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Dominic Grieve is right. It is all very well using shock tactics like this (and I think they do sound very shocking - I haven't steeled myself to watch the video clip yet!) - but people will simply watch them and continue to do what they were going to do anyway.

The fact that a government relaxes the licensing laws should not prevent it from warning people of the dangers of excessive drinking.

'First they allow smoking, now they launch campaign against lung cancer'

this Government that unleashed 24 hour drinking

Can we please distinguish between freedom and excess? What is so wrong about allowing people to buy or sell a drink at a time of their choosing and not the state's?

So much for the "post-bureaucratic age"

The ads look sensible but 24 hour drinking is connected with the culture of excess. This government can't do joined up thinking.

I've just watched the ad at the Guardian site. My first impression is that, rather than making him look foolish, the funky music, smashed CD player and self-satisfied smirk make the lad appear quite cool – considering what he’s just done to himself. I hope that I’m wrong and their focus groups were accurate.

The ads are too tame and too much of a comic play on parody. Far better if the ads showed real footage of people who have suffered injury from binge drinking or even pictures of young people who have died after drinking large amounts of vodka. Making people laugh won't scare them into change.

Shock adverts won't work in my opinion. Why not go back to the old licensing hours of 11-3 and 5-11 and note the effects? I used to support the idea of 24 hour licensing but not now. I think that in a mature society, it is peoples right to have a drink when they like. However, the evidence so far indicates 24 licensing doesn't work, because of an immature, irresponsible minority. So the government should admit its mistake and return to the system that worked. If it isn't broke, don't fix it!

Dominic Grieve is right; these ads are a gimmick. Teenage girls need to know that if they end up legless they are making themselves incredibly vulnerable. If we could have a campaign where the message was about staying in control for your own safety I might think that my taxes were being spent wisely. But 'don't get drunk or you might be sick' is not only not the government's business, it is clearly not going to have an impact on anyone's drinking habits!

24 hour drinking has been a misguided and utterly pointless exercise. All it has done is spread out and push back the time frame that the problems related to drinking produce. But its symptomatic of Labour and their flawed ideology of instant behavior control through law and tax, anyone could tell them there was no chance of changing the way a large potion of the population behaves in the consumption of drink to make it more continental.
It has to be looked at again, and possible reverted, we've had a good long time to look at the effects of 24hr licensing, if you ignoring the spun fiddled government figures and talk to police or medical staff they all tell you that the late drinking has made the violence and drunken medical emergencies worse.

Perhaps we need to address the low self-esteem of many young people that leads them to binge drinking instead of these shock tactics.
Addressing social breakdown and establishing norms of behaviour would get to the root causes; not gimmicks like this.

The problem of binge drinking is exacerbated byt supermarkets using alcohol as a loss-leader. Many youngsters are drunk before they even leave the house. This needs to be tackled.

The government were right to liberalise the drinking laws. It's not the law that's the problem, it's the culture and irresponsible attitude for a lot of people. So ingrained is binge drinking that ordinary law abiding people, with good jobs, family etc., often get themselves in to binge drinking sessions. Very few people under the age of 30 will not have binged in some form over the last six months. The problem is cultural and associated with a number of northern European countries, and the government are mounting an uphill struggle to change that. Someone needs to try though.

I think offering incentives to bars and clubs to adopt more of a continental model would be a start.

I think Labour is absolutely full of shi* when it comes to issues like this. First they move cannabis to class c then they open the pubs all day and then when the inevitable criticism starts they do a U turn. Alcohol has always caused problems. I agree with those who say we should be looking at the whys of youth drinking. As it is this government is looking increasingly authoritarian with its ban on smoking in pubs. How many of the problem drinkers on our streets would not be there if they felt comfortable in the public houses ? I resent Labour telling me how much my children should be drinking and I suspect the vast majority of adults in this country are sick of their Nanny state mentality. Labour should get to grips with the real issues that are causing children to drink to much, and stop wining at the parents, who they now seem to blame for everything. The simple fact is that the vast majority of our young people don't drink to much, and don't smoke so much pot it makes them Ill. The children who are off the rails most likely don't have parents that give a dam in the first place.
When are we going to get some action on the abuse of cocaine detected in the commons toilets BTW ?

Many youngsters are drunk before they even leave the house. This needs to be tackled.

You try getting legless at pub and club prices, and you will know why they do it.

We need a justice system that punishes those who cause trouble for others. This government is more interested in patronising Neopuritan nonsense.

My only criticism of the adverts (and it's not an insignificant one) is that the girl and boy are too good looking.

