Friday 8 June 2007

Rescue our cities from these louts

The louts from England

One only has to walk into Amsterdam on a Thursday night, yes; you do not have to wait till the weekend to observe the spectacle and nuisance.

My countrymen from England have arrived for a stag weekend what is know as the Bachelor’s Eve party in more polite circles. The cacophony, the raucousness and drunken behaviour is just a complete turn-off, we residents would hardly be found in the centre apart from when we are tour guides.

Amsterdam however is not the only city to suffer from this loutish display everything antithetical to the English gentleman, Dublin at one time trying to ban these sullen troops from destroying the friendly atmosphere of their city.

Dope, booze and sex

These cities however offer different delights with Amsterdam leaving the many quite worse for wear. They dope up on cannabis which is considerably more potent that their local brands and try out the space cakes which leave them completely spaced-out, from Thursday night they might be too out of it to the point of missing their flights on Sunday afternoon.

Then the booze, drinking so much that it would be like fish drowning in water, excess is excess on these trips, the sights are too sorry to behold.

Cheap flights fallout

The advent of cheap, no-frills flights has helped allow the swarm of undesirable behaviour and probably undesirable characters to normally genteel locations. Now, I am not against people getting around the world or even just Europe by air, they should just leave their bad attitudes at home – there was a time that these people could not even afford to travel to the seaside in England – well, some flights are so dirt cheap you wonder if they are sat in church pews beside the fact that they almost have to pay for oxygen at high altitude.

Just about 2 weeks ago, a group jetted off to Bratislava, as the Eastern European cities have become some of the hot budget destinations and they must be wondering if they want that sort of crowd.

Caught and fraught

The groom stripped naked and jumped into the fountain in front of the American Embassy, something he probably would never do whatever his state of mind at Trafalgar Square in London.

In what I would call unusual Eastern European efficiency – now, I do not know much about them – he was picked up by the police, put in the slammer, fast-tracked through the courts and very well onto a two month prison sentence.

The parents have brayed and bawled about legal representation, access to phones and other exculpatory issues, well, I would hope this would serve as a serious deterrent for the chap was on the verge of missing his wedding on which his nouveau riche relations had expended close to £20,000 – as if I care an iota.

Anyway, the young man has been set free after his local Member of Parliament waded into the matter seeking mitigation and clemency. The father has also unreservedly apologised for his son’s behaviour – and rightly so.

Rescue our cities

I would hope that the police in my city, Amsterdam and those in other cities that get invaded by marauding nonentities would be a bit firm-handed on these miscreants such that a message is sent out that we would not condone these attitudes – there is no reason for our city centres to be abandoned because of the anti-social behaviour of visitors feeding on drugs, alcohol and sex.

The other fact is, being English does not confer automatic immunity from police action or harassment, neither does it allow for people to flout public order and decency laws with impunity - what you will not do in England is probably not allowed here too.

When you get caught, the police would most likely not speak English to you even if they can, you probably would not have that phone call to your solicitor, they might not have a number for the embassy or consulate and if you have really broken the law, being a foreigner is not a “Get out of jail free” card.

So, be warned!

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