Binge drinking: easy come, easy go?


Breaking Views

TIME and again on television, we see instances of anti-social behaviour by young people in UK town centres where there is no longer any stigma in being drunk and disorderly. Why is this?


Firstly, aspirations have been destroyed by cheap credit, government policy having led to a loss of respect for money. Money is supposed to represent a token of work, effort, skill, experience and knowledge. Cheap credit has removed this link, and the UK now has an ‘economy’ based on speculation and debt, rather than work and effort and property prices far out of the reach of the average young person.

What has this got to do with binge drinking you may ask? Well, if you’re young, where’s your stake in society? How can you develop long-term relationships and raise children when you don’t have the security of a roof over your head? Why bother working when you’ve no hope of getting a foothold on the housing ladder? Remember £15 billion is spent on housing benefit every year.

This leads to a sense of nihilism, broken only by weekend binge drinking and regretful relationships.
One solution? Triple the duty on alcohol so that they can no longer afford to drink to excess.

Secondly, being drunk and/or disorderly has, like other forms of anti-social behaviour, been allowed to become ‘normal’.

There are not enough police; not enough time spent on catching criminals; not enough criminals serving full sentences. The police aren’t even managing antisocial behaviour, let alone enforcing the law. Managing bad behaviour used to be a job for families, schools and the Church but this has been taken over by power-mad politicians. ‘Normal’ behaviour for the rest of us has been sacrificed on the funeral pyre of ‘rights’. We stopped having to be responsible and started to demand our ‘rights’. Responsible behaviour is not even encouraged. Try defending yourself against an intruder or attacker and you’ll end up being charged. Try getting a noisy pub shut down and you’ll get nowhere.
Thirdly, we live in an age when the media, in the intense battle for readers/viewers, have created a world of instant ‘celebrity’ and it often seems the worse you behave, the more coverage you get. The more coverage you get, the ‘greater’ celebrity you become so, no matter what you do, it gets reported because you are ‘someone’. And, far from being mortified by having their names in their local papers, most young people doubtlessly regard it as a badge of honour.

And to return to my question in the first paragraph: lack of discipline and too little responsibility brought on by easy money over a generation is my answer to the ‘why’.

By Nora Johnson


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