Justin Bieber caught spitting - rude, sure. But should he be fined?


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The Independent Online

Hoiickk-Ptt! Just when you thought Justin Bieber had passed into Z-list obscurity, a daring act of counter-cultural insouicance has seen the juvenile popstar catapaulted back into the limelight. Readers, he spat! Not just anywhere, either - but off a Canadian balcony under which a few dozen of his Beliebers had gathered, possibly (though not probably) imploring their hero to loose some of that famous spittle upon their grateful heads. TMZ has the snapshots in all their glory. But is spitting really such a crime?

According to Enfield Council - who have yet to receive a visit from Bieber and entourage - most certainly yes. This week the council banned spitting in public, a decision Councillor Chris Bond greeted with appropriate restraint: "It is an awful and disgusting habit and I’m delighted we can now get on with banning this filthy practice."

Over at Spiked, Josie Appleton gobs all over Enfield's anti-spitting drive. "Issues of politeness and etiquette cannot be regulated by the criminal law", she says "because their binding forces come from other people."

What do you think? With celebrities like Bieber encouraging millions of teenagers around the world to drop their horrid, germ-filled mouth-mucus on public pavements, is the best way to combat spitting through the law? Or can society be trusted to regulate itself here, through collectively frowning at prolific spitters?