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A night out at A&E

Rod McKenzie Rod McKenzie | 09:40 UK time, Tuesday, 2 September 2008

I kicked in the window, or tried to, 'cos he wouldn't give me a pizza". One drunk man's view of why he came to be in Casualty after a night on the lash which ended in violence and a head injury for him.

Radio 1 logoNewsbeat's health reporter Tulip Mazumdar has been investigating the scale of a problem that's been a headache for A&E departments: the link between drinking and Casualty. You can watch the video at the Revealed website at BBC Switch.

New figures compiled by the North West Public Health Observatory for the Department of Health show more than 53,000 under 25s were admitted to hospital in England for problems or injuries triggered by drink in 2006-07. That's well above the 32,000 alcohol related admissions reported for the same year under the old method - which didn't include injuries for drink fuelled accidents and violence.The cost is a staggering £2.7 billion in England alone each year.

One hospital doctor in Leeds told Tulip the effect on a busy night can be "carnage" - drunken fights, falls down stairs or from nightclub balconies - violence and swearing directed at the staff. Tulip was joined by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills who again found it an eye opener. One teenage girl was there who'd drunk a bottle of wine before she went out, topped up by more wine and vodka shots. Another teenager passed out in a corridor, others with tubes down their throats or vomiting into buckets. Frustratingly for the staff - all self-inflicted.

Newsbeat worked closely with Radio 1's DJs and programme teams as part of the station's Alcohol Experiment.

Female drinkersSo what's the solution? For some of our listeners it highlights a mismatch between the way society and the law views drugs and drink. Many argue the drugs are less harmful thank drink - perhaps we shouldn't ban one without the other, they suggest. Supermarkets' booze promotions caught some of the blame. Others argue that drunken revellers should be made to pay for their own hospital treatment.

One cannabis supporters added "you want people to stop drinking so much, then legalise cannabis...how many people a year go to hospital with cannabis related accidents"? Sherms from Bristol claimed people "don't binge smoke...or get into fights not to mention the tax they could put on it!" It would be good to hear your views, too on this perhaps uniquely "young" issue.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Maybe if the government spent as much energy and money vilifying drinkers as they do smokers this could be reduced. I am a smoker but have never seen 2, or more, people having a fight after having 1 cigarette too many.

    Drinking is by far, the most anti social disease this country has in existance today. Yes I do smoke and am a responsible drinker.

  • Comment number 2.

    As with many things it easy to blame alcohol, but as with most things in the UK its our chav-underclass thats the real problem. Alcohol didn't suddenly make that guy kick a window in because he wasn't given a (free?) pizza. That sort of person is a menace sober, never mind drunk. Sort out the bad attitudes on the street with proper policing and harsh punishments and leave those of us who can limit themselves to a few drinks to enjoy them in peace.

  • Comment number 3.

    To be a devil`s advocate, there is an argument that this is one way we learn about the pitfalls of life as we grow up. The majority of those killed in drunk driving accidents/ drug overdoses are young. From this peers learn of dangers, risks and consequences and how to avoid them. Very few of the regular binge drinkers in a city centre are over 30. From a few painful experiences (to ourselves and others) we learn responsibility, self control and so on. I imagine the same can be said of climbing trees, cliff jumping and many other activities.

    As for the problem just being chavs, having been a devoted clubber when much younger I can vouch that binge drinking and losing control (responding to small events with physical expression of anger, frustration and so on) afflicts all classes and occupations. University students, the army, navy and air force, office secretaries and young city types alike. Oh, and medics too.

  • Comment number 4.

    Partly I agree with Jay (Comment 3.), that a lot of this is a case of people learning through mistakes. I certainly drank too much and got myself ill through alcohol while at university - but lucky for me I never did anything aggressive, and my body did a good enough job of purging itself the following day (and making me suffer for my behaviour). I learned my lesson.

    However it depends, is this now a much bigger problem in the hospitals than it used to be? Are the numbers actually increasing? I realise it's a drain and it isn't nice - but is it actually getting worse?

    If it is, then of course, something ought to be done.

    In response to Peter (Comment 2.) blaming the "chav-underclass", as Jay said it certainly isn't confined to such people - and even if it was - there are *always* going to be angry, stupid and malicious folk out there. They may be more or less educated or more or less well-off, but they aren't about to be eradicated with a bunch of legislation.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't see why Aled from Radio 1 decided to do this experiment. What could he possibly show us that we don't know already?

