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Nulla poena sine lege – cue much shroud waving …

Want a table with that?

How is it that anything that offends the shroud wavers but is not actually illegal is always described as a “loophole”?

Before getting to the point, a brief aside regarding the title (via wikipedia) :

Nulla poena sine lege (Latin: no penalty without a law) is a legal principle, requiring that one cannot be punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law.

This principle being one of the pillars of the United Kingdom constitution or the rule of law :

In the 19th century, A.V. Dicey, a highly influential constitutional scholar and lawyer, wrote of the twin pillars of the British constitution in his classic work An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (1885). These pillars are the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law.

The latter (i.e. the rule of law – wasp) is the idea that all laws and government actions conform to principles. These principles include equal application of the law: everyone is equal before the law and no person is above the law, including those in power.

Another (wasp – this is actually a sloppy wiki paraas in another pillar) is no person is punishable in body or goods without a breach of the law: as held in Entick v Carrington, unless there is a clear breach of the law, persons are free to do anything, unless the law says otherwise; thus, no punishment without a clear breach of the law.

Anyway, enough legal bumf.

An amusing BBC article has a whole host of the aforementioned shroud wavers looking like a line of bedsheets in a force nine gale all because some evil furniture shop owner has decided to give away beer :

A furniture shop in Surrey giving away free beer to attract more customers has been criticised by the health secretary for exploiting a legal “loophole”.

See that loophole thingy there? Usually seen when people are legally reducing their tax bill or some other act that gets up the snouts of Guardianistas?

For once, the BBC manages to herd a whole flock of shroud wavers (what is the collective noun for these types other than righteous wankers which I think is a Yorkshireism?)

Firtsly we have that amusingly named (for Mr Naughtie at least) Jeremy Cunt, ex Hulture Secretary :

Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, said Simon Atkins’ shop Innsatiable in Farnham could have an adverse effect on the town’s pub trade.

Mr Hunt has asked the alcohol licensing minister if the Home Office planned to take action.

“Legally, the owner of Innsatiable is doing nothing wrong, but I know that there are genuine concerns about the impact of the scheme on the pub trade in Farnham and fears that similar businesses might open in other towns,” he said.

I assume he is annoyed that someone else is getting in on the business of closing local pubs down and thinks it should be purely a Parliamentary activity? Or possibly he is worried about an epidemic of shround waving that will knock a few percent off the already buggered GDP.

Up next is the local council sticking it’s oar in :

Waverley Borough Council said it was working with Mr Atkins to clarify whether he needed a licence.

A spokesman said: “Should information come to light that the Licensing Act 2003 is being breached, Waverley Borough Council will take appropriate action.”

I hope Mr Atkins uses a phrase ending in off when they seek clarification there.

Finally, we have the local police and one of those beloved “Safer neighbourhood teams” which always reminds me of something you would have come across in 1930’s Nazi Germany run by the local Geheime Staatspolizei :

Surrey Police said the force was aware of the shop’s operating practices and officers would act over any licensing act breaches.

“The Safer Neighbourhood Team will continue to monitor the situation but currently there is nothing being carried out which is against the law,” the force said in a statement

How nice of them to acknowledge that nothign illegal is being done there.

As for the shop owner himself, he seems to be being extremely sensible about his little crowd puller and good luck to him I say if it stirs a few righteous botherers :

The shop does not need a licence as alcohol is given away and not sold.

Mr Atkins insisted he was doing nothing wrong and said anyone who looked under 25 was asked for ID.

But Mr Atkins insisted he was allowed to have a free bar in his shop, which he said gave his business a captive audience.

“We give them [customers] a free beer,” he said.

“If they want to buy a beer mat they can buy a beer mat, if they want to buy our furniture they can buy our furniture, and if they want to buy our branded clothes they can.

“We operate in exactly the same way as all the supermarkets do, and that’s a policy of ID for anyone who looks under 25

“We could get into the situation where we could serve people under 18 because they are allowed to drink, but we don’t want to get that – that’s up to their mums and dads.”

Always refreshing to see someone waving two fingers at the wavers but I am sure we will have some loophole closing passed soon enough.


