Monday, 22 September 2003

Who's bingeing?

The latest thing to attract the attention of Scotland's control freaks is our "culture of binge drinking." We drink standing up, usually without an accompaniment of food and, horrors, we insist on everyone standing a round. Naturally, something must be done, and when that's the case there's always a politician or two waiting in the wings.

Hugo Rifkind isn't happy, but I think he is encouraging control freakism himself:

Last week's government report identified a "culture of intoxication" among Britain's drinkers. In return, I'd like to identify a "culture of stating-the-bloody-obvious" among the compilers of government reports. People who drink like to get drunk. Of course they do.
I have little doubt that I have been visiting pubs for a lot longer than Hugo. In the last month or so I have visited licensed premises in Ayr, Perth, Pittenweem, Selkirk, Bristol, Keswick and Edinburgh. And guess what Hugo - I haven't seen anyone drunk. It's a lot cheaper to get drunk at home - not that I can understand why one would want to get drunk in the first place. People go to pubs to drink but also to socialise and to enjoy the atmosphere. Let's leave our pubs as they are. Now, binge tax-consumers: there we have a real problem.