I've written about this before, most recently on 12 July 2014 when I argued that unsupervised teenage drinking is more likely to lead to binge drinking because under-age drinkers can "get cheap supermarket booze and drink at each other’s homes or in the park, and it’s not ordinary beer: it’s strong cider, lager or cheap vodka. And in an unsupervised environment, they don’t learn how to behave when drinking."
Pointing out that "Pubs have more or less become ghettos now for adults", Tim makes a similar point about unsupervised binge drinking while recognising that lowering the legal age would not on its own be a panacea to the problem; he simply suggests that it may help.
Our age rules in the UK are a bit of a mess. In this country, you can:
- At 16 get married, have children or join the armed forces.
- At 17, drive a potentially dangerous vehicle on the roads.
- At 18, vote in elections and referenda, fight and die for your country.
In Scotland, the situation is even more extreme: in the independence referendum, Scottish residents were mature enough to vote for the future of their country at 16, but face compulsory age checks when buying drinks until they're 25. That's what you get when you put nanny state nationalists in charge.
I've little doubt that Tim's call will not be heeded, and will look out for the predictable tut tutting, as in this article by Katy Rice in the Brighton Argus: she refers to drunken staggering in the second sentence and later chucks in the emotive buzzword 'vulnerable'. Interestingly, Ms Rice tweeted this on 6 September: "Girls, what's the worst thing you've done when you were drunk? Tell me your story..."
I've already read suggestions that Tim has said all this with an eye on his sales figures.