Am I alone in wondering exactly why controversy has attended Boris Johnson’s decision to ban alcohol on London’s public transport system?
I would view myself as reasonably libertarian, but I cannot agree that asking people to keep their booze closed on buses and underground trains is an egregious curtailment of civil liberties. If anything I was surprised to learn that it was quite permissible to crack open a can or two before Boris decided otherwise.
I would be the last person to lecture people about drinking, but beyond a shadow of a doubt a large group of drinkers can transform a journey into a miserable experience for fellow passengers. If banning alcohol on public transport makes travelling on it more pleasant for the majority of transport users, then asking a minority to exercise a little restraint, seems to me a reasonable imposition. London’s drinkers are hardly deprived of options when it comes to tippling elsewhere.
Of course ironically the large protest party which ensued the night before drinking was banned provided something of a definitive argument for why the prohibition should go ahead.