Sunday, March 15, 2009

Calais, here we come

Sir Liam Donaldson: pasty, saggy-faced, fat-arsed cunt.

(nb. I ain't DK)

Christ on a bike, they're actually going to do it.
Plans for minimum alcohol price

The government's top medical adviser has drawn up plans for a minimum price for alcohol which would double the cost of some drinks in England.

Under the proposal from Sir Liam Donaldson...

Oh, not that fucker again.
...it has been reported that no drinks could be sold for less than 50 pence per unit of alcohol they contain.

Why don't you twats just nationalise everything and be done with it? You own half the banks. You've got your eye on the motor industry. You effectively dictate the price of tobacco and petrol. You decide where fags and booze can be sold and, increasingly, where they can be consumed. You also, apparently, want to start dictating what cigarette packets look like even though you won't let people see the fucking things. You want total control so just get on with it and put us out of our misery.

Goddamn it, at least the proper communists had the balls to launch a violent revolution. Enough of the drip, drip, drip. Raise the fucking red flag and give us a chance to fight you in the streets because it seems like that's what you want us do.
The BBC's health correspondent Adam Brimelow said Sir Liam's recommendation would not automatically become government policy.

I think the phrase I'm looking for here is "chinny-reckon".
But he said Sir Liam was influential and had advocated a ban on smoking in public places long before it became law.

Well, exactly. Is there anything this fat fucking Nazi has suggested in the last few years that hasn't made its way into law? There are only two things that could stop this policy from be adopted by the government:
  1. Donaldson kicks the bucket before it reaches the White Paper stage which, by the looks of the pasty, saggy-faced, fat-arsed cunt, is a distinct possibility.

  2. The government believes that it might actually work (ie. reduce alcohol consumption) and therefore reduce the amount of tax it receives.

Otherwise, if I'm not much mistaken, this is going to end in another pretend Department of Health public consultation, in which 'stake-holders' will have their views heard, unless the DoH doesn't like their views, in which case they will mysteriously disappear from the record.

Stake-holders like Alcohol Concern:
According to its 2007/08 accounts, out of a total income of £903,246, Alcohol Concern received £515,000 (57%) from the Department of Health (£400,000 unrestricted and £115,000 in restricted funds). 

It received just £4,991 in public donations.

Or Addaction:
"Addaction is reliant on government contracts for more than 90% of its funding."

Or the Alliance House Foundation:
According to Foundation's 2007/08 accounts, its single biggest donor is the EU's Bridging the Gap project (£41,138). Public donations for the year amounted to just £70.

Do we even need to guess what these state-funded pricks independent charities will think of this illiberal horseshit? Actually no, because they've been campaigning for this very policy for some time and particularly—funnily enough—in the last few weeks.
"Increase on Alcohol Duty must come with minimum price setting, says Addaction" (Addaction, 12/3/09)

"Introducing a minimum price for alcohol is the only effective way to deter risky and harmful drinkers, who tend to rely on low-cost alcohol." (Alcohol Concern, 2/3/09)

I believe this is called joined up government. But let's get back to the Beeb:
Setting a minimum price could have a particular impact on "own brand" or "value pack" beers and ciders.

Don't be fooled. This isn't just about Tesco lager and White Lightning. The belief that only tramps and students will be affected will probably be enough to persuade the Great British Pleblic to support this grotesque, and probably illegal, piece of state interference, but a quick back of an envelope calculation shows that this will be an across-the-board price hike.
Can of Stella Artois: £1.50

Bottle of wine: £4.50-£5.50

Litre of vodka: £20

And who gets the extra money? Maybe the drinks industry will be allowed to keep it as a bribe to support the law. More likely, it will go to our porcine lords and masters to create a whopping pile of cash to put behind the free bar in Westminster.
Our correspondent added that recent research from the Department of Health had shown that a minimum of 50 pence per unit of alcohol would reduce consumption by almost 7%.

