas that merit their own management and planning like Paceville, Marsalforn and Xlendi to begin with. The running of areas like these goes beyond the normal civic sense associated with local councils. They are dynamic areas that provide entertainment to many visitors. In a way they are a minor tourism industry within a larger national industry. Often the tourists are the Maltese or Gozitans themselves who visit these places for a good afternoon or night out. If they are run professionally – with a plan (a sort of managerial plan of the sort Daphne dislikes) they could be turned into major assets rather than ugly eyesores.

For now lets start by binning the drinks.


6 responses to “Bin the Drinks

  1. Patrick (Galea)

    Expensive drinks in corner shops? As oppossed to what? The cheap ones in paceville establishments? You’re kidding right?

    Who is Philip Fenech trying to kid, acting as the moral entrepreneur without mentioning his direct financial interest in the issue. Drinking in the streets is fine for him, as long as you have a plastic table to block the pavement with, and a licence to decrease quality of drinks and sell them at an inflated price.

    Fenech’s objection to people drinking in the street has nothing to do with clean streets. It has a lot to do with empty-ish bars. Is-Sur Vella should tell his GRTU buddies to serve real drinks at considerable prices rather than bitch and moan at bottle shops under the guise of the Paceville image. If they do that I for one would go back to drinking in them. Some cheek GRTU have, arguing for more laws when they have consistently demonstrated their continuous disregard of the law against smoking in public places.

  2. And of course the other group who are bitching about rising prices and opting to use the rules of the market to buy cheaper booze from a corner shop also have the right to piss in the street, against cars, on other people’s front doors etc. They also have the right to go on a car mirror breaking binge “ghax buzz ghax qieghdin hara” and have absolute no sense of respect for other people. Sorry patrick but despite the fact that GRTU might be whingers for the money and the custom, I still have no pity for the poor poor people who just want to get their cheap alcohol and act like complete gits on the street. Somehow I miss the point.

  3. Patrick (Galea)

    I don’t have sympathy for those who act like complete gits either. I doubt anybody does. But equating that behavioru solely to purchasing from cornershop is methodologically stupid. All the behaviours you are condemning are the result of stupidity and/or alchocol consumption. Cracking down on cornershops tackles neither. People can get drunk in bars, at home, or wherever and act like pricks on the streets of paceville. Unless you are suggesting that the drinks in cornershops have some exclusive special ingredient that makes people act like stupid prats.

    If you want to rid paceville of people because you lived there, fair enough. But using moral arguments to stifle competition is another thing. What the GRTU are effectively doing behind a public champion mask is basically that.

    And tell me Jacques, where do you drink if you hate smelling like an ashtray? At BJs jew?

  4. Moral arguments? I appeal to a sense of decency. BECAUSE I lived in Paceville I know that the majority of the ones wrecking the streets are the same louts buying their booze at corner shops and consuming it on the walls and in the unlit roads. They are not the only ones but here’s the deal…

    1) Crackdown on consumption of drinks in streets. Public road is no place for a party – makes me sound ultraconservative but just think about it… what is the point of the night out?

    2) Crackdown on abusive prices in establishments. Not so keen on this unless it is worked out by the consumers themselves – go to the bar with the best deal – others will follow suit.

    3) No smoking in ANY establishments.

    Now where did I drop that foundation document for a Maltese Tory Party. Incidentally did you see Boris Johnosn’s first move as mayor of London… no more booze on buses.

  5. Patrick (Galea)

    Public road is no place for a party? Why not? A public space is indeed the best place for a party. This idea that entertainment must be consumed in a bar, club or a discoteque is not absolute, but specific to a consumerist context. Philosophically speaking the street is the bedrock of folk culture, not just a track for the cars.

    I find the idea of having a drink in a public space and sharing a word or two with friends or strangers very appealing, both personally (in the sense that I enjoy it) and socially (as in its social implications). I see nothing wrong with that per se. Indeed some of my best memories from the days when I still had a headful of hair are specifically those, hanging around with friends, having a drink and philosophising about everything. The management of something of the sort, or lack thereof, is a different argument altogether.

    If Paceville has only one public toilet, and mind you it was built only a couple of years ago, it is somewhat obvious that people will piss in the street. Pushing drinking underground (or to another locality) will not solve any of this.

    I think that accepting that people who are legally eligible to drink but who do not have the financial resources to do so in bars will always find a way to drink from other sources makes more sens. Once we accept that we can try to manage it in ways that will be more fruitful. I’m basically arguing for harm reduction rather than a crackdown that pushes drinking elsewhere.

  6. Don’t know much about this, because I don’t like drinking on the move, but it’s a bit silly to suggest that there is a difference between your average Saturday night out and a festa night – drinks should be either allowed or disallowed on the streets across the board.

    More policing, better disposal facilities and an anti-litter campaign will, in the end, be more effective than a blanket ban on drinks in the street, but maybe that’s me being idealistic.

    One thing’s for sure: there won’t be Vodkaaaa on the streets tonight.

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