Monday, 11 August 2014

Alcohol Warnings, Dominoes And Puppet Politicians

May I remind you - as if you'd ever forget - of this classic piece of comedy from Deborah Arnott in February 2012?
[T]he “domino theory” i.e. that once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products is patently false.
So today's big story about tobacco-style health warnings being rolled out for alcohol - enthusiastically supported by the BBC as always - is perhaps just a mirage, I dunno.
Health warnings on alcoholic drinks should be introduced to combat problem drinking, a parliamentary group says. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse said labels should warn about the harmful effects of drinking.
What a revolutionary idea! I wonder where they got their inspiration from, huh?

As usual, the public seem to have completely misunderstood the motivation behind the temperance lobby's latest wheeze, a mistake repeated often in the most recommended comments under the line at the Beeb article. This is a perfect example.
47. Old Father Thames
Warnings about something everyone knows is dangerous when consumed in excess will not solve the problem of problem drinking. 
It would be more constructive to look at the reasons people turn to booze? 
Breakdown of families, lack of job security, no sense of community, no support networks to help people when they need most need it eg soldiers leaving the army, prisoners being released etc
Health warnings on tobacco were not intended to target problem smoking - they were designed to stop you smoking altogether. Why, then, would these measures be any different? Liberty and freedom of choice as concepts haven't been prime considerations when formulating policy for a long time now so - as Snowdon notes today - the intention is not to target problem drinkers, but to denormalise all drinking, however benign.
As with cigarette warnings, the intention is not to provide information (information which is, in any case, widely known) but to deter purchase. As with cigarette warnings, the aim is to demonise the product and stigmatise the user.
Indeed. It really is very important to understand this, but I don't think the penny has even dropped with some MPs yet so what chance the public at large?

Are politicians really so stupid that they can't tell the difference? Or, as UKIP has highlighted in a press release earlier, is it just something ordered by their puppeteers in Brussels?
These plans go against the grain of a freedom loving country, so it is worth trying to find out where they come from. It will not surprise any student of recent British legislation that the European Commission has, this year, published a study into alcohol labelling, it says, 
"The possible means to increase the proportion of beverage labels including health related messages should therefore be explored; legal requirements for messages on alcoholic beverages are the ultimate means of doing this" (page 7 here - DP)
The EU report was written in January and the APPG has duly fallen into line by delivering the very same demands this morning. How ironic, then, that the Chair of the APPG and chief spokesperson across the media today has been Conservative MP Tracey Crouch ... apparently a eurosceptic!

That tough new stance on stifling EU bureaucracy is going well, isn't it Dave?

Even more interesting is the authorship of the APPG 'manifesto'. Exactly as is the case with the APPG on smoking which is administered by government sock puppet ASH, the secretariat for the APPG on alcohol misuse is Alcohol Concern.
This report was researched by Alcohol Concern in their APPG secretariat role. The APPG secretariat and the printing costs for this report are financially supported by Lundbeck Ltd.
And who are Lundbeck Ltd, you ask? Why, they're a pharmaceutical company which also paid for Alcohol Concern's alcohol harm map, and Alcohol Concern's report on 'The case for better access to treatment for alcohol dependence'. Oh yeah, and they sell alcohol dependency drugs in the UK and all over Europe, but I'm sure that's just coincidence.

Or maybe not.
[The APPG] also recommend a national public awareness campaign on alcohol-related issues, training for social workers, midwives and healthcare professionals and to make alcohol treatment available to 15% of problem drinkers compared with 6% currently.
Kerching!

We've seen it all before, haven't we? A campaign for denormalisation measures which no-one has asked for; professional sock puppet lobbyists pulling the strings of MPs; politicians then saying something should be done which just happens to coincide with what an unelected supranational organisation demands; and all lobbied for by Big Pharma who profit from the restriction of freely chosen liberties.

Just about the only vested interest which doesn't get a look in - yet again - is us, the poor saps who have our wages looted to pay the salaries of people who simply can't shut their traps and allow us to bloody live as we choose!


27 comments:

Xopher said...

I must learn from these people - They know they are clever and their underlings are thick. Effing insulting arrogance.

nisakiman said...

Heh! Another gem, DP!

Yes, Chris Snowdon nailed it in his last post when he pointed out that "...the aim is to demonise the product and stigmatise the user."

I had no idea about the involvement of 'Lundbeck Ltd', but the inclusion of them into the equation certainly clarifies the situation. As they say "Just follow the money".

I do find myself wondering sometimes why these people in Brussels and Westminster are so all-fired keen to restrict our choices. It does seem to be a northern European thing, as here where I live, there is no appetite for petty regulations about smoke and booze at all. Having said that, moving across the globe to Thailand, they are going through the same motions re warning labels on alcohol at the moment. http://thainews.prd.go.th/centerweb/NewsEN/NewsDetail?NT01_NewsID=WNSOC5708110010003 (Having a Thai wife and spending quite a lot of time there, I tend to try to stay on top of current Thai politics and legislation).

