Doctor’s fury over Labours refusal to ban cheap booze!! They spoke out as Alan Johnson unveiled measures labour claimed would tackle Britain’s binge drinking epidemic Professor Ian Gilmore, of the royal college of physicians, said by focusing exclusively on bars and nightclubs the home office fails to tackle some of the main causes of the problems we are seeing in our neighbourhoods;
A new Government mandatory code banning drinking games and all you can drink for £10, offers in bars and clubs will be enforced. Johnson also wants pubs to offer wine in smaller glasses and make free tap water available!!
(The home secretary said it would be unfair to insist on minimum pricing for the sale of drinks on the high street as it would penalise the less well-off.) AS an ex labour voter this is the first time I agree with anything Alan Johnson has said in the last 10 years.
Labours liberalisation of the licensing laws have been a complete disaster, 24 hour pub openings have only created more drunkenness and violence on the streets of Britain. Doctors say alcohol should be more expensive with a minimum price, suggested by the chief medical officer (Sir Liam Donaldson) of 40p per unit. This would make the cheapest bottle of wine at least £4-50, and a six pack of lager £6. Such prices wouldn’t hit the moderate drinker he said, but would deter the binge drinkers.
Well Sir Liam you’re absolutely wrong, binge drinkers will always get their cheap booze somehow, even if it’s from abroad, or brewed by the local villains. In fact this would probably do more harm than good as lots of cheap dodge-booze could cause some really serious health problems in poorer areas, blindness and even brain damage can result from impure-alcohol. All you’d be doing is create another tear of criminality, remember prohibition in America, not a good idea!!
So what is the answer then? It’s quite simple really, all that’s required is for our police to do their job properly, and start arresting the drunks on our streets. They have plenty of laws regarding drunkenness. I appreciate this might involve them getting out of their nice warm cars, and they may even get involved in the odd scuffle, but keeping LAW and ORDER is actually their JOB!! Not offering drunks a lift home in their police cars as some police now seem to be routinely doing.
I remember back in the sixties as a teenager being arrested with a mate for been drunk and incapable, and spending the night in the police cells. The next morning I was fined £25 by the magistrates, quite a lot of money in those days. I can’t say I never got drunk any more but I certainly didn’t get incapable or in any more trouble.
(We are all responsible for our own actions at the end of the day, and this is the case with drinking sensibly.) The police off-course can’t suddenly start arresting every drunk; the cells would be bursting at the seams. What they must do is adopt a no tolerance approach to drunks, targeting known trouble spots at first arresting every drunk.Later targeting other areas till eventually the message goes out that if you’re found drunk on the streets you’re quite liable to be arrested and fined a considerable sum of money.
I’m sure if they proceed with the same vigour that they do in catching speeding motorists, our towns and cities would soon see an end to all violent drunks. Yes I know even drunks have their Human Rights and some will yell its discrimination. But what is discrimination is enforcing a minimum price for alcohol, in a free democratic, capitalist society.