Highly acclaimed Scottish author and Daily Telegraph columnist Andrew O’Hagan has launched a scathing attack on pubs for fuelling binge drinking and violence, writes Ewan Turney. In an astonishing tirade against Britain’s pubs, O’Hagan said: “Many of the establishments are so pressed for custom that they will do anything to fill their bar – mainly selling toxic drinks in devastating quantities to kids who consider a good night out to be one that ends in copious vomiting.” O’Hagan claims that most pubs are slashing prices after the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) withdrew its code on promotions last month. The BBPA withdrew the code on advice that it breached competition laws. “This body (BBPA) agreed - and many publicans said they agreed too - that it was a bad idea to offer promotions that depended on patrons scoffing drinks within a limited period of time or based on entry fees that included the reward of allowing people unlimited alcohol,” said O’Hagan in yesterday's Daily Telegraph. “By flouting their own rules, these licensees throughout the country have fouled their own nests and are busy destroying the very pub culture upon which their livelihoods depend. “And I'm afraid to say the situation is one of circular decline, where desperate publicans are, as we speak, slashing the prices of drinks in an attempt to beat the lack of business. In this way, skippers scuttle their own ships.” He added: “The European-style café culture that New Labour fantasises about will never be possible while British publicans demonstrate such utter contempt for responsible drinking and the social rudiments of drinking pleasure. “Decent licensees in France would never sell alcopops - never mind sell them at minimum prices - because they know it would destroy their custom, their self-respect, and ultimately their business.” However, O’Hagan does believe the smoking ban in pubs was a “mistake” and licensees should have had the choice of whether to ban smoking. He believes that legislation must be introduced to force licensees to act responsibly. A voluntary agreement, he said, “means that no publican is held to any high standard - and no patron, either - of what it means to be part of a healthy and valuable pub culture”.