There is much wringing of hands in the media and parliament these days about the alleged booze culture that is engulfing Britain. Methinks these hand wringers should take a trip to Russia (where the quantity of booze consumed has trebled over the last few years), if they really want to see a society awash with drink.
Anyhoo, the Public Policy Research (PPR), the journal of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), has come up with a "solution". They say that it is time to practise "tough love", and raise the minimum drinking age to 21.
Here's why this idea is bollocks:
1 Some other countries have a minimum drinking age of 21, eg USA, yet they too have drink related problems.
2 It is, like it or not, part of the British culture to drink. The ancient Romans, when they occupied Britain, wrote many missives complaining about the oceans of booze consumed by the natives.
3 The age at which people can do many other things, as an adult, is less than 21; eg joining the armed forces and fighting for one's country, bonking, driving a car, voting and opening a bank account.
Why, if you are thought old enough to put your life on the line for your country, should you not be allowed to have a drink?
4 The key to responsible drinking lies with how you are brought up with drink as a child. I was allowed to drink sensibly as a child, and look at me now.
5 There are far more dangerous things that young people are exposed to when they reach the majority age; eg fighting in Iraq and opening a bank account which exposes them to exploitation by some real shysters.
The suggestion to raise the minimum drinking age an over reaction, which won't work.