Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Drinking: the crackdown continues

According to this story in the Times, it is not just the alcoholic winos and stupid young wankers (so beloved of my A & E Charge Nurse commenter!) who are being targeted in the latest campaign.
Middle-class wine drinkers will be the focus of government plans to make drunkenness as socially unacceptable as smoking, The Times has learnt.

Under the plans published today, a fresh audit is to be conducted by the Government into the overall costs of alcohol abuse to society and the National Health Service.

“We want to target older drinkers, those that are maybe drinking one or two bottles of wine at home each evening,” a Whitehall source said. “They do not realise the damage they are doing to their health and that they risk developing liver disease. We are not talking here about the traditional wino.”

So, there you have it; the government is going to decide how much you drink and they are going to ensure that you drink no more than they say you should. Their justification is that you are costing the state money in healthcare. It matters not that it is your fucking money that the state has appropriated—nor that you pay extra in alcohol duty—because, to these statist fucks, that simply isn't the case; it is the state's money and what you are using to buy your wine of an evening is, in fact, the wee bit that they let you keep. And you are abusing the state's trust: do you see?

Part of Wikipedia's definition of fascism says this:
Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the needs of the state, and seeks to forge a type of national unity, usually based on ethnic, cultural, or racial attributes... the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, corporatism, collectivism, totalitarianism, anti-communism and opposition to economic and political liberalism.

Welcome to the political world of NuLabour, for is there a single one of those attributes that NuLabour does not share?
Today’s strategy, by the Home Office and the Department of Health, broadens the Government’s offensive against excessive drinking, with the focus moving beyond teenagers and the binge-drinkers to include those regularly sipping wine at home.

As part of the strategy, ministers wish to highlight the increasing burden that drink-related disease is placing on the NHS, which four years ago was estimated to be costing between £1.3 billion and £1.7 billion.

Does anyone have the figures for the tax collected from alcoholic drinks in the same year? Would anyone like to bet me that—like smoking—it is far in excess of the NHS costs? And court costs? And compensation costs?

UPDATE: thanks to Mark in the comments, who lists the drink duty revenues.
  • Beer & cider duties: £3.2 bn

  • Spirits duties: £2.3 bn

  • Wine duties: £2.3bn

Surprisingly low really, but still adding up to a grand total of £7.8 billion (about £0.2 billion less than tobacco taxes).

We recognise that drinking causes damage so we tax the externalities of its bad effects: in fact, if, as I suspect, alcohol duty is more than all those costs above combined, we more than tax those externalities.
Ministers want drunkenness in public to be as socially unacceptable in ten years’ time as smoking or drink-driving is today.

The state wants to control your behaviour, ladies and gentlemen, and it no longer feels that it has to be subtle about it; could anything else be so indicvativeof NuLabour's arrogance and the confidence that it has in its control over the social mores of the British people?

Inevitably, though, there are those fuckers sticking their oar in who are even worse than the sodding government.
But the British Medical Association said yesterday that such measures did not go far enough, adding that customers in licensed premises needed better information to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive drinking and drink-driving.

Vivienne Nathanson, the head of science and ethics at the BMA, said: “It is not the nanny state. It is about informed choices. It is hard for the average person to work out how many units are in a drink these days. Glasses of wine are much larger than they used to be and many beers and wines are much stronger”.

Let me send a very clear message to the BMA: go fuck yourselves, you useless pieces of floating turd. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you! I hope that every doctor in the land cancels their subscription and throw you fucks out of a job.

As for NuLabour: anyone who votes for them is voting for a fascist government. Seriously, I would rather—if you actually cannot bring yourselves to vote for Tory, LibDem or UKIP—that you voted for those left-wing cunts at the BNP: at least they will be so fucking useless that they won't even be able to open their letters of a morning...

What the fuck is wrong with this fucking country? If I can just get a wee bit more permanent web work over the next year or so—and things continue as they are—I am going seriously to consider emigrating; hey, Timmy, what's the weather like in the Algarve...?

UPDATE 2: Timmy imagines the future of wine consumption...
People simply cannot be alowed to choose their own path to perdition, that's entirely unacceptable. We'll have to ban wine cellars, as this allows people to have too much alcohol in the house. All wine racks will have to be replaced so that only one bottle in a 24 hour period can be used, corkscrews fitted with a timer so that again, only one use per 24 hours is possible.

