Sunday, 15 July 2012

Another Sunday, Another Department Of Health Stitch-Up

I suppose it wouldn't be Sunday without some form prohibitionist effluence being thrown in our general direction to ruin the relaxation, and it wouldn't be the prohibition industry if they weren't still sticking to their tobacco template.
The alcohol industry is in the "last chance saloon" and should face heavier regulation if it does not take action to discourage dangerous drinking, a report by MPs will warn.
Is that a threat? Of course it is. Exactly the same threat used by the tobacco control industry in 2007. "Do everything we demand, or we'll come at you with the might of taxpayer funds poor saps unknowingly gave to us for the purpose".

Despite foolishly playing the appeasement game, the drinks industry have patently failed to halt the production lines, sack their entire staff, close up shop and hand the keys to Barratt so they can build affordable homes on the land.

Nothing short of this was ever going to be acceptable to unproductive, tax-leeching career nags - you know, the type whose BMW 5 series has a sticker in the back window saying "my other car is a broom" - because, you see, they're the ones 'advising' MPs with a such a sorry grasp of reality that they believe someone whose bank balance depends on ever increasing regulation.

There are some corkers in the Telegraph article, and it starts from para 2 with the biggest lie sold to the public in recent years.
MPs will say that a "Responsibility Deal" agreed between the Coalition and the food and drink industry has not curbed the excesses of the industry, which has done little to reduce discounted drinking which means beer can be bought more cheaply than water.
See links above for why this is quite demonstrably untrue on a plethora of different levels, but still it gets trotted out.

If this is the kind of casual lying the state is happy to indulge in for consumer goods with which the public is very familiar, the mind boggles as to the huge whoppers they must be telling us daily on matters which are more complicated. On this evidence, there is - quite simply - nothing at all we should believe from anyone who has anything to do with Westminster. Not a word. If government tell you that it's Tuesday, check the calendar. And if that still tells you it's Tuesday, take the calendar back to the shop and ask for a refund as you've been sold a shoddy rip-off from Hong Kong.

Remember the alcohol cheaper than water lie, by the way, because it will be relevant later on.
The Commons health select committee is expected to call for a statutory price limit for alcohol, at between 40 pence and 50 pence a unit.
Because they're fucking idiots and they hate the poor. It's all too predictable, isn't it?
The inquiry is expected to call for major changes to tackle Britain's culture of binge drinking, and to persuade those who regularly drink more than recommended limits to cut down.
By 'cut down', they mean stop entirely and go teetotal. Because, as Snowdon points out today yet again, the limits are quite ludicrous.
"Binge drinking" is defined as having more than 6 units for a woman and more than 8 units for a man on one or more occasions in a week, ie. four or more average drinks in an evening would do the trick for both genders. That is not "binge drinking", that is "drinking".
Or, for a wider weekly view, here's my take on it from 2010.
General Household Survey data from 2006 show that 31 per cent. of men are drinking hazardously, consuming more than 21 units per week
So, drink more than 8 cans of Stella per week, for example, and you must be tackled. You're hazardous.
With such paltry 'limits', set by government's temperance pals remember, there will never be a time when you are behaving as the government wishes you to. This hectoring will end only when the four horsemen come galloping up to claim your soul for eternity. Even then, the BMA's Vivienne Nathanson will probably still be wagging her finger as they sweep her up and throw her into the abyss.
During hearings, MPs were sceptical about examples given by the drinks industry of progress made since the deal, such as plans by one company to reduce the strength of a premium lager by 0.2 per cent.

MPs said a person would need to drink 25 pints before the change made any impact to the number of units that they drank.
This is by far the most baffling stanza in the whole piece. 25 pints? Why 25 pints? However much I play around with this, there is no reference point, they may as well say reducing by 0.2% won't do anything to help paint Emperor penguins blue by 2015.