'Bull' and, furthermore, 'shit'. As always with these numbers, they've been plucked out of someone's arse. Only last week, quacks in Scotland were saying that a 30p minimum price would reduce consumption by 30%. A week before that, they were saying that a 40p minimum price would reduce consumption by just 2.6%. Now a 50p price is going to reduce it by 7%. All of this is utter fantasy, dreamt up by a bunch of say-anything, do-anything wankers who should be drowned in a vat of brandy, as the Scottish Whisky Association has (sort of) pointed out:
"The claim by the Scottish Government, backing the Royal College of Physicians, that a 30p unit minimum price will reduce consumption by 30% but boost profits 68% defies belief," said a spokesman for the association.

"Only a week ago, the government's own framework document stated the higher 40p a unit would reduce consumption by just 2.6%, or less than one drink a fortnight.

"Now we are being told a lower unit price will reduce consumption by a third."

Looks like they haven't agreed on a made-up figure yet but they will, and when they do it will be bollocks because no one can possibly guess how much consumption will fall by.

Most likely, it won't fall at all. The evidence of our own eyes tells us that price has very little to do with consumption when it comes to booze. If it did, the UK would have one of the lowest drinking rates in the world.

There's an old Bernard Manning joke that goes something like this:
Man in pub: I shouldn't be drinking with what I've got.

Barman: What have you got?

Man: Fuck all

The point being that if affordability dictated consumption, the poor wouldn't drink at all and the rich would drink all the time. And yet, the country's most 'reassuringly' expensive lager (AKA Wifebeater) is associated with chavs, while the people who have got literally fuck all (tramps) drink constantly. As with the demented chocolate tax, people will find the money, don't you worry about that.

So—aside from the fact that this is beyond the fucking pale as far as liberty goes—the idea almost certainly wouldn't work. And when they realise that it doesn't work, do you think they'll ditch it, or do you think they'll raise the minimum price to 60p, then 75p, then a pound, ad infinitum?

But this isn't even about what might happen in the longer term. We're way past the point of worrying about the slippery slope. We on the fucking slope and are hurtling down it like a greased hamster on ice. The only question is how far we have to fall.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

And the SNP have just been resoundingly told to fuck off with this idea in Scotland.

All raising the price does is make those afflicted even poorer than they were last week.

Well done socialism. Punish all, ignore the ills of your core support and tax the fuck out of them for their pleasure.

How about this for a fucking idea, and I speak from desperate experience. How about putting money into alcohol support and recovery schemes, how about funding those piddling little recovery groups that have fuck all money to help those afflicted with alcoholism. How about you channel money away from 'sexy' policies such as heroin abuse programs, and aids charities and started channeling some of that money back into the small, piss poor community run schemes that actually survive on donor contributions to run. Have ANY OF YOU FUCKING CUNTS EVER BEEN TO EITHER AN AA OR Alcanon MEETING?

OF COURSE YOU SHIT FACED FUCKERS HAVE NOT.

Anonymous said...

I'm becoming more and more bewildered by the actions of this government. Either they have completely lost touch with reality, or they actually want to destroy their chances of ever getting elected again.
They are on a mission to piss off the entire electorate, one way or another, and I'd love to figure out why.

Angry Exile said...

Hmmm, trips to Calais. Maybe not such an appealing idea (and not just because of the burglars that The Penguin mentions on Old Holborn).

Home brewing and stills, that's the way to go.

mikey said...

Sir Liam Donaldson, if you are so wise with regards health issues might you explain to us all how you came to be such a saggy faced, fat fucking cunt? I propose a tax on anyone who is saggy faced, fat and a cunt...how does that feel you saggy faced fucking cunt?

neilreddin said...

Is Donaldson recommending this because artificially forcing up the price of alcohol (through taxation) has worked so well so far?

I'll get the van - you organise the tickets.

(Blogged.)

David Gillies said...

When I come to power, Liam Donaldson will share a cell with Ian Gilmore. Their sojourn will be brief, as they will be hanged within days of my ascension.

Tim W said...

