Straight Talking with Peter Davies: Get a sense of proportion over drinking

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What a big surprise! A Public Health England national survey has found that Blackpool has more drunks attending hospital than anywhere else in Britain.

It is no wonder that the health service is short of money when it wastes valuable resources on rubbish like this.

Predictably Doncaster features in this top 50 league table of infirmary-bound drinkers, coming in at number 39, so no surprise there either.

The survey has inevitably been seized on by our local bunch of overpaid health fascists who use such findings as excuses for interfering in basic freedoms which our ancestors have fought to preserve over hundreds of years.

People who have over-indulged have no need for hospital treatment unless of course they have been made unwelcome in taxis and craftily fancy an ambulance ride home. Drunks should go home, sleep it off and hopefully learn something

from their experiences. If they turn up at A & E they should be thrown out – they are not ill. The numbers attending would gradually drop.

Doncaster’s entry in the table is certainly a result of its reputation as a lively nightspot for revellers with no shortage of bars open until 6 in the morning, thanks to Tony Blair encouraging free for all drinking. If remotely serious about reversing this trend, councillors on the licensing committee should limit the opening hours of pubs and clubs and ask police to arrest bar staff who serve under-age or drunken customers and then close the premises in accordance with existing laws. These are tough measures, not the useless concept of the council’s `Cumulative Impact Zones’ (to limit licensed premises) one of which has been in force since 2008 in the very area where most of the trouble is still taking place. There is the prospect of such a zone being imposed in Bawtry, one of the best small business success stories in the borough. Is it a more dangerous and drunken area than Doncaster’s other small towns or is this a deliberate attempt by the council to penalise success and reward failure, a policy so often detrimental to the local economy in the past. Bawtry business people, however, need not worry – these ineffectual zones are merely ploys to make these interfering busybodies look decisive. A sense of proportion in examining these matters would not be out of place. Certainly drunks should not be bothering hospital staff but health `experts’ should confine themselves to simple moderate advice and not make meals of a few people staggering home with thick heads – something that most of us have occasionally done, maybe even Dr Rupert Suckling and his colleagues.