And if we are fiddling around with small amounts of alcohol and playing the dick-waggling game, why does this belong in the same article as one which pumps out the old lie of getting drunk on lager which is cheaper than water?
Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted something about the own-brand lager—it is piss-weak (2% ABV). Frankly, you might as well drink the water. 4 cans of this stuff equates to about a can and a half of Stella. Hardly enough to get "drunk for £1"
These hideous freaks work exclusively on canards. While we have Sarah Wollaston lying about the cost to moderate drinkers of minimum pricing - which is only apparently £12 per year but will save over 2,000 deaths - small margins the other way are dismissed as useless.

No. The only response to a non-existent problem is whatever government have paid their stooges for, coupled with a steady withdrawal of alcohol companies from the UK market.

There is, after all, no safe level of alcohol consumption and, as such, someday the government will have to declare that the drinks industry is not welcome.

Perhaps some dangerously hypnotised fuckwit might term it something like this.
"We don't want to work in partnership with the drinks companies because we are trying to arrive at a point where they have no business in this country,"
Still, we're not at that point just yet. Because, you see, there is no precedent for ridiculous hysteria in one area to seep into another. We know this thanks to those fine, upstanding, honest people in the tobacco control industry.
The “domino theory” i.e. that once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products is patently false. The same argument was used against the ban on tobacco advertising, but 9 years after the tobacco ban in the UK, alcohol advertising is still permitted with no sign of it being prohibited."
Deborah Arnott said that in February, and she's "an 'expert', Dave". So this part of today's article is quite obviously a fabrication.
In evidence submitted to the inquiry, 30 leading medical bodies and charities also called for a total ban on advertising for alcohol on television.

The groups said Britain's "alcohol problem" has become so entrenched that drastic action – which would also include an end to sponsorship of sporting events – is required to protect children and teenagers.
Worry not, though. Just let them have that, and minimum pricing, and early morning restriction orders, and late night levies, and pubs shutting at 10pm, and graphic warnings on alcohol, and plain packaging, and they might, just might shut up and allow us a relaxing beer of a weekend.



moonrakin said...

Bexley Councillors - that it all

woodsy42 said...

Don't worry DP, I'm sure you will be allowed your weekend beer. Provided of course you only have one and don't care what sort because it's in a plain bottle and you don't intend to drive home afterwards.
I think you will find that the recommended limits are set at approximately the level that allows a mild warm glow but avoids getting actually drunk - ie you can drink but not enough to have fun!

Jax said...

What I don’t quite understand is why they are batting on about “minimum pricing” rather than simply hiking up the duty like they did with tobacco.  After all, that worked a treat, didn’t it?  Well, it did for the Exchequer, who now can’t do without the money - hence one reason why, since the ban, every entreaty by the anti-smoking industry for the kind of publicity they enjoyed in their heyday has been, it seems, pretty studiously ignored.  Just like, ironically, the protests of smokers before the ban were equally brushed aside as irrelevant scaremongering.
But I digress.  Who would actually benefit from this “minimum pricing?”  If it’s as it’s said, then it would, ultimately be “the enemy” – the wicked drinks companies – who would benefit, or at least their equally evil middlemen, the retailers.  Or would anything which “bumped up” the price to the “minimum” go straight to the Guv’t, thus making it a stealth tax/duty hike in all but name?  And if so why are they bothering to give it this different name?  Are they just worried that calling it as it is – a “sin tax” – is just too similar to what’s happened to tobacco that they’re afraid that the hoi polloi (most of whom still haven’t made the connection) may well just rumble the whole “identical template where only the names have been changed” scenario?
Or is it really, truly “minimum pricing” because the Guv’t still, actually, believe that the sharp demise of the pub industry since 2007 is due to the much-quoted “cheap supermarket alcohol?”  You know, the stuff that’s been around since about the mid-1980s or thereabouts?  Have they truly now started to believe their own made-up rhetoric?

It's tempting to believe that somehow, through some means or another, the extra money raised will end up in the Guv't's pockets, but I'd be interested to know for certain, if anyone knows how they are proposing the whole thing will work, financially.  Who, in essence, will get the "extra?"

