In which your host is proved right

Every prediction I made in this piece from 2005 on 24-hour drinking has proved to be correct: on-trade alcohol consumption has fallen, levels of alcohol-related crime haven’t changed; pubs haven’t made any extra money; but puritan idiots have continued to rail against the rule change anyway.

The most offensively stupid puritan argument is that ’24-hour drinking hasn’t cut violent crime, so it was a failure’. No – the point is, it means that law-abiding people can go out for a drink without having to obey insane rules created to stop soldiers in the trenches getting jealous of civvies back home during WWI. That is a good thing in its own right. If drink-related violence had risen, we’d need to weigh the good against the bad. Since it hasn’t, we can say that the licensing law changes are an unequivocally good thing, and crack open some booze to celebrate. Hurrah!

(it’s also worth noting that on this issue, the Tories are lying crooks who should be run out of town on a rail. Quelle surprise…)

10 thoughts on “In which your host is proved right

  1. Bit of both, I think – the Defence of the Realm Act was ostensibly about increasing war production by improving efficiency and discouraging fripperies, but also about improving morale on the front through greater censorship and propaganda (including countering the belief that the cowards who'd stayed at home were debauching soldiers' wives and daughters…)

    There was also an element of prohibitionist moral panic, it being the decade when the Temperance movement was at its strongest.

  2. Yes, I also enjoyed that. Disappointingly I don't think Landsbanki had a UK banking research team (d^2 to confirm); if they had, reading their reports this summer would've been good for lulz.

  3. I hope you are also, in the interests of equality, going to run out of town on a rail the Labour ministers who distort facts to manipulate public opinion – incl but not limited to Brown, Darling, Balls, Mandelson, Harman… surely far more worthy of being called lying crooks than people who do not actually wield power!

  4. Landsbanki took over Teather & Greenwood and Bridgewell Securities during the go-go years, and they do have a UK research team although I don't know anything about whether they have a drinks industry team specifically.

  5. Diogenes: next time I write a piece on an area where the Tories are saying sensible things and Labour are being lying idiots, I'll happily point this out. In this case, it's the other way round.

    Dsquared: cheers – was wondering specifically whether they published any UK retail banking reports, would be amusing to read them on, say, B&B and HBOS…

  6. Absolutely – although I think there's also an element of authoritarianism/anti-hedonism in the Conservative party (not shared by all Conservatives, clearly) that thinks it's better if people don't drink after 11pm – irrespective of whether or not they do any harm.

    (note that if I refer to 'The Tories' on this blog, it's shorthand for 'the views advocated by the current Conservative front-bench', not 'everyone who's ever voted Tory')

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