The slogan of Buckfast tonic wine, made by Benedictine monks of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, UK, once read, “Three small glasses a day, for good health and lively blood.” Now, as the culture of consumption continues to grow out of control among the British youth, the brand has received a new unofficial slogan: “Buckfast, made by monks for drunks.”
This rather crude name (really one of many that also includes nicknames like “commotion lotion”) entails a variety of things. Buckfast, selling at a mere £5.49, could be likened to many of the less expensive brands of wine on the market here in America that, due to having a fruity taste and higher alcohol content than beer and malt beverages can provide, become popular among inexperienced younger drinkers. However, there is concern growing among experts who, upon analyzing statistics that pertain to alcohol-related violence and criminal activity, have noticed a startling consistency that links to Buckfast consumption.
The British Daily Mail reports that “research at Polmont offenders’ institution in West Lothian reveals that more than 40 per cent of those who had consumed alcohol immediately before committing their crime had been drinking Buckfast.” The report continues, “But sales of the drink… have soared to £37 million in the past five years, with Scots spending more than £50,000 a day on it.”
Accepted at face value, the information presented in this study seems to make an obvious association between the consumption of the Buckfast brand and crimes being committed. However, why are other important factors involved, namely the age groups of those committing the crimes, not included as well? The fault in this argument becomes far more apparent once we delve deeper into the cultural factors which, as is so often the case, aren’t being well represented.