Apparently the government's reform of the licensing laws is a scandal. I don't really see either the improvements the government are touting or the oppositions claimed decline. I really don't recognise the label "24-hour drinking" either, less than one percent of all pubs in England and Wales have a 24 hour licence and I can't name on of them.
Basically the issue isn't that the pubs are open longer, but that so many members of society want to get pissed. Perhaps people should concentrate on the why a bit more not the how.