Social media has been in a furore about Jim Murphy’s latest campaign trick to re-legalise alcohol at football games. It has gotten the nationalists flooding in their condemnation, how this will lead to the end of civilisation, that all our efforts to reduce alcohol abuse will be for nothing if we allow drinking at the football.
In light of this hysteria, it is important to note several things. Firstly alcohol is allowed at football games, but only of you can afford to be in the hospitality suite. This is a working class issue as it will not be the big spenders who do not have the option between a pint or a pie at half time. In my opinion there is no practical reasons why alcohol is not served in other areas than the hospitality in football. The truth is that those who want to be inebriated during a game will do so whether there is drink served there. They will merely fill their boots before the game. Similar to the 5 O’clock swill in Australia, there is a probable argument that alcohol at games would actually reduce binge drinking before games in order to keep these particular fans ‘buzz’ going.
|Tea-total Jim claiming another Bru on the exes.|
Let’s also be clear that the likelihood of having more than one beer before the game and perhaps at half time is slim to none. Standing in line for a pie and bovril at Hampden is testament to that. This isn’t anything new or original either. Go to Anfield or Old Trafford to watch English games and you can have a pint in the foyer before the game right next to the bookies to place your bet.I’ve heard the argument ‘if you cant go without a drink for 90 minutes then there is something wrong with you.’ That is about as logical as saying pubs should close on a Tuesday because you should all be able to go a night without drinking. Who determines which 90 minutes/day we cannot go without drink?