All the talk lately has been about the new revised licensing act and how this will spell the end of Britain as we know it. I’m caught in two minds about it and often the argument is that if we lengthen hours people will come out a different times, go home at different times, and as their drinking will be spread out then they won’t binge drink. I don’t think I really agree with this because I know what British drinkers are like (i’ve worked in pubs for over 5 years).
Another thing is that the Pubs have had to apply for what hours they want and actually most of the pubs in my area have applied for licenses of 7am till 1pm. They are only going to use the 1am extension on Fridays and Saturdays, and will only use the 7am for special occasions, usually sporting occasions such, which could’ve been useful for the 2002 World Cup in Japan, or the Lions tour in New Zealand. For the rest of the time they will stick to normal (11am-11pm) hours, because who wants to work late at night?
What does this mean? It means that everyone is still going to be leaving the pub at the same time, except maybe drunker! I suppose the only real way to avoid this would be to actually introduce 24 hour drinking, whereby there is no opening or closing, but this was on offer to all licensed premises and hardly anyone took it up.
Now I was reading an interesting article in the Observer on Sunday which basically compared the French way of drinking to our way of drinking and commented that our current culture in Britain is that of drinking to get drunk, whereby the French drink to complement their meals, to relax, and to indulge in philosophical debates. Maybe this view of the French way of life is slightly off but you have to admit that the fact that I am talking about this and ways to make people behave themselves shows that we, as a collective, have a drinking problem.
Because I haven’t been drinking much beer lately, I’ve found I can get a bit pissed quite quickly but I’ve lately been switching onto soft drinks when I think I’ve had enough. I have in the past gotten completely mashed (many times) and embarrassed myself by my complete lack of control, incohherent slurring, incomprehensible flirting, and uncontrollable hurling! I don’t do this anymore (much) but I know that when I go out with a group of lads I’ll get back onto the pints and do stupid things.
On Saturday I was going around to Tom and Nikki’s for a BBQ and I decided to instead take a nice bottle of Rose wine instead of the usual crate (Portugese Rose Table Wine, selected by Asda, £2.54!). My decision for this was that I fancied something crisp, refreshing, and not at all bloating, and I also had a football match at 10:30am on the Sunday. I must say that I thouroughly enjoyed myself and liked the wine too. I did finish a bottle by myself but when you compare that to the amount of beer I would’ve drunk then I think I did quite well.
If I knew the answer to the problem of binge culture then all would be Kool and the Gang, but I don’t. There has to be a culture shift and view drinking alcohol as something that must be done responsibly, but shouldn’t be taboo. Maybe if wine was introduced to the dinner table when we’re in our early teens then we wouldn’t see young urchins in the park supping on cheap cider?
I hope I given you some
food drink for thought on a very tricky subject, ….. now I’m off to get pissed on some Super Strength Lager and harrass some old people.