Some talk of the ‘liberal establishment’ but the distinction is no longer worth making. These groups (e.g. Alcohol Concern, CASH, NICE), and others like them, ARE the establishment. Anyone who has been in local government or worked in the public sector will recognise the same attitude time and again; we know what’s best, you aren't living your life in the correct way and we will use taxpayer cash to ‘encourage’ you in the right direction. Challenge them about it and they don’t understand why anyone would disagree.
The establishment mindset is that as long as intentions are good, actual outcomes don’t matter so much. It’s a mindset that demands conformity and punishes those who hold opposing views. The tragedy is some of those good intentions are really worth having – tolerance, openness, diversity. But often these concepts become tainted by the state’s involvement.He's not wrong, you know.
The above paragraphs were written last week as part of a piece on minimum alcohol pricing but, as if to confirm precisely what Rogers was saying, the Irish government has today given us a perfect example of this anti-social state mindset.
SCOTTISH ministers have received strong support from the Irish Government in their battle with Brussels to avoid having minimum unit pricing of alcohol declared in breach of EU rules.
Dr James Reilly, the Irish health minister, backed Scotland's position, saying: "I wish to express my full support for the Scottish proposals on minimum unit pricing of alcohol.
"This is an important policy measure to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol, and in this regard, the Irish Department of Health is preparing proposals for similar legislation in Ireland. The introduction of a regime of minimum unit pricing per gram of alcohol was one of the main recommendations of a published report on alcohol earlier this year."Minimum alcohol pricing is deeply unpopular, devoid of any credible evidence whatsoever, and is deliberately designed to hurt the least well off in society. Three key elements which should have seen this policy die a death a long time ago.
If you were tasked with explaining democracy to an alien from the planet Klung - you know, about how politicians are elected to act on the wishes of the public - he would point to minimum alcohol pricing and laugh his over-sized, pear-shaped green head off. Yet here we see governments ganging up to impose it against public will and all measures of common sense.
There are now two distinct sets of people in society; those who go about their daily lives doing normal things; and politicians and other state employees who have kidded themselves into thinking they are zoo keepers for the human race. If you complain, they just throw a bucket of bullshit at you and carry on regardless.
There's going to be a run on piano wire if these jumped-up servants (yes, servants!) don't start remembering that they're paid by the very same people they seem determined to marginalise, and that their first and only concern is to listen to the public - not vested interest fake charities and NGOs - and do as they're fucking told.