Can it get any worse?

Our dear Gordon Brown stood up in the commons and said that any off-licence selling to under age-kids will be closed down - so a lifetime's hard work and toil is in the balance for one slip-up.

No thanks, then, for the thousands of youngsters who we haven't served and taken abuse from. So we live on a knife edge worrying about which member of staff might have a bad moment while thinking what to cook for her husband's tea. No threats to the parents. No undercover police looking for adults buying for children because these people purchasing booze haven't the bottle to say NO in this antisocial, violence-threatening age we live in.

Oh, and then Mr Brown says to all the kids between 16 and 18 "you can't smoke any more" and if we serve them we're in trouble again.

Well, all these kids have stopped smoking so we're OK - I think not! Last week a guy came into our shop well intoxicated and lights up a cigar - well, we're "no smoking" so we're in trouble again. He refuses to leave then falls over and bangs his head on the fridge. Luckily he didn't damage anything but he knocks himself out.

What do we do? Do we drag him outside into the gutter, where he belongs, and leave him there? No, we call the paramedics who are there in a flash. They patch him up as he comes round but then he starts being abusive again - we had called the police before the paramedics, then they called them twice, but it took them over an hour to come and cart the drunk off.

Cheers for nowt.

John Mitchell

Mitchells Vintners


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