    Instead we were treated to a pathetically irresponsible and uninteresting debate on how he got smashed every day on Radio 1. Thumbs up for glorification guys.

  • Comment number 6.

    #4 I used 'Chav' as general term of abuse to describe the low-lifes I see fighting in the street. You don't have to be poor to qualify- I'm sure we can both think of high profile celebs and reality TV 'stars' who have ended up in court/jail for this sort of behaviour. Perhaps I should have used 'Yob' instead as its a more inclusive term.

    In any case my point was its the person not what they're drinking thats the problem.

  • Comment number 7.

    Alcohol is the most abused drug that exist. To be honest about it , alcohol can and will kill you. The effects range of course but it is too easy to cross the line and not be aware you have done it. The danger of alcohol is that specific lobes of the brain are targeted, one part doesn't connect to the other and bizarre thoughts, misconceptions and incorrect judgements are produced. Cannabis Santiva is a drug of a different effect. A euphoria of effects that lobes leap quickly one to and to another, producing a psyche that otherwise might not have been had. Maybe not so scientifically explained but enough to defined what a marijuana high is about. Smell the fragrance, not the smoke and not any paper?

  • Comment number 8.

    Alcohol is the most abused drug that exist. To be honest about it, alcohol can and will kill you. The effects range of course but it is too easy to cross the line and not be aware you have done it. The danger of alcohol is that specific lobes of the brain are targeted, one part doesn't connect to the other and bizarre thoughts, misconceptions and incorrect judgements are produced. Cannabis Santiva is a drug of a different effect. A euphoria of effects that lobes leap quickly one to and to another, producing a psyche that otherwise might not have been had. Maybe it's not so scientifically explained but it's enough and defines what a marijuana high is about. Smell the fragrance, not the smoke and not any paper?

  • Comment number 9.

    #7 Alternatively you could read this paper in Nature:

    http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v26/n6/full/1395868a.html

    It is effectively impossible to OD on cannabis and I've never had any stoner offer to kick my head in but that doesn't mean its safe by any means.

    Its a potent carcinogen and in addition the cannibidiol (CBD) found alongside the THC temporarily shut down the body's cytochrome p450 enzymes (the enzymes that clear harmful substances such as alcohol from the body). In addition the THC can remain bound to brain receptors for weeks after smoking and that cannot be a good thing.

    For what its worth I smoked dope when I was younger and still do drink quite a bit so I'm not being judgemental on what informed adults choose to put in their bodies. However the claims that cannabis is 'safe' are nonsense.

  • Comment number 10.

    Why was it once more difficult to buy alcohol?
    Why are cans of it now sold in dozen packs straight off the supermarket shelves; together with the groceries?
    Why should we be dismayed by the obvious consequences?
    Do we really have to debate what to do about it, or are we all too addicted?



  • Comment number 11.

    #6. I think thug, lout, yob are better decriptors than chav, which really just describes low educated working class. And not all drunks are violent (not all drivers express road rage, not all spouses are wife beaters etc), its more a to do with personality disorder, low self control, low empathy, fragile overweening self esteem etc. I`ve known some very witty, funny drunks in my time that always peacfully made their way home at the end of the night. Some are more prone to violence than others, in groups a tribe mentality can take over.

    With alcohol the problem is cultural. In Victorian times campaigns were mounted to pay miners` wages to the wives so some was spent on food, not drink, each payday. As far back as you like Britons and drink were linked together. Youngster grow up faster nowadays so drink earlier, its associated with relaxation, cheapness and availability plays a part, as do vokda shots, alcopops that taste like fruit juices, boredom, being one of a crowd, lifestyle; parental responsibilty (but many parents drink too), but it needs to be tackled culturally. Although many do learn to cut down on drinking, many are left stuggling with dependency in adulthood.

    I agree with #9 that modern vareties of skunk are proven to be dangerous. There is growing evidence of a link between regular usage of skunk and schizophrenia, certainly those prone to psychosis are more likely to be tipped over into schizophrenia by its use. (It raises dopamine levels dangerously high, conversly very low levels of dopamine in the brain are known to produce Parkinson`s Disease.), there is a genetic component that makes some more prone to experiencing this, unfortunately 25% of the population have this, but it doesn`t make the rest imune, far from it. And once tipped into psychosis, most don`t recover from it. Otherwise those that smoke it regularly for several years complain of severe memory loss, I`ve met several that say the`d switch to the *ordinary* canabis of the 1960s – if they could get it, but skunk rules. And people do become dependent upon it too. (I use addicted to describe heroin and alcohol dependency where there can be major physical withdrawl symptoms). There is a case for looking at legalising the milder version of canabis, but keeping skunk illegal. What I find disturbing is that so little money, or interest, is paid as to finding effective ways of treating dependency or addiction, funding rehabs and so on. Rehabs are few, mainly run by charities or the commercial sector, 12 step dominates, yet cognitive approaches may be more effective.

