Friday, 21 May 2010

State Puritainism

I listened to some copper on the Today program this morning. The "Binge-Drinking" moral panic was still there, but instead of demonising pubs, it was all about cheap booze at home or in the park. Whilst I could not support his proposal to raise the age at which you could buy Alcohol in a Supermarket to 21, I noticed he wished to keep the pub drinking age at 18, regarding the social environment of the pub superior to that of the park bench or sofa.

Is this a sign of the state puritainism of the last 13 years rolling back? I don't think I heard anything on 'Today' in favour of pubs before this morning?

Perhaps one day they will learn that British people drink to excess because they always have, and that Britain is an oppressive shithole where everything is either banned or compulsory, and the resultant stress causes us to drink to excess and punch other, equally stressed arseholes. Maybe Britain would become a better place if the petty authoritarian choke-hold was released a little bit.



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

valid point well made. If i were in charge I'd make it compulsary that all 18 yr olds had to go to the pub and drink 8 pints. That way they can at least know that they can get pissed on their dole money they will shortly be on.

JimmyGiro said...

In the days before social engineering, people felt free to pop to the pub in a casual manner, in ones, twos, and threes; as ale was relatively cheap, and pubs relatively unpretentious.

By raising the prices, the pub trip became less of a spare-of-the-moment act, and thus less of the casual culture; instead it became an event.

The 'pub event' was therefore less frequent, and became focussed at weekends; with the added change that people gathered in larger groups for the 'event'. They also got tanked-up prior to the pub, to alleviate the hiked pub prices.

Now humans are like wolves, and other pack animals, in that they only gather in large formations prior to attack. Therefore looking at this as a purely animalism concept, drunken (basic instinct) packs (men or women) will behave as predatory pack animals, in both attack and defence.

The solution is therefore to reverse the changes; make ale cheap, and allow the novelty of the 'pub event' to relax back to the casual status it once had.

woman on a raft said...

Furthermore, I look forward to the police backing the removal of the smoking ban. Many of the fights break out when lairy young men (and women) have to go outside for a snout and a mixture of bordom and testosterone inclines them to irritating petty damage and quarrels.

Yes, they sometimes have fights in bars, it's unavoidable, but sending them out to have sparring matches with the passing public is no way to improve matters.

Also, I'm fed up with them sitting on my garden wall and chucking their dog-ends in my shrubbery.

NickM said...

The fundamental strategy of the neo-puritans has always been to do things that will actually make social problems worse. This justifies them not concluding, "We were wrong", but we need even more "measures" (and not of that sort).

Look at drug laws for a prime example.

Moreover bans on "Happy Hour", promotions, 3 for 2 on wine, minimum price per unit etc will only target the less well off. It will hit groups of lads getting their lager in for the World Cup and their mums getting it in for Christmas.

"Drink is the curse of the working classes" and all that.

I'm going out on a limb here but: they have targetted pubs (so far) because so that is where ordinarry folks go to meet and exchange opinions and that simply won't do. They might get ideas above their station. Far better for them to be enrolled in (obviously state sponsored) "improving" activities.

It's all very Victorian in a way.

PS. It is also a flagrant abuse of shop-keepers. Shouldn't they be able to charge whatever price suits them? It's their shop afterall. I except that *&%$ Leahy of TESCO.

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