How about we all just move to the labour camps now where we get our regulation exercise, healthy food and stream of censored news without any of this nasty arguing which could harm our health?

At least we'll only be kicked in the bollocks, rather than pelted with turds as well....

Sue said...

You're going to love this then :

MPs call for fast food restrictions

MP's want to restrict the number of fast food outlets in each town to discourage healthy eating..

WTF!

Dr John Crippen said...

Yep.

Agreed. We just cross posted on this, but the more the merrier

http://nhsblogdoc.blogspot.com/2009/03/another-threat-to-british-beer.html


John

Sue said...

Oops I meant "encourage" of course, silly me :)

Henry North London said...

@anonymous 2.44am

There arent going to be elections if Brown and Merkel have their way

Frank Davis said...

Time to remind people of what BMJ editor Richard Smith had to say:

Guidelines on safe alcohol consumption limits that have shaped health policy in Britain for 20 years were “plucked out of the air” as an “intelligent guess”...

The disclosure that the 1987 recommendation was prompted by “a feeling that you had to say something” came from Richard Smith, a member of the Royal College of Physicians working party that produced it.

He told The Times that the committee’s epidemiologist had confessed that “it’s impossible to say what’s safe and what isn’t” because “we don’t really have any data whatsoever”.

Mr Smith, a former Editor of the British Medical Journal, said that members of the working party were so concerned by growing evidence of the chronic damage caused by heavy, long-term drinking that they felt obliged to produce guidelines. “Those limits were really plucked out of the air. They were not based on any firm evidence at all. It was a sort of intelligent guess by a committee,” he said.


The war on alcohol, exactly like the war on tobacco and fast food, is built upon manufactured numbers, and outright fraud.

Allan said...

Of course when we all start travelling to France to get our fix, the government will be tracking us and if we go too many times we will be stopped and re-educated illiberal bastards

Gareth said...

The quotes from the Scottish Whisky Association are great. Aptly demonstrating that two groups with absolutely no business sense live in cloud cuckoo land when it comes to anything involving turning a profit.

You could stop a fair portion of the alcohol related trouble by stopping handing welfare claimants cash. Give them vouchers that cannot be redeemed for fags and booze.

My spidey senses were tingling when shortly after the Scottish plan was announced, the NHS was throwing around statistics about alcohol related injuries shooting up. As with crime statistics, such movements are more likely caused by changes in recording methods and the usual mathematical chicaney. Chances are it includes any injuries where the patient has said they have had a drink, whether the alcohol played a part or not.

Anonymous said...

When I was in my late teens and early twenties (I'm 56 now), I was an enthusiastic amateur brewer and vintner (is that the correct term?). Some was unbelieveably drinkable; some was unutterably awful. But it gave me a cheap supply of alcohol. When I worked in Saudi Arabia, my colleagues and I made alcoholic drinks from various raw materials. It was OK with 7-UP. If this bunch of socialist shits implement their proposed taxes, then I shall get my brewing kit out of mothballs (yes, I still have it; demi-johns and all; and start to make my own once again. And the wonderful thing is that the traitorous, robbing, deceitful, filthy-minded so-called rulers of this country will not get a penny of tax from me for the alcohol that I produce. They have brought the hatred for them, that I feel, upon themselves. I truly hope they die soon and in painful circumstances. I wish every single socialist shit in this country a great deal if ill.

John Demetriou said...

I find this recent news on this subject to be profoundly depressing.

I'm glad you wrote about it, because I can't even bring myself to address the topic on my blog - it's just too sad.

Yours depressed Libertarian

JD

hysteria said...

stand by for a change in the taxation rules for home brew kits........ bastards

Zanthodon said...

Brown probably plans to stay in power by means of declaring a state of emergency.

what we see here is the first steps toward outright totalitarian oppresion.

start homebrewing now and gain the knowledge, even if they do ban that we will always find a way to stymie these Illuminati goons.

Lyn said...

And like most other things that increase so much in price with taxation, we will no doubt see crime rates increase, particularly in burglary and the like!