  • Comment number 12.

    It's an English problem, I live in Australia and we have our fair share of drunks, but of all the tourists we get here its the English who are by far the most annoying drunks, not just the men, the ladies also get in on it, they get so drunk that its just pathetic, then many become violent and start breaking things or picking fights with innocent on lookers, it's like the whole of England is a nation of drunken football hooligans. Maybe the Europeans are right when they say that playing against English sides in any football tournament is bad news, not because the English are good football players, far from it, its because their fans are idiotic, drunken trouble makers, and incite violence wherever they go, they then blame the Police or security of the venue or country they have just visited, it's just pathetic and the English have much to answer for.

  • Comment number 13.

    Ban Alcohol in England, they can't handle it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Heavy cannabis smokers may not be as violent as alcoholics, but cannabis smokers have their own set of unique anti social problems, which are just as bad. Cannabis smokers are a danger on our roads and in our work place, they are often "not with it" or "out of touch with reality". Cannabis smokers have a high rate of depression and suicide.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    The problem, as stated by other posters is not alcolohol in itself ... unlike smoking, to which a parallel has already been drawn.

    Smoking has been treated the way it has because as a non-smoker, the evidence shows that my long-term health can be affected simply by frequently sitting next to those who are smoking (like I would in a public house), not to mention that the smoke itself sets off my dust allergy big style.

    Conversely, I am not going to get cancer, or go home wheezing, from sitting next to a guy drinking bitter!

    The problem with alcohol is that so many people (particularly, but not exclusively, young people) drink with one intent ... getting drunk.

    The problem with getting drunk is that people do unpredictable things, things they wouldn't do when they are sober. It also removes their inhibitions and allows them to do things they would be tempted to do but would stop themselves doing when they are sober.

    I enjoy an occasional beer, never drive after it, and never cause anyone any harm because of it. It also appears that it is not going to do me any long term harm.

    All of that is why alcohol is still legal.

    The only solution I can see is to change English society's attitude to drinking alcohol ... how we accomplish that, though, is a bigger and harder question altogether.

  • Comment number 17.

    Anyone abusing hospital staff or causing a nuisance because they are paralytic should be ejected from the hospital.
    Doctors and nurses are a precious commodity and should be protected. They, along with other hospital patients, should not be exposed to aggressive, offensive morons who are unable to control their drinking habits and cause trouble. Zero tolerance is the only way to deal with this problem. Drunken behaviour wouldn't be tolerated abroad - why should we have to put up with it?

  • Comment number 18.

    #12. Football hooliganism is alive and well in various other parts of Europe. Go to a Russian, Italian, German, or Dutch domestic league game and you will see what I mean. The debate is about the role of alcohol in British society. In Britain alcohol is the fuel not the cause of football violence.

  • Comment number 19.

    #16 "The only solution I can see is to change English society's attitude to drinking alcohol ... how we accomplish that, though, is a bigger and harder question altogether"

    I've an idea..

    I live in Nottingham which has over 300 bars in the city centre and over 100,000 drinkers out at the weekend (our regular population is 250,000). The town square can be a scary place on a Sat night.

    The obvious solution is to change the sort of bars we have: it should be made much easier to get a licence to open a waitress service Tapas bar and much harder to get a licence for your 2 for 1 drink as much as you can bar. Slow down the rate at which people drink and encourage them to eat at the same time and they should get a lot less drunk.

  • Comment number 20.

    #18. Agreed. Turkish fans ( a muslim country) are horrendous yet Scottish fans (one of the most booze soaked countries in Europe) consistently get best behaved fans awards at international tournaments..... its the only trophy we can get!

  • Comment number 21.

    As I see it, there are three causes to the alcohol problem:

    1. The "acceptability" of Alcohol abuse due to so-called "role models" such as Soccer Players, Politicians, "Celebrities" etc being plastered (sic) over the pages of the tabloid press engaging in exactly this sort of misbehaviour.

