Surely it’s not break time again

Actually, it clearly is break time. Therefore it’s about the time for a paranoid rant.

Luckily enough, there’s plenty of inspiration about the place.

Thousands of council staff are being trained to police the smoking ban in bars, restaurants and shops in England.

Ministers have given councils £29.5m to pay for staff, who will be able to give on-the-spot £50 fines to individuals and take court action against premises.

They will have the power to enter premises undercover, allowing them to sit among drinkers, and will even be able to photograph and film people.

So there’ll be undercover ‘officers’, with plenty of powers but no responsibilities beyond their own initiative. And they’ll be walking about with hidden cameras, and the power of the anti smoking feckers behind them. And you’ll particularly like this bit:

“There will be two ways of doing this, either staff can go in and identify themselves to the landlord, but they don’t have to.”

Now, I see an opportunity here. Because these aren’t warrant card carrying police, to whom licensing law grants a lot of powers. Nor are they council officers clearly and openly acting in the course of their duties. Instead they’re meant to look like normal customers, and they’ll be walking about taking pictures of people and disrupting the normal operation of a commercial entity.

Clearly in breech of most door policies, in fact. I predict much in the way of barrings. If they turn up openly for an inspection, I have no problem. But if you’re disrupting my calm and disturbing the customers in my workplace, you’re out on your ear.

And don’t bother comming back, either. Unless you’re being open and honest about your intentions.

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