the weekly

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We'd like to remind you - a snifter? -
that round-the-clock drinking is fraught.
Just a splash. The young, if they lift a
few drinks, go wild. Pass the port.

They drink from the neck of the bottle,
in incontinent, continent style.
An all-nighter binge at full throttle
is a trouble, a test, and a trial.

Do we wish to be French? - just a top-up -
don't we need a Time Gentlemen Please?
After twenty-four hours, we mop up
the dregs of the English disease.

When we've had a hard day on the circuit,
out thumping the law on its tub,
we don't paint the town. No, we shirk it;
we retire - yes, please - to a club.

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Judges warned against the dangers of 24-hour licensing laws. They seemed in danger of confusing binge-drinking with the issue of round-the-clock licensing.
10 August 2005


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