    2. The ease of availability of alcohol - whether that be in a Pub, Night-Club, Off-Licence or Supermarket.

    3. Lack of resources to deal with the problem.

    Proposed solutions:
    1. Stricter and harsher sentencing for alcohol-related offences. An £80 fixed-penalty notice doesn't really work. A week in prison might. They that can reasonably be expected to set examples for others should receive much harsher sentences and be made an example of. At the moment they are more likely to get off than be punished - what message does that send to the majority?

    2. Make the Clubs, Pubs, Off-Licences, Supermarkets etc. pay directly for the Policing, NHS and Local Government (someone has to clear up all the mess - why should I as a respnsible individual have to pay for this through my Council Tax?) costs attributed to their irresponsible sale of alcohol. For multiple transgressions - SHUT THEM DOWN for a period long enough to make it hurt.

    3. This one isn't so easy - Increase resources to the emergency services in terms of funding, equipment and manpower to the level that can deal with the demands put upon them without stretching them to the limit. Refer to 2 as to how to fund this.

    This whole issue could be dealt with if only there was the political will not to tolerate alcohol-related misbehavour.

  • Comment number 22.

    #21. Given the level of taxation on drink the pubs, supermarkets etc already pay towards policing costs, but that apart how on earth would you enforce that system? Unless I buy a bottle of vodka from a supermarket, drink it outside the door and assault another customer on the premises how on earth would you prove that supermarket sold me the alcohol?

    Equally if I drank in 10 pubs before going beserk would you try and fine all 10 or just the last one that served me when I was already drunk? The logistics and legal costs of such a system would cost more than you'd ever recoup and it doesn't take into account illegal sales of alcohol from booze-cruises.

  • Comment number 23.

    This to me is just so depressing. I cant even be bothered to try and explain it or excuse it through clever theories, It is Britain today and whoever is at fault it is just rubbish. Everyone in this column seems to say this type of behaviour and crime is wrong and unacceptable and yet as ever we have to suffer as our streets and cities get taken over by people who openly admit they want to get intoxicated so they do not do what they are doing and then get high by going one step further than the last gang. How on earth can we do anything in reality when people actually want to behave like this and enjoy it. I know this sounds all rose tinted glasses and stuff but we actually have so much in this country compared to a lot of places in the world. Safety, education, services, nice places to go, shops full of products and all we are doing is wasting it. Large numbers too not a small minority. I am just really sad it happens and feel desperately sorry for the people in Police/Ambulance/Hospitals who have to deal with it. My heart goes out to you.

  • Comment number 24.

    kingelisabeff : "Ban Alcohol in England, they can't handle it."

    That's the problem; the people who like a drink, go out and get merry/drunk, and have a laugh with their mates and DON'T get involved in violence get tarred with the same brush as those that do.

    Don't blame the alcohol, don't demonise those people who like to drink socially - blame the violent morons who cause aggro and demonise them.

    I know plenty of people who will go out and drink several pints and not get into a fight, not pass out, not vomit on themselves and will have a nice time.

    Why not focus on the idiots who can't function within society, rather than allow them to use "alcohol" as an excuse?

  • Comment number 25.

    I feel another BBC campaign coming on. Why don’t you report real news instead of trying to create it?

    Talking of campaigning – or champagning - why don’t you look at your own drink problem at the BBC. I quote Jane Garvey, BBC presenter: “…the corridors of Broadcasting House were strewn with empty champagne bottles” (speaking of the Labour Election triumph of 1997).

    Anyway, I thought the BBC had all the answers: Mark Easton’s blog of 22nd July 2008 quotes labour politicians who lay the blame on the drinks industry. Is that where you’re going with this?

    I know these are cheap jibes, but if you want to part of the news instead of being an independent observer you will reap what you sow.

  • Comment number 26.

    Why are so many people choosing alcoholic oblivion?
    Could it be that they commit themselves to long hours of uninteresting work to buy goods and services they do not need and know this is nonsense but feel helpless to do anything about it?
    Could it be that when they relax in front of the TV they are brainwashed with 15 minutes of ridiculous advertising in every hour and the loud beating of drums behind the News and many other programs?
    Are we fortunate that the choice is not worse than alcohol?



  • Comment number 27.

    A few years ago my wife and I were larking about in the garden causing her to slip and break a metatarsal {a la david beckham}. We spent an evening in Leeds General Infirmary. Treatment was a bit slow but hey.

    Two things completely floored us whilst we were waiting:

    1. A family of 4 adults came in, took four prime seats in the waiting area where you could see most things, got a bag of sweets out, handed them round and spent the next two hours watching the coming and goings! It was incredible - like a night out! Once the treatment area had calmed down, up they got and went home. Brilliant. Cheaper than the telly, live, no admission fee and a good mix of humour, blood gore and sadly violence.