Edgar said...

There is no safe level of State Interference. Let them tumbrils roll! 10-4.

Tom said...

"Despite foolishly playing the appeasement game, the drinks industry have patently failed to halt the production lines, sack their entire staff, close up shop and hand the keys to Barratt so they can build affordable homes on the land."

This is another thing I wonder sometime - but in addition to the financial gain and individual profiteering within for the likes of fake-charities, quangoes, bureaucrats, fake-health experts and officials, drug companies, some others - in regard to first the smoking ban and related bans since then, now on to the drinks and ultimately to kill the pubs industry entirely, or as much as possible - that some of this might be driven in the backroom by deals being struck by power brokers in the housing, construction, rental, real estate sales and development and similar type industries, none of which have anything to do related to smoking, drinking or eating industries, but do have everything to gain if they can put as much out of business as possible, then reclaim the abandoned properties for pennies on the dollar. I mean if you look at just two examples in the US, of politicians who have amassed great fortunes in real estate and have thrown many development and ownership deals their way and to that of their friends, then you find both Pelosi and Feinstein, both from San Francisco, California, USA, who are up to their necks deep in corrupt shady back-room dealing in regard to anything related to real estate in particular. So maybe there is an additional player in this arena of banning things in order to destroy other industries and create abandoned properties, cheap for the taking. Maybe it is the real estate construction, development, sales and rental industry and those related to it who are also in the backroom deals, in cahoots with politicians also holding vast wealth in real estate and who all know how greatly they will benefit simply by destroying entire industries and making properties available for gentrification, for which they all personally financially benefit.

truckerlyn said...

Ha!  I read in a paper at the weekend, I think it was the Daily Mail (Sat) or the Mail on Sunday, that a raid found a large stash of illicit booze, mostly Vodka!

So, the illicit trade is well underway even BEFORE these measures are passed and when they bring in the plain packaging as well then we will all probably be drinking illicit (and probably truly harmful booze) from these sources, as who know what businesses will end up with it on their shelves!

Another great success for the bansterbaters and our ever more pathetic government!

John Gray said...

Anyone seen the BBC series Cavaliers and Roundheads - Which One Are You?
One of the conclusions of the programme was that although festivals such as Christmas are thoroughly Cavalier (the Roundheads banned Christmas),
generally speaking, to-day, we are in the throws of Roundhead Britain once more - where lots of things we enjoy are being banned or restricted for our own moral good by upstanding people who know what is best for us.

Generally speaking, I would say that this is definitely a philosophy of the left where the old influences of Christian socialism and moral prudence coupled with certain austere and misery generating nonconformist Cromwellian values are strongest.

These values have been largely framed in a PC context, so much so, in fact, that do-gooders of the less reflective variety, swallow them hook line and sinker.

truckerlyn said...

One other thing, if the flavour of alcohol as well as the strength goes the same that the flavour and strength of cigs seems to have done, people will be drinking more!  I know I now smoke nearly twice what I used to.

On holiday, earlier this year I bought some Winston - I really used to enjoy them, but found, to my dismay, there was virtually no flavour.  Next day I bought some Marlborough and found the same thing.  I mixed both the Winston and Marlborough in the same pack as the cheaper cigs we tend to buy in bulk and neither myself, not my husband could tell which brand we were smoking!

One night, earlier this month I stopped on the motorway, desparate for a cig that had some flavour.  The strongest (highest nicotine content) cigs they had were JPS Black at nearly £8 a pack.  Still, I bought a pack and still couldn't taste any difference.  I lit and gave one to my husband, without him knowing it was different to what we usually smoke .  There was no comment, so I asked if he tasted any difference, at which point he looked at the cig to see the brand and said, No, he wouldn't have known it was any different to what we buy abroad!

May have to take and pay for an extra suitcase on our next trip abroad, at this rate!