Beer Against Boris

By chloeg Last edited 117 months ago
Beer Against Boris

Getting your message heard by Whitehall's movers and shakers ain't no picnic, especially when they've been quaffing champagne with Team GB on the Beijing-London flight. This didn't deter the Manifesto Club, who used the bank holiday to take a stand against what they see as increasing paternalism in the way our public spaces are regulated.

For those not nursing heinous hangovers, recovering from bewildering mayoral speeches or getting back on the (carnival) wagon yesterday, there was another chance to do what us Brits do best - enjoy a beverage in the park. The alliteratively-termed Provocation Picnic in Hyde Park defended the right of Londoners to drink alcohol in public. The mayor's somewhat unpopular alcohol ban on public transport in the capital was highlighted as a key example, removing the right of people to drink responsibly in public spaces.

Far from just an excuse to get tanked up with your mates, the event aimed to argue against the “creeping” increase in no-alcohol zones in public spaces. This could mean that your favourite tipple is effectively banned from community gatherings such as street parties, Hogmanay celebrations and beach parties, which doesn't sound like much fun, does it? Critics argue that the rules are essential to tackling anti-social drinking and the issues of personal safety in public places.

The Manifesto Club's website informs us that the club 'is a pro-human campaigning network', which sounds very nice, doesn't it, if not a little bit, ahem, general. By their name alone you might have suspected that they support anyone with a manifesto about anything at all, but no - their aim is 'to bring together individuals whose ideas don’t necessarily fit into the politics of left and right, but who believe in developing people’s creativity and knowledge.' If this includes a fun picnic in the park with Pimms, frisbee and canapés, we're all for it.

Image courtesy of Fimb's photostream under the Creative Commons License.

Last Updated 26 August 2008


Londonist, be honest. This is just another opportunity for you to bash Boris Johnson.

This is just sad.


Bash Boris? Forgive my eyesight, but could you direct me to the passages above that constitute an attack on the Mayor?


No verbal complaint is mentioned in the article, but this article simply represents part of a very obvious trend where Londonist's writers seem to almost take a perverse pleasure in using any opportunity, big or small to take pot shots at the new Mayor or support others' potshots at him.


Ah, so it "represents" an obvious trend without actually, er, displaying any evidence of said trend. Right. Gotcha.

And yet just yesterday we had a rather favourable report on Boris' performance in Beijing. Similarly upbeat stories on the Mayor can be found here and here and here.

We've also reported the negative, but on balance, I think our coverage has been fairly evenly weighted in Boris' first four months in charge.


Londonist is not the BBC. Lampoonery is part of our nature. Given that Boris is unquestionably 'a bit of a character', of course we're going to give him the occasional gentle ribbing. It's nothing to do with political leanings (I realise you didn't explicitly make that accusation, Kingpin, but just to be clear), and everything to do with a sense of fun. We mocked Ken just as much in his day.


I admit I probably have been a bit OTT on the issue, but I wasn't sure of the total extent of lampooning that was used, especially in a typed medium.

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the issue, I appreciate that.