Best, Booze, Big Brother & Britain

Perhaps it is no coincidence that on the day liquor licensing laws are extended in Britain, allowing ceratin bars to stay open serving alcohol for 24 hours, George Best’s personal physician announces he has only hours to live. You can be sure that the Daily Mail will somehow try to link the two, a depressing tenuous link leading to the spewing forth of statistics about more people dying from liver failure at a younger age than ever before…

“We shall see many more like Best before this blinkered New Labour plan is through” one grey haired cretin shall quip, truly believing that this line distinguishes him from the rest of the journalistic world as some kind if insightful genius. The Daily Mail should just stick to being plain old inciteful.


But before this digression kicks in and poisons the rest of this post, much like the toxins that has ravaged the great George Best’s body and left it beyond repair, let us breath deep and smell some reality.

Extended licensing laws are a good thing. If you think otherwise, you’re wrong. You’re probably the same kind of moron who moans about your local shop not being open 24 hours when you want to satisfy your sickening, consumer driven cravings. Alcohol is a product, something that many reasonable people want to consume at differing hours. The people who binge drink and go on to perpetrate crimes and “lower the tone” of precious middle class England, by doing things like shitting on benches in public, would be doing the exact same thing if there was prohibition in this country… They are morons, yes. But morons can still be resourceful when it comes to enbaling their moronic acts.

If they couldn’t get it together to brew their own alcohol from vegetables, they’d drink cough syrups that make them drowsy. If that was cut off they’d buy sleeping pills and take them. Let’s not forget the basic fact that they would also flock to cheap hashish or anything else that got them into the state of being fucked up in public.But that’s irrelevant because they would find a way to illegally buy alcohol anyway.

The key thing here is that these people need to be drunk and disorderly in public, even going to the extent of faking just how “out of it” they are in a crowd, like apes trying to establish dominance in packs. They equate being drunk to being adult, wild, wacky, interesting, hip, whatever the fuck… They cover their lack of intellect and personality by operating in such a state that them and everyone around them is unable to clearly distinguish them as idiots.

This after years of witnessing adults secretly drink after sending the kids to bed, wine with meals and being told “this is for grown ups”, parents down the pub for hours leaving kids with baby sitters, alcohol not covered in the curriculum in schools and whsipered about by teachers… By the time you first get your hands on a drink you think you are doing something dangerous, criminal, wild. Something that proves you are the equal of any adult. And that is all kids really want to do in all their activities.

We, as a country, fucked up in our approach to alcohol. We made it taboo. Which is odd when you consider licensing laws in the form we knew them up until this day were brought in during the war to ensure dilligence in factory work places. Can’t have those drunken workers affecting the war effort. Like so many things, after the war we just couldn’t be bothered to revise it.

I’ve travelled all over the world, and while it is a great exaggeration to say that if you bump into someone who is pissed and aggressive abroad they are always British (plenty of the French, Dutch, Spanish and Italians guilty of this on my travels) it is a depressing majority. It never makes the people rethink their licensing laws… Just how many stick aorund in tourist season.

Hey, here’s a good idea. Let’s film these beasts and run the shows every day on Sky, Bravo, ITV and Channel 4. Let’s make minor celebrities out of the brain dead. We’ve been doing it for years after all. But in the pretence of highlighting the problem, the media are actually glamourising the bad behaviour they supposedly deplore. And they know it too.

We should not be fighting a nanny state/big brother government actually giving us some freedoms back, nor should we allow an idiotic MAJORITY – yes, majority folks… Look out your window – to fuck this up for those who just want a cold beer at whatever time we want one. This, along with gambling, are two vices we’re actually being allowed to do. Thank god. If I wanted to live the life that the Daily Mail are proposing we should be I’d join the clergy.

I was raised in a colliery town, taken down the local working mens club at an early age, given “pub shandies” while I tried to knock the pool balls around a table I could barely see over. I was surrounded by the fat, old, defeated ex-miners that were simply content to drink themselves to death. I was surrounded by the labourers having a few quick lunch time beers to make their days toil a bit more bearable. On a night I listened to awful comedians telling jokes I didn’t quite understand and witnessed the middle age drunks try and do karaoke, the weekly moment of fame in a life packed with mediocrity and compromise.

Nothing glamourous there and although it didn’t put me off alcohol for life, I had peeked behind the curtain that Britain has tried to keep closed to young people and realised what goes on in pubs and clubs is not so glamorous or exciting after all.

It is a tired argument that is being used by the people who are for this legislature: “Longer hours will reuce the temptation to have that big round at last orders” they say, along with “And not everyone will be leaving at the same time, so it will reduce crowding and fighting over things like taxis”. Yawn. Yeah, it might just do those things. Unless everyone decides to go for the “hardcore” route and stays until the later kicking out time, or if it’s 24 hours, until they can’t stand.

In the short term we will see wankers go berserk and push it to the limits. The tabloids will tell us everytime someone is drunk and disorderly after midnight now. They’ll have a field day if someone actually drinks themselves to death. But so what? The people who can actually handle drinking, eating, and other basic functions without killing ourselves should not have to be dictated to when, where and what we can put in our bodies. Let’s evolve, instead of de-volving, for a change and let these neanderthal morons fall by the way side. Let them drink themselves to death. Let the police do with them what they will. I want a beer when I want a beer and that should be a right we all have.

As for Best. Well, everyone’s blaming his decline on the booze. This infection that has lead to the internal bleeding that’s killed him is a result of the medication he’s taken to prevent his body rejecting his liver transplant… Sure, it was drinking that lead him to have his liver transplant, but he fucked himself up way before 24 hour drinking. Anyone can drink at any time behind closed doors. When he dies at first they’ll mourn the passing of a legend. Then over the next few days will come the editorial pieces about the tragic, booze sodden decline of a great talent… Maybe even Paul Gascoigne will get trotted out to tell kids not to drink, along with photos of Best’s yellow corpse… Within a week they’ll be those who say we shouldn’t have any sympathy for him at all because it’s all self inflicted. They’re the ones who just say anything different from the crowd to establish themselves as “brilliant, witty and informed”. You watch Carole Malone and Richard Littlejohn’s columns. Safe bet they’ll spew the poison.

But we all won’t end up like Best because of extended licensing laws because there is a clear difference between alcoholism and binge drinking, one which does not seem to have been highlighted in any stage of this sensationalist, tabloid gibberish.

Enjoy it while it lasts my friends. A conservative government is round the corner. When they get in we’ll go back to the old way. Maybe a few changes… Like only being allowed to drink, at home, with the lights off, under a duvet. Except of course in the sophisticated setting of the House of Commons or a Gentlemans club. After all the elite can handle their drink.