CATHY Jamieson, the justice minister, has pledged new laws to tackle Scotland’s "uneasy relationship with drink" as she prepares to unveil the Executive’s proposed new liquor-licensing regime.Of course it is proper for the authorities to take action against drunken yobbery in the streets although hardly any of our police officers are actually working those streets at any given time.
At a conference in Edinburgh today she will publish plans to scrap statutory permitted hours for alcohol sales and to introduce new measures to tackle under-age and binge drinking.
It's worth asking though why the UK doesn't have a "continental-style approach to alcohol consumption". I remain convinced that the reason is connected with our politicians' hatred of their own country, its traditions and its history. However much we may (rightly) criticise the greater degree of statism on the continent, I do not get the impression that French, German, Italian and Spanish politicians hate their own countries. I believe that all too many Labour activists and MPs do hate Britain. For more details read this excellent article by Sean Gabb. It must be terribly demoralising to grow up in a Britain that is loathed by its leaders. I have little doubt that the violence and drunkenness that can be seen on the streets of any British town or city have their origins in the cultural destruction described by Mr Gabb. So Ms Jamieson, if you want to live in a society that has "continental-style" modes of behaviour, look to the beliefs of your own party, not to the minutiae of the licensing regime.