Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Under The Influence

Well, it seems Alex has accepted that my criticism wasn't personal. Issue resolved? Probably.

Today's Guardian carries a piece by Stuart Jeffries about the weekend just gone, which he spent in Liverpool city centre: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2197067,00.html .
Jeffries visited the city in the wake of findings that emergency admissions to hospitals in the city due to alcohol-related factors outnumber those of any other English council.
Perhaps I should tread warily here, given the amount of booze imbibed by the company I was in on Saturday both during & after the Merseyside derby, but I digress...
To be fair, Jeffries doesn't use his weekend up here as an excuse to trot out the usual jaded journalistic cliches. He does, however, pick the weekend just gone (20th & 21st October) when things were even busier than normal, thanks to the aforementioned Football match, the pub promotions related to this, & the Rugby World Cup final later that Saturday evening, with further pub & club promotions to cash in on that event.
In this context, it doesn't really count as a "normal" Saturday night, & Jeffries himself makes no attempt to imply otherwise.
There is some grim humour to be found in Jeffries' observation, "On Prescot Road, there is an off-licence called Not Drunk Enough, which until recently gave out fliers to taxi drivers, promising: 'Bring a fare here and get £2.50 per fare.' "
That stretch of Prescot Road is a fairly short walk from the prosperous city centre, yet its decay, delinquency & deprivation are so entrenched as to make 2008 raise a hollow laugh from local residents.
Interestingly, Jeffries does report that "there has been a recent decrease in alcohol-related hospital admissions in Liverpool. In the same week as the figures for 2005-2006 alcohol-related admissions made Liverpool England's binge capital, more up-to-date statistics from three city hospitals showed that alcohol-related A&E admissions nearly halved in the past year."
However, Jeffries can't help concluding his piece by describing his hungover state as he departs Lime Street Station "leaving adorable Liverpool to its endless life-affirming, life-destroying bacchanal."
There's a cliche in there somewhere.

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