After the visit of another van - perhaps from the city council - things did indeed quieten down a bit and people began to drift away. For a few moments I had the distinctly unlibertarian thought that Jack McConnell's puritan government is right: the state should discourage drinking by the young; Scots can't handle booze; the pubs must shut at 10 like in the old days. If only we were more like our continental neighbours where children learn to consume alcohol in a civilised manner and not run around annoying the neighbourhood in the middle of the night.
But then I noticed something rather odd. It slowly dawned on me that, generally speaking, in my experience, gangs of drunken Scots youths don't usually consume bottles of red wine and they very rarely shout at one another at three in the morning in fluent French!