Smokers did try and warn drinker and the obese that this would happen, but at that time, they mostly seemed happy for us smokers to be persecuted because they believed it would keep the limelight off of them - WRONG!

Vicola said...

Utter fucking twat. I said ages ago that once the government had finished kicking smokers then drinkers would be next, followed by lard-arses and it seems I was right. I should have gone into Ladbrokes and stuck a bet on. Talking of which, I reckon that gamblers are going to be the target once the lardy folks have been well and truly legislated against. Anyone care to take a punt on who they think will be next on the hitlist?

Vicola said...

Utter fucking twat. I said ages ago that once the government had finished kicking smokers then drinkers would be next, followed by lard-arses and it seems I was right. I should have gone into Ladbrokes and stuck a bet on. Talking of which, I reckon that gamblers are going to be the target once the lardy folks have been well and truly legislated against. Anyone care to take a punt on who they think will be next on the hitlist?

Chalcedon said...

Any government that prices drink out of the pockets of the general public is in for a resounding kicking come election time. This was why beer wasn't banned during the first world war, even though American abolitionist groups wanted it to be so, along with drugs. I think it was a condition of the Yanks helping the allies out. Of course it was moving the same way in the states, with the po faced bastard killjoys getting their way eventually. Not here though as the government would have fallen. They just brought in the licensing laws that have only recently been scrapped and made once over the counter bought opiates etc drugs illegal.

employees.org.uk said...

Working as a hostel outreach worker for an alcohol agency years ago, I used to reckon the cheapest unit of alcohol was in force 10 larger at something like 20p a unit or £2 a 10% alcohol litre can. I may have got my maths wrong but the idea was that if drink is taxed by whether it is beer, wine, or whatever rather than strength, you can chemically inject alcohol into it to make it super strength, conceal the taste with some caramel, and sell it to compulsive drinkers on benefits who can't afford anything else. For better or worse, a good way of stopping people falling over in the street is to tax alcohol by strength in a fairer way than before, if not at a higher rate per unit on average.

The current super-strength lager trade is a way of taking advantage of over-complexity in alcohol taxation, which works according to what a drink is called rather than how much alcohol is in it, for example whether it is beer or wine rather than whether it is 10 units of alcohol or five.

Alcohol agencies should have been calling for a change in tax for years but the staff who meet clients are on a different wavelength to the staff who lobby ministers and the two try not to meet.

The Addaction chief executive is a former Harringay Council social services director with a talent for easing-out union reps and forwarding whistle-blowing complaints about bullying to the person complained about. I wouldn't hire her to take the day's takings to the bank, let alone run a quango honestly.

So maybe she's spouting the right idea for the wrong reasons. Maybe someone has tipped her off that this is the right band-wagon to jump on. Sad that evil people can be right.

FlipC said...

What an idiot. I'm glad Lyn spotted that we would be likely to see an increase in petty theft, but we're also likely to see an increase in smuggling and dodgy car-boot sales which may well also sell much more harmful and addictive substances.

What this idiot and the government still haven't grasped is that if people want something enough they'll get it by any means they deem necessary. Oh sure you'll get some who do cut down, but others will start stealing it either directly or mugging people, the latter having the advantage of providing both alcohol and money for alcohol.

At the same time we'll see an increase in stills producing untested, uncontrolled alcohol.

So more crime, more addicts, more alcohol related deaths; and finally more money out of our pocket to maintain, control, and police both it and its consequences.

They really are blinkered aren't they?

Russell said...

The Alliance House Foundation has not endorsed minimum pricing, though. We have not endorsed the policy in the past or in the present and probably will not in the future either.

Perhaps you could allude to this in a future blog post?

The EU is not the state and so we have not received direct state funding either.

Russell said...

I suppose you may counter that as the EU is a union of member states then funding from the EU does count as state funding, in a way.

To this I would point out that we do sometimes accept funding for specific projects from such bodies as the EU or the London Assembly but we remain independent from government far more than, say, Alcohol Concern.