Vice Squad
Monday, December 20, 2004
Lager Louts

Still time to mine The Guardian for another vice tale or two. Today's edition tells the uninspiring tale of a paramedic who heads out at night in Cardiff to treat those injured one way or another (often via fights) in incidents that can fairly unambiguously be termed 'alcohol-related'. A sample:
Throughout the night the rapid response van races up and down the street and its offshoots, where every second building is a late night bar, dealing with everything from intoxicated, weeping girls who have fallen off their high-heeled shoes to testosterone-fuelled men with bloody faces, suspected heart attacks and broken legs, and female victims of assault, like Sophie.

Her Christmas celebrations came to an end when a man in The Yard bar punched her in the face, splitting her cheek and plumping her eye out in a black, blue and red mess.
At the end of the article (that's for the on-line version -- for the non-virtual version, it's off to the side) is a listing of British alcohol statistics. The one that I found most surprising is that 90 percent of British adults drink alcohol. In the US, the comparable number is more like 2/3; the US has a large cohort of adult teetotalers.

Speaking of The Guardian, in an unrelated story, their cracking columnist Simon Hoggart has turned up in the David Blunkett affair -- actually, he is more-or-less literally involved in the affair.

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