There's a thread about it on 'ThaiVisa', a forum where I comment fairly often. This was my reaction to the story.

I get so tired of this seemingly endless procession of interfering busybodies who for some bizarre reason seem to think that what I choose to do with my life is somehow within their remit to regulate! The arrogance is breathtaking!

Geoff Cliff said...

I think we see here the overarching umbrella of the EU (the Fourth Reich) dictatorship. Certainly we can recognise the methodology at work; Josef Goebbels would be so very proud - if he hadn't died as the direct result of his attempts to impose it in Nazi Germany. Maybe the current lot will be stopped before it goes too far again!

westcoast2 said...

The World Health Assembly agreed a strategy in 2010:
Global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol
(http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/activities/gsrhua/en/)

The global network of WHO national counterparts for implementation of the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol produced a report in May 2014:
Global status report on alcohol and health 2014
(http://who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/en/)

There are earlier reports and strategies on Tobacco, Alcohol and fast foods from the WHO. These were distributed and implemented through regional, national and local organisations.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Quality response on the Thai forum.

"I get so tired of this seemingly endless procession of interfering busybodies who for some bizarre reason seem to think that what I choose to do with my life is somehow within their remit to regulate!"



As I've said before, we are a global nation of curtain-twitching Mary Whitehouses now. You're unusual if you aren't a self-important, intolerant, interfering maggot.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

But, but Debs said that ...

"Tobacco is a uniquely dangerous consumer product which is why there is a WHO health treaty (the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) to regulate tobacco use."

... which suggests the WHO wouldn't do the same with alcohol! And she wouldn't lie, now would she? ;)

Junican said...

I was going to say the same as westcoast, but I'm glad that I waited because I did not have the links. I suspect that a 'Framework Convention on Alcohol Control' has already been written, but has had to be put on the back-burner for the time being in view of the very slow progress with tobacco control. Remember that the world was supposed to be 'tobacco free' by the year 2020.

But there are even greater problems that tobacco control is facing. Many of the signatories to the Tobacco Convention have not paid their subscriptions at all (but they are the minor nations with tiny contributions). However, more and more nations are in arrears. Only stupid cunts like Cameron are still paying promptly. The USA has not paid a penny. Frankly, I do not believe that Cameron, Clegg, or Miliband even know that the UK is paying hundreds of thousands of pounds per an to the Tobacco Convention Apparatus.
It is incredible.

Jax said...

Do you have a link to that info, Junican? I'd be fascinated to see it. I didn't realise that countries had to pay (and keep paying) towards the FCTC - I thought they just signed it and then kept doing just as it told them, like good little boys and girls ...

Jax said...

Call me churlish (or childish) if you will, but these days, with non-smoking boozers so utterly contemptuous of the warnings passed to them by smokers over the last few years that “they were next,” every time I hear that the tobacco template is being applied to them I smile inwardly and say silently, just to myself “told ya so!”

And of course, every “booze Britain” and “binge drinking town centre hooligan” and “alcohol-soaked teenagers” story that hits the headlines detracts the self-righteous, goody-two-shoes members of society away from us smokers. Hooray!

Bemused said...

Related. The MSM vote today overwhelmingly supported charging people admitted to A&E after binge drinking. Since a half a can of shandy or a teaspoonful of cough bottle now constitutes binge drinking many of these self righteous twats are going to get a shock in the not too distant future.

Zillatron said...

Actually, the USA are one of the few countries, who have NOT ratified this pamphlet of prohibition.

Michael J. McFadden said...

VERY nicely laid out Dick! :)

Just posted the following up to the Telegraph story, more about the moves toward general alcohol restrictions than just the labeling thing:

==

I just happened to run across the June 9th, 2013 Daily Mail with its near-full-front-page story, "Cancer Risk of Two Beers a Year." Some quotes from Professor Peter Anderson, of Newcastle University: “Alcohol is a carcinogen and I doubt that the alcohol industry would want to be caught out producing and selling a carcinogen without warning its consumer. ... We know cigarettes cause cancer, and cigarette packets carry warning labels that cigarettes cause cancer. ... Consumers surely deserve the same information on drink bottles."

I don't know how they decided there was a "safe level" of under two beers a year -- antismoking fanatics obsessed with the "no safe level" exposure theory of carcinogenesis might disagree. Once ethyl alcohol is accepted as a human carcinogen (the Group 1 classification it received from IARC's 11th Report on Cancer) *any* exposure not seen as "inherent and necessary" to an activity needs to be removed from public places and, most certainly, as a work requirement.