It's just occured to me that this might, of course, be a cunning plan by our Nulabour masters to counteract the rise in population by encouraging thousands to emigrate. Either that or they are trying to appease the Muslims...

UPDATE 3: from The Telegraph, some stunning, breath-taking arrogance...
"We want to target the older drinkers, those that are maybe drinking one or two bottles of wine at home each evening. They do not realise the damage they are doing to their health and that they risk developing liver disease," a Whitehall source said.

Right; that'll be because you ar so much better educated and more knowledgeable than anyone else, is that right, you fucking wanker? Why don't you, Coaker and Flint all go and get fucked in the eyes by a priapic horse and leave the rest of us alone, you donkeycock-sucking, interfering, fascist bastards.

FUCK OFF, FUCK OFF, FUCK OFF!

UPDATE 4: Shuggy has a great post on this.
This is because they have no concept of the distinction between self-regarding actions and those that harm others. More specifically, this has something to do with the apparent view of this government that your liver is in someway public property.

You'll notice the typical NuLabour formulation: having failed to enforce the laws that already exist against anti-social drunken behaviour, the target becomes more ambitious and seeks to change our views. Bit late in my case - mine having been formed by a) excessive drinking b) reading JS Mill who said:
"No person ought to be punished simply for being drunk; but a soldier or a policeman should be punished for being drunk on duty. Whenever, in short, there is a definite damage, either to an individual or to the public, the case is taken out of the province of liberty, and placed in that of morality or law."

But this does not apply if you are becoming quietly sozzled in your own home. Or, for that matter, if you get quietly sozzled in a pub and don't attack or abuse anyone on your way home.

I have got hammered more times than I can remember (indeed, I am notorious for it), and I have never physically attacked anyone, nor had the desire to. I haven't vomited or pissed in the street either.

36 comments:

Guido Faux said...

So .... we should see a decrease in alcohol duty to reflect the reduced stress on NHS resources when the campaign "works".

Want to bet that doesn't happen?

Pogo said...

Always amuses me when the BMA wade in against the Demon Drink when the traditional definition of an alcoholic is "someone who drinks more than his doctor"..!

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sin taxes collected 05-06

Tobacco duty £8.0 bn
Beer & cider duties £3.2 bn
Spirits duties £2.3 bn
Wine duties £2.3bn
Betting & Gaming duties £1.4 bn

Fidothedog said...

Dont they realise that by hitting the wine drinker they shall alienate even more people, that said they really do believe its in our best interests.

The next step will be to ban glass for wine drinkers in pubs/clubs and other places, like the proposed ideas for banning beer glasses.

They could always you the old health & safety routine.

Bastards, total and utter fascist fucking bastards the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

It is not unlike nazi Germany; Hitler promised and created what at the time was seen as great prosperity when he created the military industrial complex; it was just that everyone in Germany had a car but not bread in the shops.
Equally Nu Labour have paid off the heartlands of the country with state benefits and have squeezed the nipple of the traditional blue states and its people that there monstrous purple faces have made them monstrous to look at...and to trust. We are so far out at left field with the autocratic horlocks now that any attempt at reason (i.e. with welfare reform, support of Israel or immigration) is seen as fascist, racist or some combination of a new -ism they attempt to plug in order to scuttle any particular group they see fit.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I have just spoken to my VAT colleague, she reckons VAT paid on top of beer/wine/spirits duty would be half as much again, so in round figures we're looking at £12bn a year in total.

Daily Referendum said...

The new system of showing the number of units of alcohol on drinks is just an idiots guide to getting drunk. All the government are doing is making it easier to spot the strongest drinks. Twats.

Roger Thornhill said...

I hate being right all the time.

JuliaM said...

"...the drink duty revenues..Surprisingly low really..."

Probably get lower the closer you get to the Dover Coast... :)

the a&e charge nurse said...

I'm honoured Devil - but isn't there a balance between so-called 'adults' stamping their feet demanding not only an inaliable right to drink themselves within a whisker of a near fatal blood-alcohol level, but the expectation that somebody else will mop up the shit [both metaphorically and LITERALLY].

I must admit in some respects middle class trouser soilers are the most tedious.
Not only do the A&E grunts have to endure the seriously pungent odour of an unsolicited 'pinot grigio & faecal' combo, but some relatives have the temerity to suggest that we are not wiping fast enough.

