There’s an excellent article here from The Spectator (oddly uncredited) pointing out how the crackdown on underage drinking in pubs has ended making our alcohol problems worse, not better.
...pubs have become no-go zones for those who inhabit the purgatorial zone between childhood and adulthood. And that’s a disaster, because it was traditionally in pubs that young people learned how to handle their drink. In the grown-up world of the boozer, teenagers were taught adult skills: how to conduct themselves socially, how to converse with other adults, how to flirt and how to drink in a way that wasn’t embarrassing. No amount of alcohol training by the Red Cross can replace that informal education of old.Of course, this is only what Tim Martin has been saying for years.
Inevitably, in the current climate, the answer will not be a bit more encouragement to turn a blind eye in pubs, but a further counterproductive crackdown in the off-trade. Tesco are doing it right, it would seem.