Recent events in Calais and the Channel Tunnel have brought back memories for a member of the Mobile Bar Hire team.  Jack Kerr, one of the company’s managers has delivered into Europe many times before but on hiss last trip in June this year he had first-hand experience of the men and women risking their lives to get into the UK. Having fought he’s way through the M20 and the various diversions he made it into France. Although driving out of the channel tunnel was straight forward as he headed out of Calais towards Paris he saw the hundreds of people in groups of approx.20 plus making their way towards the ports.

Having completed the corporate event in Paris that night, it was now a case of heading back to Calais and the Channel Tunnel. At approx 10 miles before the tunnel check in the groups of individuals were clearly visible, checking the trailers of the Lorries and vans which were waiting in the queue  it felt like only a matter of time before someone tried to open the doors to his van.  “I could see and hear the lorry drivers, some British shouting at the people who were trying to get into their vehicles”.

Mobile Bar Hire drive through Calais
Mobile Bar Hire drive through Calais

Although the French police where visible they did not seem overly concerned about what was going on, “ I was quite surprised that there were not any fights between the drivers and the people” . Mr Kerr mentioned that although he was perfectly safe within the van which was fully locked at all times, it was still worrying, being in another country where all of this is going on and the feeling of the police was quite ‘laid back’.

Having said that Mr Kerr’s event in Paris ran to time and he was back in the UK without any issues – as we are all aware the story in Calais still continues…

Have you seen the troubles in Calais? Let us know!

Ministers have been urged to ban imports of powdered alcohol as part of a crackdown on legal highs. Leading powdered alcohol brand palcohol was approved for sale by US regulators earlier this year. It was recently banned in the Australian state of Victoria but the Australian government has rejected calls for federal wide ban.

Labour peer Lord Brooke said its use was spreading on a “wide scale” in the US despite being banned by some states.  Powdered alcohol, he argued, could be “snorted” or “baked into cakes” or added to confectionery, making it easier for minors to consume it.

Lord Brooke was speaking as peers discussed the government’s psychoactive substances Bill, which will criminalise the production, supply and trade in psychoactive substances and carry a maximum prison of seven years.

Legitimate substances, such as food, alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, caffeine and medical products, would be excluded from the legislation but Lord Brooke said powdered alcohol posed a particular risk and urged ministers to act now.

Although not available in the UK, he warned that “as night follows day” powdered alcohol, which can be mixed with water to make a standard flavoured drink, will eventually come to the UK through the internet.

Consumer affairs minister Jane Garrett says there should be a national ban on the “very stupid product”.

She said the product could have a novelty appeal to young people who, for example, could smuggle it into concerts.

Powdered alcohol could make it's way to the UK from the US
Powdered alcohol could make it’s way to the UK from the US

“We understand in the US there are concerns about snorting this product, about overuse, about having big palcohol parties, it’s very difficult to monitor your intake,” Ms Garrett said.

“We’ve got plenty of alcohol available in Victoria that is regulated and safe.

“We do not need this product and we’ve banned it from being sold in Victoria.”

Home office minister Lord Bates said the government was aware of the issue and was considering how to address it.

Its manufacturer, US firm Lipsmark, has criticised efforts by certain US states to ban in advance of it going on market, arguing that it is “legal, safe and revolutionary” and will reduce carbon emissions by “being so much lighter to ship then liquid alcohol”.

What are your thoughts on powdered alcohol? Let us know.