Yet today we still see many pubs forcing their workers to endure inhaling quite significant levels of alcohol vapor (up to 1 million micrograms emitted per drink per hour) as they serve life-sustaining food to hungry patrons. Those workers are forced to inhale them and coat their delicate mucous membranes with the condensate -- and mucous membrane cancers are those which appear most sensitive to alcohol.

Drinkers, don't despair. No one's talking about a ban on alcohol. You'll be perfectly free to take your drinks out behind the pub, in the back alleyway near the dumpster with the smokers, and enjoy a few quick chugs before rejoining the workers and your family indoors. Unfortunately there's no real way to regulate the excess acetaldehydes you'll be forcing down their throats upon your return.... at least not yet.

- MJM

truckerlyn said...

But not really surprising!

Hope springs eternal said...

So what now,will we see the boozers man the barricades of protest as did the
twinkle toed smokers manned their keyboards and muttered whispers of despair
Mayhem at The Commons,blockades on the M25,maybe a storming of theBBC
or Guardian,,,,,,,,,no chance ,,the weasel Publicans and their chicken livered customers will crawl into servile obedience and stooped mutation.
With memories of the real men who sailed for France in 1914 now blazing across the media, what would they think of these they died for,a generation of
cap doffers,cringeing mutants ,stunted budgies and invisible clicking parrots,
How much longer ,the silence,the cowardice,the lack of fortitude the dismal
surrender of the many ,too frightened to support the few who would stand up
those Englishmen through whose veins flows the blood of heroes rather than the urine of rodents.
Who,when and where ,these are the questions that need answers not eternal
soul sapping digital meandering.
Cheers

harleyrider1903 said...

NHS ban medicine if you are ‘too old’ in new attack on Britain’s elderly

FURY erupted last night after it emerged the elderly could be denied vital drugs…

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/460371/NHS-ban-medicine-if-you-are-too-old-in-new-attack-on-Britain-s-elderly

harleyrider1903 said...

The perceived success of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in influencing national and global public health policies has led to growing interest in promulgating new international legal instruments to address global health issues-including calls for a Framework Convention on Alcohol Control (FCAC).

harleyrider1903 said...

The perceived success of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in influencing national and global public health policies has led to growing interest in promulgating new international legal instruments to address global health issues-including calls for a Framework Convention on Alcohol Control (FCAC)..

Junican said...

I'm not sure, but I think that this may be the one:

http://apps.who.int/gb/fctc/PDF/cop5/FCTC_COP5_21Add1-en.pdf

Michael J McFadden said...

VERY nicely laid out Dick! :)

Just posted the following up to the Telegraph story, more about the moves toward general alcohol restrictions than just the labeling thing:

==

I just happened to run across the June 9th, 2013 Daily Mail with its near-full-front-page story, "Cancer Risk of Two Beers a Year." Some quotes from Professor Peter Anderson, of Newcastle University: “Alcohol is a carcinogen and I doubt that the alcohol industry would want to be caught out producing and selling a carcinogen without warning its consumer. ... We know cigarettes cause cancer, and cigarette packets carry warning labels that cigarettes cause cancer. ... Consumers surely deserve the same information on drink bottles."

I don't know how they decided there was a "safe level" of under two beers a year -- antismoking fanatics obsessed with the "no safe level" exposure theory of carcinogenesis might disagree. Once ethyl alcohol is accepted as a human carcinogen (the Group 1 classification it received from IARC's 11th Report on Cancer) *any* exposure not seen as "inherent and necessary" to an activity needs to be removed from public places and, most certainly, as a work requirement.

Yet today we still see many pubs forcing their workers to endure inhaling quite significant levels of alcohol vapor (up to 1 million micrograms emitted per drink per hour) as they serve life-sustaining food to hungry patrons. Those workers are forced to inhale them and coat their delicate mucous membranes with the condensate -- and mucous membrane cancers are those which appear most sensitive to alcohol.

Drinkers, don't despair. No one's talking about a ban on alcohol. You'll be perfectly free to take your drinks out behind the pub, in the back alleyway near the dumpster with the smokers, and enjoy a few quick chugs before rejoining the workers and your family indoors. Unfortunately there's no real way to regulate the excess acetaldehydes you'll be forcing down their throats upon your return.... at least not yet.

- MJM

Michael J. McFadden said...

There's a notable downside to mega-carriers like Disqus. There are several forms of censorship being practiced. The "Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by..." seems to be fairly new, and my guess is that it's engineered by some sort of "spam filter" at the Disqus (and perhaps Wordpress?) levels as an "aid" to individual board moderators. The problem is that some moderators either don't know enough to check their spam buckets OR, more likely, they're just too lazy to weed through the real spam and correct the mis-flagged spam.