    2. One guy who cam in very much the worse for where described his occupation as 'fighting'. "No what do you do for a living?" asked the charge nurse. Fight. I get up. Drink. Go out, have a fight and either win and have another or loose and come to a hospital.

    Tragic.

  • Comment number 28.

    Did your cannabis using listeners comment on the effect cannabis is having on the risk of going mad with psychosis? (Or were they too busy to responding to their halucinatory voices and glueing cooking foil inside their baseball caps)

    Saying cannabis is a good idea is a bit like saying tobacco is harmless. I know lots of people who smoke tobacco and are quite healthy. Of course the long term medical research says different. My guess is we would all have been a lot better off if tobacco had never been allowed.

    People getting drunk and falling over is immediate and visible. Not all harm is immediate.

  • Comment number 29.

    Simple solution ban alchohol. Drinking has become far too socially acceptable. Since the smoking ban far more people are chosing to stay at home and drink, so they can smoke in comfort. When they were going to pubs they were consuming less alcohol because it is more expensive buying a pint in a pub than it is in a supermarket.

    I lived with my alchoholic, drug abusing husband for 5 1/2 years. His habits have left a long lasting imprint on me and my family. I used to like going out for a drink but now can not bear to touch it because I am too aware of the consequences. I would not want to put my family in the position I was in, having to go everywhere twice ........ the second time to apologise for his actions. Not to mention the violence, police visits and friends walking away because they did not want to be near him.

  • Comment number 30.

    Now that this Government has reduced smokers to a level of respect just below illegal drug takers they are now setting about the drinkers to portray ALL of us who enjoy a drink responsibly as some sort of low life. This problenm was about when I was a teenager (48 now) and is nothing new. Just another crappy excuse from the control freaks now in power to extract more money in the form of tax and remove any semblance of enjoyment from life. Roll on the election

  • Comment number 31.

    #30 `Just another crappy excuse from the control freaks now in power to extract more money in the form of tax`

    Given the Tories have always claimed to be tougher on law and order I suspect they may make much of strong measures against drunken public behaviour, under-age drinking, the binge drinking culture and so on if elected.

    I have an acquaintance that recently had a liver transplant. He needed one because of cirrhosis of the liver from being a lifelong `social drinker`. His main off-work means of relaxation was going to the pub. He`s now back to his old habits. Our tax money paid for this. Money well spent? Perhaps some would agree. As a working tax payer however I feel this is surely worth debating, particularly if such instances (and costs) are going to increase.

    If people wish to damage themselves then perhaps they have the right to, but should we always pay to patch them up and prolong their lives?

  • Comment number 32.

    #29 "Simple solution ban alchohol. Drinking has become far too socially acceptable.....I lived with my alchoholic, drug abusing husband for 5 1/2 years. His habits have left a long lasting imprint on me and my family. I used to like going out for a drink but now can not bear to touch it because I am too aware of the consequences."

    I'm very sorry to hear this but your bad experience doesn't mean that we should all be denied something that doesn't cause most of us a problem. Its like a mother who lost her kid in a car crash demanding that all cars be banned.

  • Comment number 33.

    I dont drink + think this country has got a serious fascination with it. Waste of money imo. Also ive quit smoking thank god. The gov seems to be milking us dry!

  • Comment number 34.

    Um, so America isn't the only country with an "alcohol abuse problem"...maybe it's people and not alcohol or country who have the problem. Does anyone want to assume personal responsibility for their actions anymore? Thought not, let's continue on a self-destructive path of blaming the alcohol, ciggy's, and pot; that seems much easier for people to understand.

  • Comment number 35.

    When people need "a little help" to escape then the question that needs to be asked is what are they escaping (or trying to escape) from.

    If the quality of life is so piss poor for many that they need something to alter their consciousness then we are in a very sorry state. Legal drugs such as smoking and drinking have been used throughout history as "safe" means to keep people in their places. The current Government, interested only in the revenue it can extract from ordinary people on a day by day basis, dribbles out its cheap paranoia not to deter people but to justify its tax hikes.

    The massive scapegoat "con" inflicted on smoking is a classic case. The indigenous Indians who first smoked tobacco had no heart problems, no cancers, and no addiction. In Japan, where smoking is at least a third greater than the UK the morbidity from so called "smoking related" disease is totally the opposite to the UK.

