James Delingpole at the Telegraph:
Nothing brings out the John Galt in me quite so much as the sight of a stinking drunk being scooped off the pavement by an ambulance crew or being tended to by a huddle of police officers.
It makes me think: “OK, so you’ve clearly got a problem. But why should it be everybody else’s problem?” I think of all the more deserving cases our hard-pressed emergency services could be dealing with. And I think of the massive drain on the public purse.
My concern, though, is that while drunk tanks might provide a powerful disincentive to casual binge drinking – stag and hen parties; Bullingdon club outings; etc – they’re not going to address the much bigger problem of chronically alcoholic down-and-outs. What exactly is the point of fining someone £400 when his only source of income are government hand outs?
I know there will be lots of smugly liberal-lefty bleeding hearts congratulating themselves on how violently they disagree with this blogpost. It will be, for them, a matter of huge pride that they live in a society where a serial alkie can collapse on the pavement day after day, secure in the knowledge that a team from the emergency services will always be there to prolong his miserable, squalid life with the best care taxpayers’ money can provide.
At the risk of sounding like a heartless bastard, I can’t say I share this My-Little-Pony-level perspective on modern Britain. Among its many flaws is that it perpetuates two of the most suicidal idiocies of our socialised system: the idea that no matter how stupidly or irresponsibly we behave the benign state with bottomless pockets will always be there to pick up tab; the idea that if you're a "victim" you're relieved of all responsibility for your actions.