Thursday, February 14, 2008

End To End?

This man, though a well known booby, is of course right that there's a binge drinking epidemic. Equally, he is of course wrong to suggest that it's down to the marketing of booze and its supposedly low price (price can affect alcohol consumption as a whole, but won't dent binge drinking). I can't say I've noticed any alcohol advertising aimed at children, and suspect it might be a good idea if it was - it would make booze seem childish and totally uncool and chidlren would shun it. However, be that as it may, my point is that this man - and he's not alone - has taken to using the phrase 'end to end' incessantly. There must, we are told, be an 'end to end' approach. This is bound to catch on with government ministers etc - but what on earth does it mean? I vaguely remember 'end to end football', which seemed to mean lots of dashing about from one end of the pitch to the other. Ah, I see....

16 comments:

  1. the trouble is it's all low quality booze. you can drink as much as you like but there's no feelgood factor - no wonder they just want to punch someone in the face afterwards. it's time to stop offering [the people] choice and give them quality!

    then everyone'll be happier all round.

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  2. Is there really a massive increase in teens "binge drinking"I wonder? I remember doing a lot of drinking under age - but from about 16 it was ina pub - which wouldn't happen these days...

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  3. I've read the article end to end, Nige, but can't see where he says it.

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  4. Ah that would be in his Today interview then, Ian - he used it several times, as did some other clown the day before.
    And the thing that surely has increased, Mutley, is binge drinking in gangs - and in public - as an almost universal weekend pastime among certain, ah, strata of society. In my part of the world, this happened in the early 80s, when for a few years I was pretty much out of circulation owing to the demands of parenthood. Returning to old town centre haunts, I found them transformed beyond recognition and completely taken over by hordes of extremely drunken youths. And so they remain...

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  5. I simply cannot get enough of the British national debate on how to eradicate pubic drunkenness without reducing the consumption of alcohol.

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  6. Peter Burnet wrote: I simply cannot get enough of the British national debate on how to eradicate pubic drunkenness without reducing the consumption of alcohol.

    Haha Peter, that hits it right on the head. There's a tidal wave of the stuff here. Even my local Gentleman of the Road, who's usually on patrol with the Big Issue outside the Coop, has a sideline in cut-price Scotch which he offers from a huge bag at a fiver a bottle on the bus into town. All the cans are super-strength these days and the local kids from the estates know all the corner shops where you can buy the stuff without question. If that fails they'll get it from their parents - a big problem, that, which a local police operation last month revealed - or simply go into a supermarket and nick it. Last year the local Marks & Spencer claimed it was losing nearly 2000 pounds each week from stolen booze. Their champagne was by far and away the shoplifter's favourite tipple apparently.

    Yet, curiously, all those involved in the chain of supply and profiteering throw up their hands and claim total innocence in the whole matter, especially the larger chain stores with their new 24-hour sales licences. If you can't buy the stuff, or can't afford to buy it, then chances are you can't get pissed. It's not rocket science.

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  7. But you can nick it, Mark - either from shops or from home. Price rises would force an overall reduction which would be disproportinately from the 'sensible drinking' classes and would barely affect the far from sensible drinkers among our 'yoof'. And it's most definitely not just underage drinking that's the problem - people are mob-bingeing into their 20s and 30s, and they seem to have phenomenal amounts of spending money. They wouldn't even notice a price rise - they'd be too drunk anyway.

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  8. Well, it's all just my 2 cents of course. But imho the primary problem is age 10-20 from, mostly, the big estates. The more you can do to steer them away from trouble and, eventually, prison, the fewer 20s and 30s you'll have who think that the essence of a good night out is waking up on the floor, unable to recall what happened, and with puke and kebab all down your front. So if there's a fire, the first thing is to put out the fire and worry about who/what started it later. Yes, putting out the fire may well affect "sensible" drinkers, who are by far the majority, but I don't see how people - generally, not you - can say there's a problem and then come up with 101 reasons not to do anything about it.

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  9. Mark, here is my modest take for what it is worth, and no, I'm not a teetotaller. Contrary to what we sophisticates like to believe, strict legal and social restrictions on drinking and impediments to drinking actually do work whatever other problems extreme versions of them like prohibition cause. It seems that Britain and North-Central Europe have a very low incidence of these. Muslims and Jews look to religion. Traditionally, the Mediterraneans integrated drinking with family life (that cafe culture looks wonderfully relaxing to a tourist, but try tying one on with your toddler on one side of you and your mother-in-law on the other). Swedes and Norwegians use extremely high prices, dingy drinking establishments and strict social sobriety interspersed with occasional "get blotto" days. AA does a great business in North America but still, beyond college years daytime drinking is frowned upon, drinking at sporting and other public events is discrete and minimal (especially if kids are around) and the police reaction to public drunkenness gives a whole new take on the saying, "the policeman is my friend." Also, we don't tend to buy into that in vino veritas stuff. Fans of police mysteries know that when cops need to get out of the station to think a case through, the British ones go to the pub and the Americans have huge, cholesteral-laden breakfasts in 24-hour diners.

    So, maybe you should stop with the education programmes and the fretting about supermarkets and pub hours, and also stop worrying about defending the "rights" of the sensible drinking classes. The sensible classes may drink sensibly, but unfortunately they seem to have made it far too easy for the ones who don't. Ask not for whom the bell tolls..., etc. If the problem is as severe as your media suggests, perhaps you need to develop some universal conventions and restrictions that are enforced socially as well as legally, especially by women. We'd love to help. Want to borrow some of our rural religious fundamentalists?

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  10. Well I just resent the way that in this, as in everything else in benighted Blighty, we law-abiding taxpayers who subsidise the whole shebang keep having our lives made more unpleasant, expensive and constrained because of the activities of social delinquents. Nothing will work, on the alcolhol front or anywhere else, until we face up to the fact that much of the population is in the grip of moral nihilism, the result of a toxic compound of welfarism, family collapse (largely the result of welfarism), educational dereliction and a culture of institutionalised ignorance and 'rights' without responsilities. I'm all for firefighting - but only if it's going to work. Putting up alcohol prices would simply lead to a huge surge in smuggling (already pretty much legal), and the courts wouldn't sanction any serious crackdown on the troublemakers, even if the police were to get serious with them - which of course they won't. Mind how you go...

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  11. What then would you have us do ? What I resent is the way people constantly tell me that everything is going to shit in this country but then tell us that any proposed remedy won't work. Why bother, Nige, why bother ?

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  12. I like our binge drinking semi- anarchic weekends in Britain. I feel happy when i see a troop of drunken teens and screaming sengas. South europeans are fucking stupid, why drink something that tastes like shit if you don't want to get hammered?

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  13. Perhaps lowering the age you can drink in pubs and clubs might take the little bastards off the streets. I know when i hit 18 i couldn't wait to hit the pub and clubs.
    If they cause trouble in there a bouncer will swiftly knock fuck out them as well.

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  14. Drinking too much has always been the preferred weekend pastime of British yoof.

    The real problem in this country is the epidemic of middle-aged binge-whingeing.

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  15. Brit, I suspect you're winding me up...

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  16. OK Simon, here's how I'd sort it out. Robust policing, backed by the courts - this would involve the repeal of much legislation, most of it of European origin, and especially the removal of all trace of European 'human rights' - so ultimately it might well mean pulling out of the EU. This crackdown would operate pari passu with a steady demolition of the welfare state (resulting in big tax cuts, especially for lower-paid workers), and the return of our schools to institutions that teach, pass on the national culture and enforce discipline. Just a minute - I think I saw a pig flying past the window...

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