Telling university students to forgo everything they’ve been promised for the good of the nation is just wishful thinking, writes Stephen Drill.
Telling university students to forgo everything they’ve been promised for the good of the nation is just wishful thinking, writes Stephen Drill.

Banning sex and raves? Good luck with that, Britain

OPINION

It was all going so well, but living in the UK now feels like I'm standing on the edge of a bungee jumping platform, not sure if the rope is attached to my ankles.

The pubs are open, cafes are quite full and the sun has been shining, which is quite remarkable for early September - I'm writing this wearing shorts.

But the tube remains almost empty for London standards, even though it has picked up slightly.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had promised we would be hugging each other by November, but now the headlines are that Christmas will be cancelled after new bans against meeting more than six people were put in place.

Those bans were partly introduced because of a jump in cases, but also rushed through because universities are back next week.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is threatening to cancel Christmas this year thanks to the pandemic. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is threatening to cancel Christmas this year thanks to the pandemic. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty

The UK is unlike Australia, where most people who live in capital cities live at home while they study. In Britain, staying at home is the exception, with the government providing student loans to help with living expenses as well as the cost of the course.

The government was worried that the recent rise in coronavirus cases was because younger people were ignoring social distancing.

And then Lord Bethell, he doesn't get a first name because he's a peer, went where no middle aged man should go - telling young people not to have sex.

He also warned students not to organise raves, with the new six people rule likely to get them on the wrong side of the law.

And then he played another blinder, revealing that he organised raves as a young man.

"I used to love raves. But I implore all of those who organise raves to stop. Because you are causing a massive public health disaster," he said.

It was almost like Pauline Hanson saying she had tickets for next year's Stereosonic festival.

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Telling young Britons not to rave or party is, frankly, a waste of breath. Picture: iStock
Telling young Britons not to rave or party is, frankly, a waste of breath. Picture: iStock

Middle aged Brits are not just talking about raving like they are 19, they are also stealing the teenagers' right of passage - boxed wine.

And while they are not playing "Goon of Fortune" with a box of Goonawarra spun on the clothes line, they are scoffing more cut price plonk.

I remember at university, when I was living skint, that a box of wine was a smart investment, and if you had a mate you would stretch to a bottle of cordial to water it down.

But British supermarket the Co-op has revealed that boxed wine sales have gone up 300 per cent as people drank at home during lockdown.

The UK is hoping to avoid another national lockdown, but it's likely different parts of the country will still have local shutdowns, particularly in the north where it's currently spreading.

It may be spreading in London, but getting a test has become increasingly hard as they have been rationed to deal with the northern outbreak.

Johnson has revealed a $180 billion moon shot testing program that could unlock the country, but it's a watch this space.

The optimism has gone, and delays in the vaccine trials are making the future look uncertain.

Originally published as Banning sex and raves? Good luck with that, Britain


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