The Devil has chipped in with a classic rant about the latest BBC
As one of DK's commenters observed, this is just a ratcheting up of the misinformation to achieve a future goal. Often explained by extremist Governments of the past as 'telling a lie, and telling it often' in order that in the minds of the slow of thinking, it becomes a truth.
The temperance movement, now alive and well primarily in Alcohol Concern and the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS), have lifted this template straight from the success of the anti-smoking psychos. They will have a tougher job with alcohol as more like a drink than don't, but they'll keep dripping the untruths and misdirection until the gullible majority in society take it at face value. They have been working at this for a long time too, they have unlimited patience, and will be encouraged every time they see articles like that of Comrade Beeb.
Cast your mind back even as recently as 4 or 5 years ago and the idea of smoking being banned in pubs and clubs was inconceivable. Now, someone lighting up in a building where none had batted an eyelid before, is treated as if they have just released a canister of Sarin gas.
Comments to the BBC story tend to be of the 'fuck 'em, I'm glugging a nice bottle of Chenin Blanc as I stick two fingers up' variety at the moment, but believe me, now is the time to make yourself heard as this could potentially escalate very quickly. If you don't fancy the idea of a smart card registering your weekly units, after which you will be denied purchasing that bottle of wine or can of 1664 until the following Monday, get angry about it now, not just mildly irritated and dismissive of the threat. Think I'm being alarmist? Well, maybe, but perhaps it's better to make damn sure the environment is never allowed to arise in the first place. Remember, smokers have been through all this before.
Look at the similarity in approach:
1) Form a fake charity - ASH was formed in 1975, Alcohol Concern in 1985. Both enjoy charitable status without garnering serious donations from anybody at all.
2) Decide on a scare that could fool politicians into prohibition - ASH famously worked out their lie in the 70s, when a British GP announced at an ASH conference "the way forward is to foster the impression that smoking not only harms smokers, but those around them".
The temperance movement have spotted this tactic and are desperately trying to figure out how to achieve the same effect,
EU experts agreed that the strategy needed to show more clearly the facts concerning harm on third parties (both social and health), including children and other family members of persons with alcohol-related problems. Experts said that there, for information and pedagogic reasons, was a need for a good phrase to explain what we mean by third-party harm in the alcohol field.
By October 2004, the theme was established in a Eurocare submission to the Commission. ‘Alcohol not only harms the user, but those surrounding the user, including the unborn child, children, family members, and the sufferers of crime, violence and drink-driving accidents: this can be termed environmental alcohol damage or “passive drinking”.’
3) On the back of junk science, nobble the opposing industry with advertising bans - Tobacco advertising completely banned, alcohol advertising is subject to very strict rules ... so far.
4) Create a junk science reason for launching the scare - the anti-smoking industry have spent billions of dollars over the years to 'prove' that passive smoking is dangerous. They have failed in terms of risk ratios but the science is so intricate that they haven't needed to prove that much. Just a few lurid headlines and the job is done. The basic flaw isn't investigated and the lie holds water.
The anti-alcohol lobby have just repeated ad nauseam the unitary limits as if they are scientifically merited, which as the Devil correctly pointed out, they are not. Government now make policy based on fabricated figures and the public is having these numbers rammed down their throats. As the BBC article perfectly illustrates.
5) Embed the junk science firmly in the minds of the sheep - ASH use terminology such as "the debate is over", "the evidence is overwhelming", and accuse those who disagree of being flat-earthers or tobacco shills.
Alcohol control has reached this stage now and articles such as Comrade Beeb's are part of the process. As is this from The Times last year which contains a hint that the healthists are, indeed, following the template religiously.
The figures will be used by the Government to target middle-class wine drinkers and to make drunkenness as socially unacceptable as smoking.
The research, by the North West Public Health Observatory, concludes that just 22 units per week will push a man into the “hazardous” category, while women need to drink just 15 units.
Long-term problems from persistent heavy drinking include liver disease, circulatory diseases, cancer, brain damage. stomach irritation and skin and hair damage. Short-term problems include accidents and drink-related assaults.
6) Link the junk science with the scare, and push for legislation - ASH achieved this successfully, thanks to a pliable and, quite frankly, stupid Labour Government, and are now onto stage 7.
7) Eliminate all opposition by way of intimidation, humiliation and shame to avoid the cyclical nature of prohibition of both alcohol and tobacco throughout history - the first smoker ban was 400 years ago. The US had prohibition in the 1930s. The bansturbators know there could still be repeals of certain aspects of their laws, so they keep pushing. See TICAP conference cancellation, and also, this.
Avril Doyle, head of the Irish faction within the centre-right European People's Party (EPP), on Tuesday told a Brussels conference on how to prevent the tobacco industry from lobbying EU politicians that she wants cigarettes and cigars illegal in Europe by 2025.
Too many smokers and tolerant non-smokers spoke up too late to thwart anti-tobacco, not just in this country, but worldwide. The Drinkers Alliance is a good start against the temperance movement, but remember that those who wish to see your life changed for the worse are on step 3 & 4. After the smoking ban had been installed, protest has been vigorous, but the common reply from MPs is that "I didn't receive any letters prior to the ban", as justification of its merit.
If you believe that the market should dictate beer, wine and spirits prices and not Government; plus if wish to protect your right to buy alcohol when you choose and not when the Government dictates, the time to start writing letters is now. You may well regret it later if you don't.
No-one else will do it, CAMRA and the British Beer and Pub Association, for example, will probably roll over and play dead again.