I am slightly shocked by how many posters have fallen for the binge-drinking scam.

If you classify anything more than a couple of drinks after work as a 'binge', then we are all binge drinkers. Nor is a binge throwing up or falling down. That's just getting pissed and making a fool of yourself - a rite of pasage for young people and students. A binge, properly definied, is at least being too insensible to get home and more accurately a drinking session that follows on uninterrupted into the next day and possibly beyond.

This country drinks vastly less than I remember in the 1970s, or even the 1980s when I started work. The invention of 'binge' drinking is just another supposed social problem for scamsters in the single-issue industry to con money out of the state and gullible but well-intentioned givers.

Many youngsters are drunk before they even leave the house. This needs to be tackled.

You try getting legless at pub and club prices, and you will know why they do it.

You've just proved my point. Access to cheap alcohol in the supermarkets is a big part for the problem.

'The government were right to liberalise the drinking laws. It's not the law that's the problem, it's the culture and irresponsible attitude for a lot of people'

So I take it Steve that you are against all the anti-smoking legislation as well ?

You've just proved my point. Access to cheap alcohol in the supermarkets is a big part for the problem.

No, you've just proved mine. Binge Drinking is not a problem. Millions of people get drunk. Very few cause trouble. Only Bansturbators and Neopuritans want to stop other people enjoying themselves.

I support a Labour policy.
"24 hour" drinking - freedom of choice.

Also, I'd rather have a relaxed drink in a pub at midnight or 1am,
rather than be forced to go to a noisy nightclub with a bad atmosphere.

I don't see it as anybody's business if I choose to have a drink "24 hour" - even if they are Tories.

The vids are hardly shocking...or maybe I've just been desensitised by kinky pr0n or something!

The obvious answer to "so why end it that way?" is "why not?"
Apart from the guy kicking the other guy, there's nothing that would make people stop.

24hour drinking isn't a solution (was it ever claimed to be?)- but it's good that the laws are not so strict now.. we have flexible work hours now so flexible play hours is good too!

I still just think that people drink to excess and get lairy because of the disefranchisement they feel from being treated like a statistic by the government... ie. you can see all the 1984 style stuff happening and watch all your money go to tax and you're job skills and achievements ignored so you can hit a pointless target, yet are told that we've never had it so good.
People are just resigned to the fact that it's happening and feel powerless which builds resentment and that has to come out sometime.
I can't see the problem is worse than it ever was, just that metioning "binge drinking" is easy for lazy journalism and was probably just a term created by labour to invent a problem they though they could fix.

Consider the position of many teenagers in our society.

New Labour has stolen their access to a decent education, fostered a culture of debt and state dependency that's weakened the social constraints which twenty years ago we took for granted, and the much-vaunted economic miracle of endogenous growth theory means a large proportion of them will never have a decent job or a skill in which they can take pride.

Is it any wonder that so many of them are getting paralytic on a regular basis? What else do they have to aspire to?

We desperately need to rebuild the concept of family and community, put some actual content back into the education system, remove the economic crutches which keep these kids out of the workplace, and through all these things give them back the self-respect they so desperately yearn for.

The SNP in Scotland want to ban alcohol sales for anyone up to 21:


Heard a delightful piece on the World Service last night about Beer Bikes. These are pedal-powered piss-ups that are popular in Holland. Now why wouldn’t they work in the UK? All they would do here is spread the broken glass and vomit over a wider area. In a similar vein, why is it that I can drink unthreatened in a tent of 2000 merry Bavarians, some in traditional dress and carrying rifles and hunting knives, and where the only aggressive noises are the postern blasts escaping from the lederhosen of overweight Germans who are relieving themselves in the surrounding hedges?

The drink problem in this country will not be solved by money-wasting government hectoring, or more restrictive laws or piously lecturing us that it is for our own good that price of booze is going up again. Instead our leaders should be asking “How can we persuade ordinary decent people to venture into the town centres at night? How can we stop them from cowering in their homes, afraid to emerge? How can we provide them with regular, safe and clean public transport?” In short, how can we reclaim the streets?

Some blame must be attributed to the Tory government that took pubs away from the breweries and sold them to companies that were run by Perrier-drinking Oxbridge types who knew bugger all about the licensed trade. These spotty youths maximized their profits by giving us a purgatory of theme pubs and clubs that attracted only young people.

Get Tweedy Old Tories like me back into the pubs at night and achieve the population mix that will make social drinking a pleasant and civilized activity, as it usually is in Holland and Germany.

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