News, Politics

MPs drinking to be curbed

MPs drinking to be curbed
May 2nd, 2012
Author: Jeff Taylor

The Speaker of the House of Commons and Chair of the Commons Commission, John Bercow, has ordered a crackdown on the drinking culture of Westminster MPs.

As a possible result of a late night brawl involving disgraced Labour MP Eric Joyce in February, Mr Bercow has ordered that Westminster Palace bar staff be re-trained to deal with drunks more effectively and that they also top up MPs glasses less frequently at Westminster dos. There will also be a larger selection of low strength and non-alcoholic beverages to choose from in the 19 (yes nineteen) bars and restaurants within the grounds. MPs attention will be drawn to the spiritual and occupational health services that are also available to them and bar opening hours may also be shortened. Now that’ll make him popular won’t it?

The Commons Commission said that it had introduced these new measures after “careful consideration of the issues around alcohol consumption”.

But many people will be puzzled as to why alcohol is served within the hallowed halls of Westminster.

When in attendance surely our representatives are ‘on duty’ and are there to debate and vote on laws that have far reaching consequences? Surely it’s not just some fancy gentleperson’s club?


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Houses of Parliament-FreeFoto.com

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Can you imagine a fireman getting back to the station after an arduous fire and downing a couple of stiff G&Ts prior to the next call out? Or maybe a surgeon quaffing a couple of brandies in between heart operations?

We would all acknowledge that the majority of MPs are not alcoholics(?), but when MPs make laws they usually affect everyone to address the sins of the few. So surely the best message that politicians could send out is to ban alcohol from the premises entirely, it would also counter any perception of politicians being part of a ‘do as I say not as I do‘ brigade.

Removing alcohol would take away the temptation as well as just about eliminate the chance of another drunken brawl by MPs (at least inside Westminster) and they are getting free iPads if they want one anyway. And as to any argument that politicians should be convivial to visitors, I’m sure that guests would understand.

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2 Responses to “MPs drinking to be curbed”

  1. Sackerson says:

    Mistake. How else will you get them to pay any tax?