Here in the UK, they’re talking about extending drinking hours — significantly. Currently, in something of a layover from WW2, pubs close at 11pm. Apparently they figured with people primarily occupied with the business of building munitions, letting them drink until the early hours of the morning wasn’t such a good plan. The result, over time, is a massive binge-drinking culture. People go out and start drinking heavily from the outset, so many are falling-down-drunk by 11pm. It’s not pretty.

The current government proposals will allow not just the current late opening (clubs etc can apply for a special licence to stay open until 2am), but 24 hour drinking. They claim that this is going to fix the binge-drinking culture, by promoting more of a continental cafe culture. I almost burst out laughing at my desk when I saw this retort this morning from a judge concerned that the extra drinking hours will just increase violent crime:

“Continental-style drinking requires continental-style people – people who sit quietly chatting away at cafe tables.”

He said British drinking involved “standing up, shouting at each other in crowded bars, trying to consume gallons of beer at a time”. Source