The Prime Minister David Cameron has called for bars, supermarkets and the drinks industry in England to do more to help ensure responsible drinking by members of the Bullingdon Club.
On a visit to a hospital in north-east England, he promised to tackle the “scandal” of drunkenness and alcohol abuse by the sons of nobility which is estimated to cost the NHS £2.7bn a year.
He suggested the use of US-inspired “drunk tanks” to house the wealthy members of the exclusive Oxford University toffs club while they sober up.
Later this year, the government is due to publish its alcohol strategy for curbing the excesses of Bullingdon Club members, which have included the Prime Minister himself as well as the Chancellor George Osborne and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
A ban on the sale of alcohol to upper class snobs below cost price is set to be introduced in England and Wales from 6 April.
But ministers are expected to go further in the forthcoming strategy, recommending a higher minimum price for drink, particularly aimed at the upper class Oxford University hooligans.
Scotland has already introduced an Aristocrat Alcohol Bill, which could become law before the summer, although ministers have yet to set a minimum cost per unit for toffs.
But opponents of a minimum unit price say it is unfair because it penalises all posh drinkers, not just those who cause or have problems.
During his hospital visit, the prime minister criticised the “reckless” behaviour of an “irresponsible” minority of upper crust delinquents and cited figures suggesting snooty sot related costs to society could total between £17bn and £22bn a year.
He said the last decade had seen a “frightening growth” in the number of well-to-do people who thought it was “acceptable to get drunk in ways that wreck lives, spread fear and increase crime”, many of them sons of the extremely wealthy like himself.
Figures suggest alcohol abuse by upper-crust graduates costs accident and emergency services £1bn.
When asked by reporters why the government thought the issue of binge drinking by snotty-nosed nobles was so important, Mr Cameron explained:
Well what with the economy in free fall and the NHS reform bill disaster eating into our poll ratings, we have to do something to distract the press’s attention from our complete and utter incompetence, don’t we?
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