Monday, 31 August 2009

Undermining The Meddlers

One would think, would one not, that Alcohol Concern would be hugely supportive of today's announcement of a new ASBO condition.

People in England and Wales who commit crimes or behave anti-socially while drunk could now face a Drinking Banning Order - or "booze Asbo".

Under powers coming into force on Monday, police and councils can seek an order on anyone aged 16 and over.

Magistrates can then ban them from pubs, bars, off-licences and certain areas for up to two years. Anyone who breaches the order faces a £2,500 fine.

Now, set aside the ASBO as a 'badge of honour' argument for a second, or even the fact that enforcement could be rather difficult. Instead, consider that the detestable duo, Don Shenker and Ian 'proper cunt' Gilmore, are continually using alcohol-fuelled violence as artillery against the drinks industry, and will therefore be ecstatic about this new power for the police, no?

Err. Well, no. Actually.

Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, gave the orders a more cautious welcome.

"Policing of alcohol-related crime must go hand in hand with more robust measures to curb irresponsible and illegal sales and improved treatment pathways for dependent drinkers," he said.

A cautious welcome?

Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, believes the government needs to end the availability of cheap alcohol.

"The biggest single driver of health-related harm and, indeed, criminal harm from alcohol is the availability and that is being driven by price."

Oh dear. Gilmore ain't too happy either.

Could it be that, following on from the news earlier this month that Manchester police are rounding up those who go all Rambo after a few beers, the temperance loons are a bit worried that one of their biggest scaremongering weapons is slipping away from them?

Take away the man/woman-in-the-street's irrational fear of being battered by some chav in a White Lightning frenzy and you take away a section of support for the righteous assault on everything alcohol. Eradicate the anti-social behaviour associated with drinking and you eradicate much of the demand by the public for policies espoused by Alcohol Concern and the RCP.

If the average Joe or Jill isn't personally harmed or inconvenienced, much of the public couldn't give a monkey's chuff what, or how much, people drink. Tell people that drink must be demonised because it is directly affecting them, and they will agree that 'something has to be done'. Tell them that people must be stopped from drinking for their own good, and for no other reason, and the majority will see Shenker and Gilmore for the interfering weasels which many of us already know them to be.

If there is one unarguable truth which we have learned from the anti-smoking debate, it is that the public will not object to any perverse measure, however ludicrous, if they can be convinced it will harm or inconvenience them. The general refrain is always "You can smoke anywhere you like, just not near me". Likewise, if drinkers don't bother the public, the public really aren't bothered by them.

Little wonder, then, that Shenker and Gilmore are less than amused. All this recent common sense in attempting to target those who should be targeted is killing their credibility.

UPDATE: It is worth adding at this point the other central plank of the puritan attack on alcohol - that being the cost to us all via our contributions to the NHS. Julian LeGrand, former health adviser to Tony Blair, put that one to bed last week.

Not a great month for the prohibition movement, methinks.


manwiddicombe said...

The thing that makes me laugh is that these 'booze ASBOs' can be given to a 16 year old, who isn't legally allowed to buy alcohol anyway, banning them from pubs and off licences.


Dick Puddlecote said...

Wait till one is handed to an under 18 year old, Captain. It won't be their fault for being a tosser, it will be the drinks industry for allowing them to get it.

Despite rules which mean that even those in their twenties sometimes find it difficult to buy alcohol, considering the age seems to have been adjusted upwards to avoid vitriol from the likes of Gilmore and Hand-Shanker.

Poor chav fuckwit, it wasn't his fault he's a bad-mannered/violent/anti-social/murderous cunt, it was that evil big alcohol lot who bend over backwards to appease the anti-alcohol lobby.

They are the nasty ones, not the shit who doesn't know how to behave.

Junican said...

Recently, a Labour Minister went on record with a statement that 'alcohol in this country is far too cheap'. He is not the first to say this - the statement has been made on numerous occasions, usually by medics (has Liam Donaldson also said it? - I am not sure, but he probably has.) Whenever I have heard this statement I have been astonished. Have these people never been on the continent? Have these people never been to Prague or Teneriffe? This country must have the highest priced alcohol in the world!
Blow me down, if I am not mistaken, Cameron came out with exactly the same statement only the other day. "Alcohol in this country is far too cheap", he said.

Are we being 'softened up' for a massive increase in alcohol duties after the next election regardless of which party wins? It certainly looks like it.

Anonymous said...

Hello, here we are again in the same old, same old rut. Price alcohol out of the hands of the feckless poor and put it back in the realm of expensive exclusivity. The wealthy and influential are the only ones who can be trusted to eat, drink, smoke and snort responsibly.
They really think you cannot spot their agenda, they really do.

Anonymous said...

Dont forget the Salami slice effect though. Once this 'initiative' has failed to reduce 'the harm done by alcohol', there will be calls to extend the restrictions. This is where the subsequent stage comes into play. Where instead of using current laws(prosecuting drunken disorderly people), drink limits will be imposed on everyone in public places. Dont be surprised to see breathylsers being used to enforce this inside and outside pubs.
And while Cameron rides the wave, the tide will keep going in one direction

Anonymous said...

I wonder how these nobbers propose to explain how, and why, I spend circa £400pcm on (not friggin cheap) champagne, and never pay less than a tenner for a bottle of wine.

And then how they expect to defeat me with minimum prices.

Fucking monkeys.


BTS said...

Party at AJ's place then..?