I'm sure you know the old addage - the only thing we fear more than having rules is their absence [obviously I'm paraphrasing because I'm still trying to come round from last nights 12hr shift] - but I doubt if such an unfashionable view will fit in with most of your regular commentators

Flavious said...

That would probably be because the relatives with the temerity would be the ones paying your fucking wages.

Yes, not the ones that came over on a medical vacation for 20 quid return and all the medical treatment you need, but the ones that pay into the system all their lives.

For someone in a vocational employment you don't seem to get much enjoyment, perhaps a career change is called for?

JuliaM said...

"...perhaps a career change is called for?"

Something in the service industry, perhaps...?

Good bar staff are always needed ;)

LFB_UK *The Legend* said...

Surely, they are aiming at middle class "older" drinkers, who drink at home and I will wager do not shit themselves in A&E.

The older drinker has paid for the treatment they may receive from the NHS 50 or 60 times over. More often than not without using said NHS services. That is of course if they can get in the hospital without contracting MRSA or one of the other superbugs that now permiate the hospitals.

Roger Thornhill said...

"Big Vern" Coaker complains about the behaviour of drunks - frankly he sounds like he is describing our present uncouth, yobbish administration.

the a&e charge nurse said...

flavious - paying my wages ?
And there's me thinking they're being a tad unreasonable expecting A&E staff to prioritise their maloderous loved ones rather than a meningitic child, silly me.

lfb_uk *the legend* - you can't afford to be that naive.

Alien Anthropologist said...

Here's an idea for you. How about we give people the choice of opting out of the NHS and not paying any more taxes for it; then they can drink as much as they want and pay for the consequences.

But to first be forced to pay for a system you don't want, and then have the cost of said system used to justify more and more restrictions on your life by health Nazis is absolutely outrageous.

P.S. I'm another one who's emigrating... so, for that matter, is pretty much every productive member of the middle class that I know. Soon Britain will be a nation of Muslims, chavs and government employees who are too worthless to find jobs abroad.

knirirr said...

How strange that middle class wine drinkers should be the targets of this nonsense. I thought that they mostly voted New Labour.

mister scruff said...

this is all tied in to a recent EU report on alchohol consumption on member states. read up on it.

watch out for similar news items in other member states.

i for one find this extremely nauseating.

middle class wine drinkers are an easier "target" than crackheads and heroin abusers.

brussels targets.... are we getting the bigger picture yet?

mister scruff said...

"How about we give people the choice of opting out of the NHS and not paying any more taxes for it; then they can drink as much as they want and pay for the consequences."

where do i sign up?
i wouldnt even think twice about signing up to such an opt out.

mister scruff said...

ho ho ho... newsnight have a piece on the "internet is just wank isnt it" right now.

that article by fuckwit Andrew Keen.

god, the MSM really are trying to save their arses right now.

(but to be fair to newsnight - they put up a counter arguer.. )

archduke said...

hmmm.. in an era that had tobacco advertising on TV and nobody gave a fuck what you drank, that generation spawned the Apollo astronauts.

compare and constrast what was being said to the public in 1961, by a certain JFK

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth"

THAT is what those people were worried about. actually, like, doing fucking STUFF..

i'm getting a bad feeling about this - its like we're going fucking backwards.
back to Stalinist 1930.

Sarnia said...

I'm a "middle class wine drinker" and was furious listening to the phone-in on 5 Live this morning that I am in "great danger" of developing cirrhosis of the liver for drinking a bottle of wine (gulp, swoon) a day.

But then the Govt already define me as a binge drinker for drinking three units in an evening/afternoon.

I hate this Govt; I hate people like Caroline sodding Flint; they're away with the fairies.

Bring in prohibition you tossers and see what happens then.

Dr Ray said...

There is no doubt that excess alcohol over a period of time is harmful to health and that it is a doctors duty to inform the public-this is not news. You need to ask why it is in the papers.
Obviously the BMA feel that they need to show they are a hard hitting campaigning organization worth the subscriptions doctors pay and it suits HMG very well to soften up the population for some fearful rises in duty (it will have to be across Europe to work) now that income from cigarettes is decreasing and Gordo can't carry on playing the "green" card and raise fuel duties because fuel prices have gone back up again and are at record levels. It is widely accepted that he will need to raise taxes and, being a presbyterian puritanical killjoy, swingeing alcohol taxes would suit the bill.
I expect anyone caught singing or whistling will have to pay a spot fine too before long.

cocoa said...

