Alistair Campbell wrote a very moving tribute on his blog to Charles Kennedy who died last week from a haemorrhage as a result of his long battle with alcoholism. He said the language he spoke was “pure human” which was presumably the reason why the family have been inundated by the outpouring of warmth for the man. His full post is here http://www.alastaircampbell.org/blog/2015/06/02/charles-kennedy-a-lovely-man-a-talented-politician-a-great-friend-with-a-shared-enemy/
Alistair wrote about their shared enemy and how he and other friends wished they could have done more. He also followed this up recently by talking about the behaviour of a group of prom teenagers at a hotel and how our collective relationship with alcohol is way out of control. These are two separate issues. He couldn’t have done more – Charles had an illness that he was unable to conquer, despite all the efforts he and others had made. This will have been part of the reason why he was so loved as a politician – he was real, he was flawed, he didn’t try to pretend to be something he’s not. It doesn’t make it any easier to deal with though. A tragic loss for his family and friends.
In the meantime, the subject of alcoholism is trending as a result and for our children we can do more. This is not for the first time that I write about a subject that concerns me hugely, I question what we are doing about saving our children from the onset of early liver disease. Most won’t become alcoholics per se – but the way they drink these days means their livers get a serious bashing every weekend. I know it’s good to give your liver a couple of days off, but when you then ply it with a bottle of vodka – a serious recipe for disaster. I know it’s tedious to say we didn’t drink like that back in our day – but I don’t understand how an increasingly health driven society is missing the point? Binge drinking is incredibly bad for you.
Many teenagers drink to excess because the trend is to “pre-lash” which means they’ve had a skin-full before they’ve even got to where they’re meant to be going. I don’t really understand why they do that. Certainly the price of drinks in London clubs will prompt an early drink-fest, but they even do it before parties. It’s become the thing. Then they are so pissed they can barely stand up, let alone remember the party.
This can’t be to do with the pressure of life – no one else in Europe does it. This is a UK thing. Most attractive I’m sure for tourists wandering around late at night. Do you think it is to do with the fact we don’t go out with our children like they do on the continent? Taking them out late into the night and sitting around a table discussing things? Sadly, I suspect if I suggest to my children that this is the solution, they will tell me that is one of the worst ideas I have ever had.