MY new friend was roaring drunk. Literally roaring drunk - he was bellowing away and absolutely trollied but having a very fine time to himself.

I was having a picnic with a friend in Queen's Park on Sunday when the chap decided to come over and say hello. He was quite near the bottom of a bottle of Mad Dog 2020 so I asked him the flavour.

"Electric Melon," he said. Electric Melon. Isn't that delightful. Of all the fruits to try and make sound a bit racy, eh. Melon.

Anyway, after a bit of small talk he stoated off only to return fairly rapidly with a six pack of tins, clearly out for the day. He might have been three sheets to the wind but he was still charming, funny and absolutely harmless.

Of course, the park's other users were less than impressed with quite a few muttering about him as he wandered along wishing everyone a good morning.

I wonder how many of those who were disdainful of this lad have sat in the park with a wee bottle of wine or a nice little glass of fizz.

We look at alcohol differently depending on who's doing the drinking and what their tipple of choice is. A nice middle class couple or group of friends having a polite Reisling on a socially distanced summer evening is absolutely fine.

A rowdy group of lads, say, with tins of Tennent's or some aforementioned Mad Dog and Something Must Be Done.

I recently saw a group of smart young 20-somethings being fined by the police in the West End for outdoor drinking in a park and there was general tutting about heavy handedness and a waste of police resources. If they had been any other demographic then I doubt there would have been so much as a second glance.

But some people think the rules don't apply to them and, because they deem themselves respectable and responsible, it's fine for them to bend those rules to suit themselves.

It's been 24 years since Glasgow introduced a bylaw prohibiting public drinking and 12 years since the law was tightened up to include penalties of a criminal record and up to £500 fine.

Glasgow was the first city in Scotland to operate such a blanket ban in public places with the aim being to cut disorder and violent crime. News stories from the time repeatedly talk of Glasgow's hard drinking culture, a reputation shameful for the city.

The issue is back at the fore now because so many pubs have started selling takeaway alcoholic drinks in a bid to keep themselves afloat following three months of lockdown, and who could blame there. There are loads around Queen's Park with signs up keeping themselves right: "Alcohol is to be taken home and not consumed in public".

Aye right. Nobody is carrying a Mojito up the road, they're all across in the park. In the city centre, too, there's been plenty of drinking in the Merchant City as the weather is fine and pubs open their taps.

Taps on, taps aff.

Some people have pointed to the lack of widespread disorder as a sign that the city has matured to the point it's citizens can be trusted with an al fresco bevvy. Of course, it's not ideal control conditions. We're also in lockdown and crime in general is down across the board as folk stay at home.

While we can't really tell with certainty what the effect of lifting the booze ban would be, it's certainly a chance to have a proper chat about whether it's time to ditch the byelaw and allow Glasgow, a metropolitan city, to join in with others the world over in allowing people to drink outdoors.

Paul Sweeney, the former Labour MP, suggested at the weekend that we might like to look to German cities such as Munich where public parks see beer tents and gardens featured in the summer months.

Glasgow Green, Queen's Park and Springburn Winter Gardens all have glasshouses that could be used as pop up bars, which could generate funds that would help keep the historic structures protected for years to come.

Bicycle bars touring the parks was another novel suggestion I saw online. As well as facilitating respectful and decent outdoor drinking - the kind of thing that doesn't lead to disorder and stress for people trying to go about their business - we'd need to look at how to stop the worst excesses that we do see.

Taming football crowds was an original aim, among several, of the byelaw so perhaps we talk about match day bans on outside drinking. This penalises everyone for the actions of a few but would we accept that for limited days of the year rather than the current 365?

Is is to the city's shame that the outdoor drinking ban exists; it is an absolute embarrassment. It can't simply be changed because certain groups find it offensive that they aren't trusted to imbibe in the park. The rules need to change for the benefit of everyone.

But they do need to change. We're hardly a thriving city if our citizens can't be trusted to behave themselves.