Friday, 22 November 2013

Prohibitionist Fantasies

Snowdon has been feasting himself by debunking some of the shameless lies being promoted by anti-booze types during 'Alcohol Awareness Week'. You might like to read about the most recent here, here and here.

Yesterday, though, saw an uptick in bullshit from the temperance lobby, with a succession of astounding nonsense at their hashtag #TackleAlcoholHarms, tweeted directly from some conference or other packed with people paid out of your taxes. They are set for more fantasy claims today before knocking off at 2:30pm to celebrate raucously with a lemon grass and durian smoothie, I expect.

I was particularly intrigued with this tweet, though, and was educated by Mudgie as to how it was disastrously gullible.

You see, we have undisputed and government-trusted figures about this from the BBPA. Here is what they look like.

Now, that doesn't look like a 'dramatic' rise in off-trade sales to me. It more suggests that beer consumption is in general decline, which kinda trashes the 'booze epidemic' mantra. The one thing we can tell conclusively is that there is no "up dramatically" about any of the lines there.

Ok, so maybe wine and spirits sales are taking up the slack? Not noticeably, no.
Wine & Spirit Sales continue to fall as year on year tax rises hit consumers 
Off Trade
- Total volume sales have continued to slide, down 3% annually and 4% over the latest 12 weeks.
In fact, sales of wines and spirits have been flat for some time now, as these graphics show quite clearly.

Yes, these data are provided by trade organisations. But even if we ignore the fact that government trusts these sources and that it would be in the best interests of private industry to talk up their successes to assuage shareholders instead of highlighting declines, who do you trust more? Tax-funded lobbyists whose income relies on pretending there is a "dramatic" rise in home consumption, or trade bodies for companies beholden to shareholders and financial regulators to provide accurate information?

And then there is this, which is not a slippery slope and therefore patently false.
They're not even hiding it any more.


SteveW said...

Detestable, dishonest spongers one and all.
Still awaiting this bonfire of the quangos, removal of government funding for any lobbying groups. I'm a patient man, but probably not patient enough to see that.

nisakiman said...

to celebrate raucously with a lemon grass and durian smoothie

Hmmm, sounds interesting. They'd need to wear a clothes peg on their noses, though. In Thailand (where durian is a popular fruit), most if not all airlines and bus companies expressly forbid carrying an opened durian, the stench is so bad.

It took 50yrs to reduce the harm from smoking - hopefully alcohol won't take that long !

It never ceases to amaze me how these people actually believe that they have the right to impose their personal moral code on everybody else. Where did they get that idea from?

Well, they can fuck off. I fully intend to carry on in the way we traditionally have, as exemplified by royalty, no less!

Restoration Mk2 said...

Bleeding heart ,soothsaying,breastbeating,interfering,Puritanical,
Calvinistic,joykilling,wearisome,tiresome ,self opinionated Witches and Shamans have plagued the human family since time began.
Their inflicted misery was never removed by words ,spoken,written or Tweeted.Their gangerine does not respond to gentle words or whispering keyboards,they shiver and flee when they face a nagging fear of resistance which has no rule book,no protocols,no nice guys.
Restoration Mark II

Talwin said...

Temp. Sgt Mick Urwin, with his apparent down on both fags and booze, really is a classic example of the worst type of modern puritan: he must be a whiz to be with on a night out.

I don't do the Twitter thing, but I had a look at his 'home' page, and see that although he tries to impress by giving himself a professional title and, therefore, perhaps, some credibility, temp. sgt. is not exactly close to the peak of police hierarchy. He also tells us that his "opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect that of Durham Constabulary". In which case he should keep them to himself.


nisakiman said...

Oh, he's in the police, is he? I didn't follow the link, and I just sort of assumed that he was a Sgt. in the Salvation Army, with the 'Temp' being short for 'temperance'.

So, he's a temporary (assuming that's what the 'temp' is short for) Sgt in the police. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his talents, eh?. Lucky old Durham. Bet he's a barrel of laughs if he nicks you for D&D.

PCUCAMP said...

Our group focuses on ending the prohibition of marijuana. I know Libertarians also support this issue. I wanted to say that even though many in the marijuana legalization sector often point out that pot is far safer than cigarettes and alcohol, we at PCUCAMP fully support the freedom of choice for BOTH cigarettes and alcohol. These groups you folks are talking about in this discussion thread are, as steveW says "Detestable". The same type of groups are organized at a much higher level spreading disinformation about marijuana. Prohibition is just plain wrong and results in multitudes of damage against both citizen, the economy, our entrepreneurs. Just saying, I identify with all you have said here.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

You're correct that I - at least - am fully behind ending prohibition of marijuana, some noises out of the US, Mexico, Uruguay etc are very encouraging. I expect any true libertarian would say the same.

Freedom of choice should be a powerful argument in any sphere, so it's very sad that politicians either don't believe in it, or have been mesmerised by lies and disinformation like that quoted above. It's heartening to hear that your group supports that for all of us and - therefore - firmly on the side of the angels. :)