Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mind How You Go

Talking of depressing, how about this? Aieee - if a person can't even think about having a drink, that's me banned from all UK locations for the foreseeable future...

17 comments:

  1. Susan B., aghast,August 23, 2007 2:13 pm

    This is positively Orwellian. And I thought we here in America were oppressed by the "Patriot Act"....

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  2. Too right Susan - the only saving grace of this kind of UK legislation is that it can never actually be enforced. Our government has created over 3,000 new criminal offences in 10 years. It's what they do.

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  3. Uh, no, Orwell himself would have rejected this one as too silly to be Orwellian. It's like a Hitchcock movie that climaxes with a pillow fight.

    But having watched with fascination the British pre-occupation with the terrors of grain and the grape over the past few years, a certain question arises from this side of the pond: How did you folks ever come to persuade yourselves that the solution to excessive public drinking was to open the pubs 24/7?

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  4. I was filled with disquiet reading this, but further down the page my eye caught the headline 'Dwarf glued penis to Hoover.' Now that is scary! Perhaps an item for a caption contest?

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  5. GOsh yes - there was this one too - fair makes the eyes water. Metro seems to specialise in penis stories.

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  6. GOsh yes - there was this one too - fair makes the eyes water. Metro seems to specialise in penis stories.

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  7. "How did you folks ever come to persuade yourselves that the solution to excessive public drinking was to open the pubs 24/7?"

    They thought if we did that a cafe culture similar to France would start to evolve. I know, it's silly. The French, the Germans, the Italians and so on are like grown ups compared to us. We're like a 14 year old with his first bottle of cider.

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  8. As is so often the case, this new law seems designed to suit the police, not the citizen. Since the law relieves the police of any burden of actually having to decide whether someone is behaving like a lout - the law does not appear to make this a requirement - the cops can happily enforce the law and meet their targets by driving around in their cars handing out these orders from time to time to eighty-year-old ladies on their way home, families heading out for a pizza, etc.

    As for 24/7 drinking: the problem isn't mainly the pubs being open, it's as much or more the supermarkets, which have a lot of political influence, selling strong lager cheaper than bottled water to absolutely all-comers. Go into the right branch, and a customer with a rattle and nappies would having little trouble buying enough Special Brew to knock out a Guards battalion.

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  9. Well Nige, it made your eyes water so much you posted it twice. I do take your point though; it's almost on a par with Bryan's obsession with fatness. Have you seen the related items, practically all about the penis, except 'Naked wife attacks husband' What a pity it wasn't with an artificial penis!

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  11. the problem isn't mainly the pubs being open, it's as much or more the supermarkets...

    I dunno, Mark, are you sure that the problem isn't that too many of you drink too much?

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  12. peter burnet wrote: I dunno, Mark, are you sure that the problem isn't that too many of you drink too much?

    Haha, very funny. Moralizing about individual responsibility isn't going to reduce alcohol consumption by a single pint nor is thinking this is a problem with a solution. There is no solution. If you want people to drink less, though, you need to be ruthlessly practical about it. Reducing access to the stuff especially among teens would seem a fairly obvious step, as would obliging the police to target trouble-makers rather than all and sundry.

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  13. Yes, yes, Mark, I find preachy teetollers as unbearable as you do. Restricting access usually does indeed reduce the general level of drinking, although it can breed other problems like bootlegging and smuggling if it is too strict. But I think you are wrong about the moralizing, which doesn't just mean nagging great aunts and government posters. In most of the West, drinking tends to expand to fill the full breadth of social tolerance for time, place and quantity. Do you know what happens to public drunks in those carefree, easy-going Mediterranean cafe cultures we all wish we had? They spend a lot of time talking to themselves.

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  14. The Germans and Dutch are also great topers, but, apparently, so are young Italians. It used to be a mark of infamy to get drunk in Italy, but now kids there are devouring cheap plonk like the best of them. They've also long had terrible drug problems, as we realised when after taking a turn down the wrong windowless Neapolitan alley, we wondered why we thought we were walking on shingle, only to realise they were syringes crushing. Gave a whole new meaning to 'see Naples and die'.

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  15. PS. Tony McNulty has all that arrogant, charmless, tough guy swagger that New Labour confuse with effective policy-making, especially in areas like defence, police and prisons.

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  16. What bothers me about this is the way it takes away individual responsibility in favor of gov't intervention. I see it very clearly here in the U.S., too: Harsh laws to deal with underage drinking b/c no one trusts kids to be responsible; ergo, they *aren't* responsible -- at least, some of them. There's a constant up and down motion of the legal drinking age from 18 to 21; it goes up again after one too many fatal car crashes involving drunk teenagers.

    Yet, there are plenty of responsible kids. My 18-year-old is, I think, one of them. Good thing, too, as the university where she recently matriculated was just rated by the Princeton Review as #1 Party School in the U.S. (that takes some doing, believe me).

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  17. Yes, I taught at a notorious US 'party school' in the South. They told me they lost a couple (of students) every year to hairpin bends. And so they did. They lynched Santa too from the frat houses each Christmas, but that is another story.

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