Wednesday, April 02, 2003

YOUR NAME'S NOT DOWN... OH, BUGGER, NEITHER IS MINE: We're half-pleased that there's going to be some sort of control over who can do door control (or whatever the PC term for 'be a bouncer' is these days) - obviously there's been local schemes running for a while now but travelling to gigs out of town you'd still be running the risk of having your skull's future as a single continuous entity decided on the whim of someone who might be very nasty indeed. We're just not sure the rules - or rather, rule - governing who can get a licence is anything like enough. It seems to be "Not been convicted of a criminal offence recently." While that can be handy - you can at least be sure that the man in the tux hasn't just got out of the Scrubs - it doesn't really go far enough. For a start, it doesn't apply to 'in house' security; and while 'not a recent criminal' is good, the opportunity could be taken to actually make the posession of a licence a positive - it could signify completition of, say, a first aid course and that the holder has the ability to sort out a problem without merely throwing their weight around. Instead, they've gone with the option of filtering out the bad rather than promoting the good.
The words of the chair of the body overseeing the law, Molly Meacher, suggests that she'd rather go further in the opposite direction, whimsically noting "There are downsides to people having rights - although those rights are very important. We can't afford to lose a human rights challenge on the basis that we have not allowed people to have a fair trial (for a licence)." You'd hope she'd want people to have be treated fairly because that would be the right thing to do, rather than because it would be a bugger to be taken to the European Court, wouldn't you?

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