I spent last weekend at the Kilkenny Comedy Festival. It was my best mate from uni's hen do and she currently lives in Dublin so seemed like a good excuse for a trip. Shappi Khorsandi and Reginald D Hunter were fantastic and a great time was had by all. It was a relatively modest hen do by modern standards. We had a meal, drinks and danced a bit in a local pub but there were no strippers, no accosting of strangers, no dares or sprints around the streets in our undies.
Not so Stephen Mallone who took his stag party to Slovakia where he proceeded to get arrested dancing naked in a fountain. The media coverage seems to have focussed on his future wife ("a former carnival queen" - oh please BBC, your reporters can do better than that) and her distress at the prospect of postponing the wedding while he serves time in Bratislava's local prison. Even the local MP has jumped in and appears now to have secured Mallone's release.
Personally I am in favour of locking him up. Not because naked fountain-dancing bothers me all that much (though I can imagine it was intimidating to some). But because I think taking your stag do overseas and then totally ignoring local traditions and behaving loutishly sucks. I've been to Prague twice in my life, once in 1996 when I was struck by the beauty and historical charm of the place, and once in 2005 when I was horrified to see street after street of strip clubs catering exclusively to English stag do tourists, many still roaming the streets shouting at nine or ten in the morning, clearly having been out all night.
I don't see Czecks and Slovaks (nor Poles, Estonians, etc) chasing round the streets of London demanding more beer and access to cheap lap-dancing clubs. At best it's totally unfair that we should force the very worst elements of British customs onto unsuspecting foreigners. At worst it's abusive sexual tourism.
I'd like to think my local MP spends their time following up genuine miscarriages of justice and figuring out how to address real issues like healthcare and education. And I think we should leave Stephen Mallone to rot in jail for a couple of months as an example to the others.