Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Is there time for another beer ?

Why is it that MP's believe we cannot take care of ourselves. I am of course talking about the proposed extention to the English licensing laws* and the conservative plan to hijack them with a dodgy vote tonight. According to Theresa May, the shadow culture minister,

"We have a problem of binge drinking in this country. If you extend licensing hours, all you are going to do is give people longer to drinking. We are going to see more problems of binge drinking, alcohol-fuelled violence, anti-social behaviour and crime and disorder on our streets." she told the BBC.

Now...binge drinking involves drinking a large amount in a short space of time. This is normally driven by the fact that the pub is going to close at eleven o'clock. So, therefore, if you open the pub past eleven, there isn't the need to 'binge-drink' quite so much. As such, longer opening hours should actually lessen binge-drinking. Additionally, it will also mean that you don't have every pub emptying at eleven and everybody getting turfed onto the streets at the same time. So, with less people on the streets, there is less chance of fight breaking out and less chance of it turning into a mass brawl.

Now...again according to Ms May, if the votes fails, it will at least, force labour MP's to go on the record about whether to back or oppose the plan.

So...how exactly does this tie with her preaching about the ills of drinking and imminent social collapse? Is she secretly worried that, shock horror, the government might be about to implement a law that the people actually like. Is this really a delaying tactic so that this law doesn't get implemented. Would the opposition really stoop to low political maneuvering to stop a proposal that the public like to sabotage their political rivals ?

Is lager golden with a frothy head ?

* those people reading in Scotland can sit back smugly now and gloat about our much more liberal licensing laws

I don't agree with liscensing hours full stop. Same with criminalising drugs.
Then again, I don't fancy some ned throwing up through my letterbox at four in the morning.
I'm waiting to see what happens. My own preference would have been to run an experiment in a medium-sized town for 12 months before going nationwide with this plan. This could go terribly wrong.

To begin with, binge drinkers might just go out for longer and drink more. I think it'll take months, not weeks, before there's a change in drinking culture in England.
Weeks? Months? Try years!
This entire nation has a drinking culture which has always been drink to get drunk. I know I've worked the pub trade both sides of the border, we like to get drunk, lets just admit it. I know I do. With the odd exception of a midweek glass of wine all my units are saved up for Saturday night where by I am invariably lashed by midnight and in bed by half past!
It's like asking Americans why they're fat, or the French why they're arrogant and the Germans we all know hate to queue! We are drunkards!
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