Yes, here we go, there is a Dr. Smith on the radio saying that we should ban alcohol advertising, make it more expensive and difficult to buy.
The ultimate aim, he says, is to change our attitudes to drinking and being drunk. Using the southern European countries - Italy, Spain etc - as an example, he says it is an embarassment to be drunk, whereas here, it seems to be the whole point of drinking.
I agree with the ultimate aim and have myself used these countries as an example in the past. But I don't agree with how you get there. Let's compare North v South Europe for a moment.
Northern Europe - high taxes on alcohol, restricted availability and selling hours. Result: high consumption, major binge drinking and young people drunk on the streets. Periodic hand-wringing by ineffectual politicians.
Southern Europe - low or no taxes on alcohol, wide availability and alcohol on sale 24/7. Result: slim, attractive people sipping wine with their dinner and going about their business in civilised manner. Really nice weather as well.
We are supposed to be the Mediterraneans of the North (where did that come from?), so why not copy our swarthy cousins?
Who knows, maybe the weather might even improve!!