I devoted an entire section of "TobakkoNacht" to the use of censorship against Free Choice advocates on smoking ban issues. An older, and even *nastier*, method is (was?) used by TOPIX news: it's called "Shadow Banning." If your posts are Shadow Banned you might never notice it. When you log in under your own IP you'll see your post sitting there all nice 'n purty lookin' ... but NO ONE ELSE will be able to see it or even know a censored post existed. (Actually, you can get a hint of the censorship in TOPIX by looking at some of their smoking discussions and noting the numbers of the posts versus the total "number of posts" listed at the top. Look at the post numbers and you'll see them "skip" (i.e. the numbers might go like this: 71, 72, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, etc)

If you have jumped into an active discussion someplace and you find that suddenly no one seems to be answering you or making reference to any of your points or information -- you've probably been shadow-banned. Sign on with a new IP from AOL or somesuch, and maybe wipe out your cookies, and you'll find you've been turned into a "non-person." It's a very scary form of censorship because a good number of people are probably spending significant amounts of their time and effort trying to spread "unpopular" or "unapproved" sorts of information and are simply never even aware that they're being censored.

Meanwhile, check out the sort of hate comments that ARE allowed through on boards:

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/08/10/disgrace-anger-flares-as-town-drops-kennedy-for-obama-on-community-center-marquee-137747

- MJM

theprog said...

I'm I going mad? I could swear I saw two comments by MJM on here earlier today.... about Disqus hiding comments from all but the author.

harleyrider1903 said...

The entire anti-smoking agenda from the WHO FCTC treaty forced down every countries throats has been a SHAM built upon JUNK SCIENCE,JUNK CLAIMS OF HARM where no study can produce any harm to anyone from either direct smoking or even second hand smoke much less the THird Hand smoke junk science claims now being pushed around like the plague!

We all know the bans are nothing but denormalization tactics against the FREE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD. Its not just smokers but every human being being forced to live by the new LIFESTYLE LAWS being forced upon us all. Its why we voted UKIP who has promised to deliver us all from the clutches of the Pharoahs and Hitlers who enslave us to their whims of self righteous living. Stealing are money thru punitive taxation as we slave each day to find a days work to put even unhealthy foods in our stomachs. We have the NHS refusing to treat us if we smoke,or if we are fat or if or if or if……………It never ends the Nannying Tyrants of this world as they take us all to task to live as plebes and Serfs to the country in which we live but all under the Auspices of the UNITED NATIONS and the EU politicos that should be strung from a Nuremberg Galows as Hitlers henchmen were done to. WE ARE FREE PEOPLE NOT SLAVES TO THE STATE NOR TO THEIR SOCK PUPPET TAX PAYER PAID FRONT GROUPS LIKE ASH et al……..

Is it to say to arms to arms or to say to the polls and vote these dirty rats out that condemn us to live as rats in a gutter to their whims!

ARE WE NOT FREEMEN

ARE WENOT FREE WOMEN

ARE WE NOT FREE TO DECIDE OUR OWN FATES AND LIFESTYLES ANSWERING TO NO PERSON OR DESPOT!

We are FREE and we are not owned by anyone and its high time we took to the streets and took back the UK we knew a free and individual personage of choise and liberty!

To the streets Lads and Ladies WE HAVE HAD ENUF!

harleyrider1903 said...

Zill they don't have too they are the ones who wrote the GD thing for the most part. If we can kill the movement in the states like it appears is happening then it ends worldwide!

harleyrider1903 said...

You will find the bastarrds no matter the cause will try and tie in financing for themselves for eternity if they can get away with it. Without funds and daily doses of propaganda the bans die a quick death. They have to constantly keep up the scare campaign to keep it alive.
But even that has its consequences as the claims get more insane with every breath and NOBODY BELIEVES THEM ANY LONGER and then even the politicians begin to shy away and even come out against them as the voters get pissed and march in the streets.
Nannyism cannot long live when free people stand up and fight back as we all have done!

harleyrider1903 said...

Right now the political antics over the bans is becoming fever pitch act quickly hit every news story available dump on them castigate them neuter them and get letters out to editors everywhere and show the politiicians the people are sick of it all!
We can win the nannys are afraud of the coming next elections the world over Ive senced this for a long time since Australia started the move and its a worldwide move...breitbart is doing an excellent job nailing the bastards asses ever day.................lets turn up the heat what ye say Fellas and Braggards!

Zillatron said...

i hope you're right. But I'm not very optimistic.
We are fighting here against BIG Money. Not the peanuts from BigTobacco. It's the Pharmafia that are calling their shots ...

Michael J. McFadden said...

LOL! Dick fixed the problem. :> It wasn't your eyeglasses Prog.

:)

MJM