So the biggest political question in my hometown Gothenburg right now is whether the bars and night clubs should be allowed to serve alcohol after 3 AM or not. We already know that 70% of the cases of violence are alcohol related and that most of these acts happen around places that serve alcohol. We also know that crimes of violence increase after 1 AM and no one wants unsafe streets. Right?
The most reasonable thing to do is to stop serving alcohol after 1 AM, but that’s not the problem here. The problem is that some of the city’s citizens don’t want the alcohol to stop coming at 3 AM, but at 5 AM.
The police force in Gothenburg has had enough of all the violence. The people living around the main street have had enough, too. Even municipality officials have had enough and are taking a stand. For crying out loud, I’ve had enough! I love to party and would gladly do it until morning, but at some point you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. I wish the dance floors would still be open after the last alcohol beverage has been served, but the night clubs just aren’t allowed to do that. And that’s a shame. Because now I once again have to pay the price of the alcohol consumers and I’m fed up with it! Stop serving alcohol at 3 AM – but keep the party going!
Another thing that made me quite upset were the youth associations of the different political parties. I have NEVER heard them express their opinion about ANYTHING, this is the first time I’ve ever heard them raise their voice at all. The youth associations for the Social Democrats along with almost every single party on the right wing were very upset that they wouldn’t be able to buy alcohol after 3 AM. The one time they can agree about something and it’s all about how sorry we should feel for them because they can’t get a hold of alcohol? C’mon!
How can anyone take them seriously if this is the level of their politics? It breaks my heart to pieces when I think about it. No wonder adults pet youths on their heads when they try to express their opinion, if this is the only kind of opinion youth with some sort of power care about.
For the health of my city, I hope night clubs and bars will close at 3 AM, even if it means that I won’t be able to walk home at dawn. Because I care about someone else but me.
For more reading:
Gothenburg University report about Bars and Public Health (in Swedish): “There is strong scientific evidence for the relation of bars’ late serving hours and violence.”
The Swedish Radio about the conflict in Gothenburg (Audio in Swedish)
Göteborg Daily on the issue
Environments of alcohol use and violence: a fact sheet
A report by Liverpool University: “Reducing harm in drinking environments. Evidence and Practice in Europe.”