‘It may be no bad thing to say “enough”’

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THE move to put a cap on the number of off-licences in the city is the latest in a long line of attempts to curb our society’s booze problem.

This newspaper has instinctively railed against some of these tactics in the past – notably the Scottish Government’s minimum pricing.

Quite simply, we don’t see why the law-abiding majority of sensible drinkers should be punished to curb the activities of problem boozers.

This latest scheme smacks a little of “Big Brother knows best” too but it is rooted in one undeniable fact – there are already more than enough places to stock up on alcohol in almost every neighbourhood in the Capital.

So many, in fact, that it is doubtful that a limit would make much difference to the average drinker, other than making him or her walk a little further to get a carry out.

Nonetheless, it may be no bad thing for the authorities to take a stand and say “enough is enough” if some streets offer little other than shops which sell alcohol.

There might even be a bonus for our local pubs, which have lost their place as a hub of the community in recent years.

It may be too late for many of them, but the more we can do to return drinking to what it once was – a social event, rather than something to do on the cheap and alone – the better.

Here we go again...

The move by Occupy Edinburgh “protesters” to set up camp on the Meadows begs an obvious question – why?

Their stint at St Andrew Square, at least in the beginning, had some sort of relevance given its proximity to RBS. Who exactly are they aiming to target by spoiling this latest beauty spot?

The campers say this will become a new permanent site as it is “public land” – surely that defeats their original purpose from the word go.

As we have said before, the Evening News fully supports the right to protest but not to the detriment of everyone else’s quality of life.

We note that local residents are so far giving the campers a cautious welcome, but then again that was the initial attitude at St Andrew Square too.

Within weeks opinion had hardened as the grass was torn up and both the camp and its occupiers degenerated in nature.

Given the amount of red tape which fairground and festival operators have to cut through to operate on the Meadows, we trust the city council will move swiftly to remove this latest unwanted distraction.