By Billy Shears, 180 Degrees News

The passing of legislation going against the wishes of 74% of Scottish parents, criminalizing physically punishing children in Scotland, combined with the Scottish Government’s minimum alcohol pricing increase has led to a boon for English border towns cashing in on the blossoming cross border ‘smack and binge’ tourism industry.

Frank Harvey, an off-license owner in Berwick upon Tweed says his package has been very popular among Scottish parents close to breaking point who are snapping up the offer, ‘8 cans of extra strong lager or cider and 30 minutes in a sound proofed room for £6. Its £2 extra to stick the karaoke machine on’.

‘Smack and binge’ tours have been organised from all over Scotland and the threat of ‘We are goin to Berwick if you don’t shut your gob right now’ has entered the Scottish parenting lexicon and tempered tantrums from Morningside to John O Groats. Hotels all along the English side of the border now offer a range of strong alcohol/retribution packages guaranteeing ‘red cheeks on both parents and naughty children’.

We ask a couple of parents in one of the establishments offering the package, why have they come to Berwick?

Arabella, a professional and Mum from Stockbridge Edinburgh says ‘ I really, really, really believe in positive parenting, treating my kids like friends, talking to them in public like adults, letting them choose what they want and when, surrounding them always with the affirmative ‘yes’ and hugs…then I realized that my little darling Tarquin had in fact become a brat monster that without boundaries would grow into a horrible human being and would make my life a living hell. So I jumped on the train to Berwick to try out some ‘old school’ therapy, which after 1 hour of Tarquin screaming that he ‘is bored and wants to watch TV right now’, I gladly delivered in the train disabled toilet, the second we crossed the border. But please don’t tell the toddler and mummy – holistic mindfulness group I am in back in Stockbridge’.

Hamish from Peebles said ‘My little princess decided that a full on lying down screaming and shouting tantrum was needed to teach me a lesson when I picked the wrong shape of strawberry yogurt tub in Sainsburys for her, the square ones, not the round ones. As my frustration grew with everyone staring at us, the wee monkey actually pointed at the smacking ban headline in the Scotsman, smiled, said she also wanted chocolate, then continued bawling her eyes out. She should have studied geography instead of singing baby shark all the time at her school, as here I am in Berwick, a mere 60 minutes’ drive later. The tantrum funnily enough stopped the minute I crossed the border, calm has returned and after four halve priced heavy bevys, all is right with the world again’.


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