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6 comments to Nulla poena sine lege – cue much shroud waving …

  • Bucko

    “Bedsheets in a force 9 gale” LOL!
    But don’t art galleries give free champers? Same thing isn’t it? Or is this just another attack on the working class?

    (And I must agree with FTs opinion of the challenge 25 scheme)

    • Wasp

      Bucko – I fully agree with FT on the challenge 25 bollocks (see what I was writing in reply while you popped in) but I am sure he would be an ex-furniture shop owner if he didn’t comply with the prodnoses in some minimal way.
      The bedsheets turn of phrase me me smirk when it sprung to mind too 🙂

      • Bucko

        Of course, he’s giving the impression of a ‘responsible alcohol retailer’, that modern comply or die phrase which will help his case. I’m simply agreeing that the challenge 25 scheme is tosh as a whole.

        • Wasp

          Bucko – I fully agree with you and FT. It’s a shame we have got to this state but when the state is willing to condone entrapment to catch out shopkeepers, what are they to do?

          (1)Purchase of alcohol by or on behalf of children(1)An individual aged under 18 commits an offence if—
          (a)he buys or attempts to buy alcohol, or
          (b)where he is a member of a club—
          (i)alcohol is supplied to him or to his order by or on behalf of the club, as a result of some act or default of his, or
          (ii)he attempts to have alcohol supplied to him or to his order by or on behalf of the club.

          (2)But subsection (1) does not apply where the individual buys or attempts to buy the alcohol at the request of—
          (a)a constable, or
          (b)a weights and measures inspector, who is acting in the course of his duty.

  • Furor Teutonicus

    XX “We operate in exactly the same way as all the supermarkets do, and that’s a policy of ID for anyone who looks under 25 XX

    Whereby the arsehole falls into his own trap.

    Correct, it is not an offence to give away beer. But likewise, some one should tell the twat, it is not illegal to drink beer from EIGHTEEN. Wher do these imbicilic cunts get this “25” from? Something the Guardian/Mail told them to do?

    • Wasp

      FT – Whilst I agree fully with the ID 25 bollocks I think he is probably being very careful with his little marketing ploy due to the general imbecility that abounds here these days. He is totally correct that he could give away beer to all and sundry if he so chooses as only the actual purchase by/for under eighteens is an offence rather than merely drinking free beer which, unless I am mistaken, is allowed at any age and not specifically illegal. However, can you imagine the howls of outrage that would follow if he did just that? He already has various representatives of most of the local state heavies poking their nose in and I am sure they could make it just about impossible for him to conduct any business at all if they so chose not to mention the negative publicity which the shroud wavers would surely bring about.

      Whilst on the subject of beer, I find this kind of crap far more insidious where a town persuades a large majority of shops to stop stocking strong beers and ciders through nothing more than a gentleman’s agreement – who needs more laws when we agree to bugger ourselves voluntarily?

      In a ground-breaking move, off-licence owners and other retailers in Ipswich are being asked to remove strong beers and ciders from their shelves in an effort to tackle alcohol abuse and stamp out anti-social behaviour. Four street drinkers have been murdered in the past three years and police say the scheme would not only help those who depend on alcohol but also the wider community and those in charge of clean-up operations.

      Big chains including Tesco, the East of England Co-op and McColls newsagents have signed up along with smaller independent retailers to voluntarily remove products such as White Ace, Carbon White and White Star ciders, which have a 7.5% alcohol content and sell for as little as 59p for a 500ml can.

      The Reducing the Strength campaign, backed by Suffolk police, NHS Suffolk, Ipswich borough council and Suffolk county council, is targeted at beers and ciders with an alcohol volume of 6.5% and over, which are often sold cheaply. There are 130 off-licences in Ipswich; 53 will be super-strength free following the launch and more are likely to follow.

      A one off? I am sure it will be taken up by the righteous across the country faster than either of us can say fuck off :

      Speaking for the campaign partners, Inspector Andrew Mason, of Ipswich police, said: “This campaign aims to take the problem away at the source.

      “We are the first county in the country to launch a campaign of this kind, and we hope that with support from our off-licences, we can roll this out across Suffolk, and eventually offer the campaign as a model for public services across the UK.”