It's high time excessive chocolate consumption in the presence of pals or otherwise was controlled.

Vicola said...

I said they would go for those who like a glass of vino once they'd taken the smokers out of the stocks and stopped the self righteous from throwing old veg at them. Who is next? Anyone care to guess? My guess is fat people. The government are going to appoint the lard police to ensure that no one consumes more than 2000 calories a day and those who do will be made to wear a t-shirt for a week that reads "I'm a fat bastard". Looks like my fine evening in the pub drinking a glass of wine, smoking a marlboro light and eating a bag of dry roasted peanuts are going to be replaced by some fascist twat and I'm going to be forced to spend my friday nights jogging, drinking mineral water and eating celery. Where do I sign in order to leave the country?

Roger Thornhill said...

archduke: "its like we're going fucking backwards.
back to Stalinist 1930."

I hope for your sake it is not backwards to an Hapsburg 1918...

Mark Wadsworth said...

1914 would be even worse.

Roger Thornhill said...

Doh!

You know what I meant!

Anonymous said...

I have to say, "fucked in the eye by a priapic horse" made my day.

Anonymous said...

Sarnia,

Perhaps you should have your liver functions checked? Might shock you into realising that, perhaps, just perhaps, the government may have a point.

Depending on whether you're male or female, a full bottle of wine a night is excessive. Even for a bloke it's probably not a good idea.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Perhaps you should have your liver functions checked? Might shock you into realising that, perhaps, just perhaps, the government may have a point.

About what? Who gave the state moral authority over our bodies? If Sarnia wants to kill herself through liver failure then she should be allowed to do so.

BTW, anyone who drives a car has no moral authroity on this thread: you are killing me with your fumes and I have no choice in the matter.

DK

Anonymous said...

DK,

By your argument, in that case, virtually no adult over the age of 18 has moral authority. What a lot of fucking bollocks.

As far as I'm concerned Sarnia is perfectly at liberty to get completely shit faced every night in the comfort of her own home. He/she or partner are the ones left cleaning up the shit and vomit after all.

I'm quite happy that he/she will become a reclusive alcoholic with a shrunken liver like a flat football and he/she will die from multiple organ failure, stroke, whatever.

We hear stories of people dying from acute alcohol poisoning all the time. More power to their eblow as far as I'm concerned. This island is getting kinda crowded anyway.

The point of the proposals is that those who do drink to excess and run the risk of either killing themselves or severely damaging their health and aren't complete fucking morons should be warned of the risks. The fucking morons, in the meantime, will remain perfectly free to kill themselves and the more rapidly the better as far as I'm concerned.

Go on DK, make it 30 pints tonight and do everyone a favour. One less useless fucking web designer in the world. Who's going to notice?

Ade said...

DK,

You & Wikipedia wrote:
Fascism is .... : nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, corporatism, collectivism, totalitarianism, anti-communism and opposition to economic and political liberalism.

Welcome to the political world of NuLabour, for is there a single one of those attributes that NuLabour does not share?


There is one of those "isms" that NuLab don't share: Nationalism. It's obvious that all NuLabour twats hate England. At least, that's the only reason I can see for them trying to drive it to destruction. The cunts.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Ade,

They love their brand of nationalism: remember "New Labour, New Britain"? They wanted to build a NuLabour country that everyone would feel more attached to than the old British tradition.

In that way, loyalty to our country would be indistinguishable from loyalty to NuLabour.

DK

Ade said...

remember "New Labour, New Britain"?

My mistake - I'd assumed they were just lying when they said that.

Seig heil! :(

awgust_west said...

whats up U.K. ? I am sitting here in my condo (scottsdale az.) just got done jogging 3 miles drinking second glass of sangria and smoking a marlboro. Yeah you got it bad there but look at me, this geo bush ass hole has us in a fucked up war that NOBODY wants cept for the new world order controlled media and now we cant even smoke in a fucking bar! cant stand government tellin me what to do!!!!!!!! thats why the founding fathers busted away from the king. Now its worse! I blame the generations before me , falling asleep at the wheel... most americans here believe the six o'clock news as gospel all the while we are being spoonfed shit from corporate bigwigs and international bankers. cable tv and a six pack keeps em down. but not me . a free thinker like me will end up in jail or worse...
anyways. God Bless you all. jimmy j.