The thing with referees is that they seem happy to make these decisions at times and not at others. I know things like the game will affect it (e.g. us playing a friendly against Accrington Stanley would probably have softer reffing that a semi-final against our neighbours up the road), and the ref's mood can't help but have some influence, but it does strike me that it gets softer as it gets higher.
For example, Tommy H got a straight red for England U21s about a year ago within about 5 mins of coming on the pitch because when the ref gave a throw in the 'wrong' way (as according to Hudd, I can't remember if he was right) he said "oh for fucks sake!". He didn't shout it, it didn't appear to actually be at the ref, but he was using "offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures", so off he went. Can you imagine that happening in any of the matches this week?! Or any given weekend - Chelsea would never finish a game with more than 3 players!
I do think video tech should be brought in (although I'm not sure where I think the cut-off should be ), because, as I said somewhere else I think, I reckon the introduction of that would actually protect the 'old-skool' game; people aren't going to push their luck as much because they know they'll get caught out, and so the aggrieved players will respect the referees authority more and be less likely to form those disgusting gangs around the ref, which in turn means they'll feel mre confident and less intimidated about making big calls.
If that's what it takes these days then bring it on.