The consultation is open until 25 March on Westminster's soupbrained plans. Do email email@example.com with your own response if you wish to do so.
Dear Sir or Madam
I understand there is an ongoing consultation with regard to the proposed byelaw ostensibly on rough sleeping and soup runs.
My first objection is compassionate. Westminster cannot seriously believe that people sleep rough because soup might be available. It's pretty common knowledge that what keeps people street-homeless is not soup, but drug dependancy, alcohol dependancy, social or behavioural problems, mental health difficulties, breakdowns in relationships, and any number of difficult social issues more expensive to solve than a soup run.
My second is legal. This is an appalling bit of drafting. Introduce this and you have inadvertently banned sunbathing in the parks in summer; fainting in public; falling asleep on the bus; being epileptic; buying a round of drinks and handing them to friends in Soho Square; a parent giving biscuits to his or her children / children's friends; the Vegan Society's habit of giving out vegan food (other than near to retail premises selling the same); the Hare Krishna; the Diet Coke Girls; the distribution of bottled water at tube stations in summer; promotional lollipops and sharing a bag of crisps.
Did you really mean to ban those? Really?
Now let's turn to what you did mean to ban - distributing soup to the homeless - and note the two giant loopholes: there is no way to ban the distribution of money which can then be used to purchase soup for a token sum, although I suppose if you're nostalgic for the old "nasty party" soubriquet you could then have them for trading without a licence, and there is no stipulation that the charge must be financial.
In short: what a silly idea.
- Soup run? Grink run.