This blog has been appearing in my stats quite a lot recently. The reason? This post regarding the 24 hour drinking, which linked my post entitled “The Nation’s Biggest Lock-In”. Reading that post over and over again, it kind of disturbed me. Not in a bad way, but it seems that people who read that post would think that I am against it (like the writer). Nothing personal against the writer, and I respect his opinion, but I don’t agree with what he says and I don’t want people to come here from his site to think that I’m against the 24 hour laws, so this post I hope will set things straight, and – you never know – I may get a rarity on this blog, an intelligent discussion.
I’d also like to point out that I’m an antheist and have no interest in politics. Call me selfish or ignorant, but I believe that as long as you’re nice to people, you can believe whatever you want.
Last night, I had 5 cans of carling, 1 can of Kronenbourg and a bottle of Corona (no lime, I’m so hardcore!). By definition, I was binge drinking, which is defined as “more than 5 drinks in any one sitting” (the fact I stood up 4 times to go to the fridge, I contest this point), however I don’t want to talk about my drinking habit, just the fact that drinking is constantly linked to abuse (which kind of irks me).
The drinks I had last night were in the comfort of my own home, and I’m quite aware of the damage drinking in excess does, hell, it killed George Best, and I have cut down a lot recently, primarily due to more work and less money. However, I am prone to the occassional tipple. The only damage my binge drinking was doing was to both myself and Yoshi on Mario Kart (it made me realise that should I ever get behind a wheel when drunk, then I’m as good as dead). I certainly was not more agressive, macho or violent.
I understand not everybody is the same as me, and there are people who want to go out and kick off every friday night. However, whilst alcohol is the fuel to some of these problems, it’s not to all of them, and there are many people (myself included) who go out and have a few drinks and cause no trouble. I myself can only remember seeing about 3 fights in Liverpool since I’ve been here.
I went out last Friday night on the first weekend of possible 24 hour drinking, and I could honestly see no difference. In fact, if anything it was a little quieter. My logic was that people were staying in pubs until 12:30, clubs would be less busy, as I would normally pay to enter a club after midnight, but wouldn’t want to stay for just half an hour, so would end up staying the night. If there was rowdiness on the streets, I honestly didn’t see it. I didn’t see it before, and I don’t see it now.
As far as breaking up families and affecting health, then yes. However, like tobacco and drugs, alcohol effects people in different ways. My dad, for example, is the worst person in the world to be hungover with. Me and my mum are quite chirpy and get on with it (sleeping, that is). If there are underlying problems, then alcohol will accentuate it, but with 95% of the people with no problems, why should we be punished?
We’re not the only country with a high consumption of alcohol, we are behind many of our northern european neighbours in terms of alcohol consumption, and other nations such as Australia, Japan and Canada have laxer drinking laws. All of those countries (with the exception of Finland and Denmark) have far lower crime rate than we do.
I mean, there are other factors why people binge drink. The phrase “drowning away your sorrows” is popular amongst these parts. I just think, given the opportunity, people would not be drunk for 24 hours as what the doom-mongers predicted.
The adverts for alcohol encourage you to drink responsibly, it’s nice now that we can prove that we do.