A Political Question (Fancy a Little Quaff?) July 31, 2009Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
Tags: agression, alcohol, policing, politics, teenagers
Had a lovely night with the girls last night – very entertaining and very fun!
On a more serious note, however, I was talking yesterday about under-age and aggressive drinkers. We all know that in Britain their is a “problem” with teenagers binge drinking and boozing in public places. The new and slightly unfair public perception is that the youth of today are all drinking, punching, fighting louts, girls and boys alike.
For me, drinking was great fun for the last year of sixth form, involving house parties, “adventures”, and lot of drunken camping. We binged (undoubtedly), but I honestly believe any instances of us being antisocial and uncouth were rare, and usually confined the the realm of the tent.
Firstly – all teenagers cannot be tagged as drinkers. Secondly, all drinkers cannot be tagged as anti-social and violent. The UK has, interestingly, become a land where the young and the free are (yet again) discriminated againstfor the action of a few. And all whilst plenty of adults are out getting pissed and lairy – and let me tell you, I have seen far more of this than of the teenagers!
So how do we deal with the teenage violence and drunken aggression. Amognst many ideas out there are raising the drinking age to 21 (conveniently ignoring the fact that the majority of drinkers are underage anyway!), and harsher punishments. The problem is that penalising vast swathes of the population for the actions of their peers is not only prejudices, but highly unjust. Someone once killed someone with a hammer – it doesn’t mean that all hammers should be banned. Tarring everyone with the same brush is a dangerous idea.
Yet I agree that this situation, with it’s public empathy and high publicity levels, cannot just be left “as is”. So what can we do?
My idea is a simple one, and focuses on penalising specific offenders. The basic principles are as follows:
- Everyone, regardless of what age they look, should be ID’d. At the very least this will make alcohol harder to get hold of. Oh, and if you don’t have your ID? You don’t get served.
- Those who are caught being aggressive will have a “black mark” (whether electronic or physical) on their ID, meaning that they cannot buy alcohol until over 21. This is a punishment for specific offenders (and specific groups of offenders”.
It is simple – but I think it would work, and stop all the harmless tipsy kids out there from being harshly punished and misrepresented!