Saturday, 9 June 2007

The Rise and Rise of the Nanny State

It has been reported that that ever-pontificating organisation, the British Medical Association, will on Wednesday be voting on a motion calling for the age for buying alcohol to be raised to 21, except in pubs. Now, perhaps I'm missing something, but I really can't see the purpose of banning people from buying a few cans or bottles for home consumption, while letting them drink as much as they like in a public house. Surely it's very possible for people to get drunk in a pub over the course of a couple of hours? And, if you are concerned about the negative effects of drunkenness, then surely the pub would be the place to target first. After all, if a few people get drunk in private, nothing bad happens. It's when large numbers of people get drunk in public that anti-social behaviour occurs.

The BMA claims that it is concerned about youths drinking on street corners. I'm not sure how big a problem this really is. Personally, I don't recall ever having actually seen it (and why would you stand around on a cold street corner when you could be at home?), but, in any event, given the number of 13 and 14 year olds who find people to buy (or sell) them drink, I doubt that 19 and 20 year olds will have any problem getting hold of it, should they wish to drink it on street corners, or elsewhere.

Ultimately, young people drink, and, more often than they should, they get drunk. It's happened throughout history, and it's not going to stop because a few self-important physicians don't like it.

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