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Camden New Journal - COMMENT
Published: 26 June 2008
Powerful brewers, advertising and a painful hangover

DID it have to come to this – that medics are to go on patrol to hoover up drunks at Camden Town on Saturday nights?
Over-reaction to Camden Town weekend rowdyism?
It’s either that or desk officials at Camden Primary Care Trust and London Ambulance haven’t studied efficiently police figures showing a recent fall in misbehaviour linked to drink.
The latter is possible.
This is not to say drunkenness isn’t a problem in Camden Town. It is.
The wider causes, of course, are to be found in our culture, cheap alcohol and the incessant drip-drip effect of advertising, especially on TV.
A move can be detected among thinking politicians and academics to restrict such advertising.
But it is difficult to see either New Labour or the Tories confronting the mega-rich and powerful brewers in the immediate future.
There are also early signs of another argument gathering pace. In many hostelries it is already being implemented. This places greater responsibility on the shoulders of publicans to ensure customers don’t leave their hostelries in an unfit state.
This form of self-policing is more likely to become an embedded part of the trade.

A CAUSE of youth crime can be traced to the violence and hedonism of mass culture.
Little will be done by governments to change that.
Tony Blair’s much-parroted mantra of the late 1990s to be “Tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime” has long been exposed as hollow politicking.
New Labour has introduced more legislation on crime and sentencing than any other government since the 1930s.
What a breath of fresh air is the movement, inspired mainly by Councillor Roger Robinson, to set out to combat crime through the creation of more apprenticeships.
Crime has always been known to fall in a settled, employed community.
Rising crime figures came in the wake of the destruction of manufacturing under Thatcherism.
From below have now come the efforts of Cllr Robinson, now supported by Lib Dem Janet Grauberg to do what society has been crying out for for years.
It will be difficult. Industry has been stripped bare from the borough since the 70s.
But every apprenticeship started is a step in the right direction.

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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