    So who is telling the truth about our health? Just how is longevity determined because there is certainly no evidence that it is down to "healthy" lifestyles? There is far too great a dependency on selective statistics that could "mean" any number of things and far too little on common sense.

    The BBC needs to get real about everyday lives of common people and not do the Government's propaganda exercises for it.

  • Comment number 36.

    Education that to have a good time,doesn't have to involve getting plastered every time!
    We have all drunk to excess in the past,but now we need hard hitting education on drink and providing youth today with something better and more rewarding than to get drunk every weekend and think its cool!
    The Government talks about going after the energy companies due to profits,maybe they should think about looking at the drinks industry for the cost they put on the police,NHS and the social problems that are related to drinking. No town is enticing in the evenings when the pubs,clubs are open.
    Britain really needs to change its drinking habits and how we relate to alcohol.
    Brits are an embarrassment abroad,as well as at home, and do nothing for our image worldwide,all due to drink!

  • Comment number 37.

    #36

    The "drinks industry" is not responsible for the "knock down" loss leaders you can find in any hypermarket you can drive to. And, given that many ordinary and down to earth social people have stopped going to pubs since the cigarette ban, we have a new breed of drinkers for whom painting the town with puke seems like a good idea. These people no doubt "exercise" three times a week to offset the plastering their bodies get during the average weekend.

    Given the revenue that is raised via the sale of alcohol, claims that drinking overloads the NHS are plainly propaganda. None of us should be proud of where we have got to as a society, as we exclude the "ordinary" person (who enjoys a smoke and a drink) from a social life whilst propelling so called clean living people (who may go to a pub once in a blue moon) into the spotlight. All the time this is going on the real problems in society are ignored.

    The sooner nanny state laws are ditched, the better for us all.

  • Comment number 38.

    "The sooner nanny state laws are ditched, the better for us all. "

    I agree entirely, but so do the government. They TELL us that binge drinking is bad, but legislate to allow pubs and bars to stay open longer. That allows us to choose when and how much we drink. The old licencing laws were far more 'nanny state' than anything New Labour came up with.

    However drinking DOES overload the NHS... the fact that the government makes a fortune from alcohol duty doesn't mean any of it goes to the NHS. The NHS budget is £90bn whereas the benefits bill is £170bn and rising.

  • Comment number 39.

    At 12:39pm on 03 Sep 2008, KennethM wrote:

    "I feel another BBC campaign coming on. Why don?t you report real news instead of trying to create it?"

    Absolutely, and without a doubt we will be seeing a lot more of these sort of stories now that smoking has been pretty much abolished and 'the obese' about to be relegated to the level of third-class-citizens by the legislation and interventions to which the public have been softened up by BBC propaganda. These health nannies, fun fascists and control freaks will not be happy until our society resembles that portrayed in Brave New World or its modern interpretation, the film Demolition Man.

    We need a Government that is willing to trust people to to make sensible decisions about their health and their own bodies and punish only those who threaten to harm others (ie, target violent drunks and leave the socially inebriated alone, no penalties or state stigmatisation for fat people, an end to discussion of laws which would ban smoking in private homes, vehicles etc) rather than one that seems determined to model its public health policy on those of Singapore (highest 'sin taxes in the world) or Japan (where men over a particular BMI are now fined) and create a similarly robotic, compliant state.

    Unfortunately with Cameron's Tories apparently having rediscovered conformist morality as a divide-and-win tactic, a change of administration will probably accelerate the current trend rather than do anything to reverse it.

  • Comment number 40.

    ISRAEL IS GOING TO LISTEN, WHEN I SPEAK. HERE ME O PEOPLE OF ISRAEL. ISRAEL WILL, BEGIN TO MAKE PEACE WITH THE ARAB WORLD. ISRAEL SHALL, EXTEND AN OLIVE BRANCH TO ALL THE ARAB COUNTRIES. ISRAEL MUST, BECOME THE HUMBLE MEDIATOR FOR THE SAKE OF ALL MANKIND. ISRAEL SHOULD, MAKE PEACE WITH THE PALISTINIAN PEOPLE AND GIVE THEM "RESERVE STATUS" LIKE CANADIAN INDIANS. Godspeed Swift [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 41.

    #39 richie79

    I agree with you. With regards to your last paragraph, remember that the Conservatives are trying to be BBC-friendly which is why they resemble Labour and the Liberals. Our democracy is being eroded due to undue interference by the state broadcaster.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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