I once engaged in online debate with an arrogant, self-serving beardy from CAMRA (yes, he did have a beard, seriously). Having mentioned that his smug defence of the smoking ban might come back to haunt his particular vice at some point in the future, he replied with words to the effect of "most of the public like a drink, so that will never happen".Of course, there is now no debate whatsoever in beer-loving circles that their 'vice' is firmly in the bansturbatory cross hair. Despite being soft-soaped by the odd MP, no tangible help has yet been offered to the pub trade, and the rate of increased taxation in the past two years hasn't been matched since the end of WWII.
The pressure on the off-trade is even more intense. It's not so much if something will be done, as when, and how severe the measure should be. Cameron's widely reported comments confirmed as much yesterday.
David Cameron has signalled his support for councils that want to ban shops and bars from selling cheap alcohol.So that's settled, then. Alcohol has been established as the next 'unhealthy' habit to be denormalised.
The Prime Minister said plans to introduce a minimum price per unit of 50p in Manchester would be looked at ‘very sympathetically’.
We did warn them.
But hold up. What's this I see coming up very swiftly on the rails?
Fast food outlets should consider handing out cholesterol-lowering drugs to combat the effects of fatty food, say UK researchers.Crikey! There is a real race materialising as to which set of people are to be dubbed the new pariahs now smokers have been awarded untermensch status.
Taking a statin pill every day would offset the harm caused by a daily cheeseburger and milkshake, the Imperial College London team said.
On the one hand we have the global war on alcohol and passive drinking, on the other there is the death and destruction of fatty foods and passive obesity.
A right tussle, eh?
So who is the more threatened? Well, for that we only have to look across the Atlantic seeing as all such guff, which we always end up emulating, originates there. As I touched on yesterday, the assault on fast food is much further advanced than here.
Happy Meals May Be Banned By San FranciscoThe choices of the public - and the rights of businesses - are no longer of concern in the US. Only the state knows what is good for their people ... in the land of the free.
This legislation is aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and to address issues related to childhood obesity. Fast food restaurants target children and youth by offering toys and other incentive items. The Healthy Meal Incentive legislation would encourage restaurants to provide healthier meal options. To provide an incentive item, meals must contain fruits and vegetables, not exceed 600 calories or 200 calories for a single food item and must not have beverages that have excessive fat or sugar.
Fast food ahead by a length, then.
Well, perhaps not, as this light-hearted look at overweening alcohol regulations in Virginia illustrates.
Neck and neck. And both drinkers and fast food fans should be very worried.
There is though - would you believe it? - a third challenger for the prize of new pariah status.
[...] abolishing free school milk will cause children to turn to high-sugar soft drinksWe're not talking purely processed drinks here, you know.
Hungry children leaving childcare and returning home in a culture where milk is seen as "less important" are likely to be given fruit-based drinks, perceived and marketed as "healthy alternatives", but these can damage teeth (with or without sugar in them), offer few other nutrients and will habituate children to sweet-tasting drinks
Compared with soda, juice carries more calories and as much sugar. There's also evidence that high consumption increases the risk of obesity, especially among kids.Yep. They really do mean the stuff that nature puts on trees for us.
The inconvenient truth, many experts say, is that 100% fruit juice poses the same obesity-related health risks as Coke, Pepsi and other widely vilified beverages.
In your future, only milk and water will be approved drinks to accompany your pine nuts and Quorn burger.
Unless you don't smoke, don't eat fast food, don't drink alcohol, fizzy drinks or juice, the righteous are after you.
The only debate left is which will be subjected to state denormalisation in the UK first. Ladbrokes could run a book ... but then, considering they are also peddling a vice according to the righteous, they'd probably be better off keeping their heads down, doncha think?
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
You can't pick and choose which liberties you wish to keep, and which are OK to be stamped on. Bending an inch to these people just boosts their power and leads, eventually, to something being attacked which you hold dear.Will there ever come a day when our bovine public begin to understand this?