Saturday, March 13, 2010

Den of liars

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

Years of lies and half-truths from the temperance movement culminated in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday. Regular readers will know how the supine media, the fake charities and the quacks have been drip-feeding the public scare stories and bogus statistics about the pretend alcohol epidemic since—oh, let's think now—shortly after the smoking ban. In all that time, barely a word of truth has escaped their lips and on Wednesday it all paid off. The venal cretins in the House of Commons fell over themselves in their rush for legislation.

Dick Puddlecote has already filleted the debate in expert fashion but, as the psychiatrist said of Basil Fawlty, there is enough here for an entire conference. The campaign for minimum pricing is being led by Kevin Barron MP, an anti-smoking weasel and temperance nut who has been well briefed on demonising the drinks industry and playing the think-of-the-children card. While regurgitating every myth about alcohol, he accused everyone else of making myths of his myths:
Kevin Barron (Rother Valley, Labour): A myth is widely propagated by parts of the drinks industry and politicians that a rise in prices would unfairly affect the majority of moderate drinkers.

It would, you devious fuck. Even assuming you would keep the minimum price at 50p unit—which I seriously doubt—everyone would pay more for their drink.
It would effectively mean that a woman who drinks the recommended maximum of 15 units a week could buy her weekly total of alcohol for £6. Of course, probably not everyone drinks industrial white cider only.

Well, precisely. But we soon will be if you get this illiberal and illegal law through.
Unlike rises in duty, minimum pricing would benefit traditional pubs—the on-trade, as Greg Mulholland suggested—so, unsurprisingly, it is supported by the Campaign for Real Ale, which also gave evidence to the Committee.

CAMRA can suck my balls, the thick-headed, narrow-minded, pot-bellied, do-it-to-Julia cunts that they are. It's only a matter of time before the head of CAMRA gets off a plane saying that he has a piece of paper in his hand. As Mr A points out at Leg-Iron's place, CAMRA should be a verb:
I wonder if "doing a CAMRA" will become an accepted phrase for stupidly rolling over, attacking your potential allies and cosying up to the enemy when they are clearly out to get you, like the term "Quisling" did?

Sorry Kevin, you were saying...
We are all concerned about the closures of public houses in this country.

Are you concerned, Kev? Are you really? Let's see shall we?
How Kevin Barron voted on key issues since 2001:

Voted strongly for introducing a smoking ban.

I thought not.
They are closing for many reasons, not necessarily just the price of alcohol...

No one look at the elephant. The room is going to be just fine so long as we don't look at the elephant.
According to calculations undertaken by the Treasury at the Committee's request, for our report, if the duty on a bottle of spirits had increased since the early 1980s at the same rate as earnings, it would now be £62.

That statistic reeks of bullshit, but let's go with it. Surely you're not proposing that the price of a bottle of gin should be £62?
Neither I nor the Committee recommend an immediate leap to those levels of duty on spirits, but we should certainly make a start.

Are you fucking insane?! Your ultimate goal is to make a bottle of spirits cost £62?
We think that a start should be made. We recommend that duties on spirits be returned in stages to the same percentage of average earnings as in the past.

Ride my face to Chicago, you're really serious! Listen Kevin, waste of eggs and semen that you are, tax on alcohol has risen above inflation since the 1980s. If alcohol is more affordable today, it is because the working wage has risen and living standards have improved. These were—as your daddy might have told you—the aims of the Labour movement before it became infested with paternalistic cunts like you.

Being able to afford things was once since as a good thing, even by the pricks in your party. If you start setting a minimum price for everything you don't like, just because the working class can afford more than a crust of bread and a copy of The Morning Star, you will be doing it to everything. But then you'd like that wouldn't you, you sordid, totalitarian lefty cunt?
And what do Cameron's hip young Tories have to say on the matter?
Robert Syms (Poole, Conservative): I was listening to a programme on Radio 4 earlier in the week about marmalade.

John Grogan (The turgid member for Selby, Labour): A couple of years ago, I suggested that Sir Terence Leahy was in danger of becoming the godfather of British binge drinking, given the low prices at Tesco. Some alcohol was being sold more cheaply than water.

Liar. Next!
Howard Stoate (Dartford, Labour): When I was last in Washington on a Select Committee inquiry, I was refused alcohol on the grounds that I could not prove that I was over 21 as I did not have my passport with me. I was not sure whether to feel flattered or insulted.

Fascinating. Next.
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North, Labour): My hon. Friend is obviously very youthful looking. No one challenged me, I have to say, but other staff were challenged, and the age limit was rigidly enforced.

Look, dickheads, we're trying to have a debate here. Have you got anything other than feeble anecdotes to contribute?
Indeed, not so long ago, two British sisters were on holiday in Florida, one over 21 and one under. Their holiday flat was entered by the local police who found them both drinking. The older sister was sent to prison for corrupting a minor-that is how seriously it is taken. I am not suggesting that we should be so draconian, but there are countries that take the issue a bit more seriously than we do. We have a long way to go.

"A long way to go"? Cops bursting into houses arresting people for drinking. That's what we're working towards, is it? God, I hate you.
Anne Milton (Shadow Minister, Health; Guildford, Conservative): I know a little bit about Canada, which has quite vicious laws on alcohol. Instead, it has a significant problem with cannabis misuse.

A salient point, at last. Crazy drinking laws in North America have only led to endemic, tedious pot smoking by the under-21s. A bit of an unintended consequence there?
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North, Labour): In Sweden, they have had serious problems with alcohol.

Yes, yes. Another avenue of sanity has opened up. Time to grab the bull by the horns. Sweden has the highest alcohol taxes in the whole EU but serious problems with alcohol. Riddle me that, fuckers.

No? Nobody? No one even going to respond?
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North, Labour): There is an argument even for raising the minimum drinking age. In America, it is 21, but it is much lower in Britain. That is something that we should consider, and in time we may do so—but not at the moment.

You people really are the pits.
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North, Labour): The minimum price argument is overwhelming. The Chief Medical Officer said that it should be a minimum of 50p per unit of alcohol. I would be happy with that.

Let's be very, very clear about this. Liam Donaldson has been the most deceitful, scare-mongering, incompetent, unhealthy, dishonest, unscientific, pus-filled, overweight, pasty, waste-of-space turd polisher to ever rise to the high office of Chief Medical Officer. From the smoking ban to minimum pricing and from bird flu to swine flu, there is not one thing this pernicious ball-licker has touched which hasn't turned out to be based on a shit-heap of lies. When the crank dies I will cry tears of joy, so do not even think about quoting him as an authority on anything.
It would also save a valuable cultural feature of our society—the great pub—which is suffering greatly at the moment from cheap alcohol being drunk elsewhere.

Can't think of anything that might be making pubs suffer, Kelvin? Maybe a little ban that you, too, voted for? So, how can we find a way of forcing people back into the pubs that your smoking ban has crippled?
We should make all cheap alcohol sales techniques, such as happy hours, illegal, and enforce that rigidly.

More bans. More bans will make everything all right. We're only ever one ban away from Utopia.
And then we have the voice of the esteemed medical profession, Dr Richard Taylor, to give us the measured and rational facts upon which less learned members of the house can base their judgement on what is, after all, a complex issue.
Richard Taylor (Wyre Forest, Independent): Dr. Stoate did not do this, but my job in these debates is to terrify people.

So speaks the medical man. Of course your job is to terrify people. You are, after all, not only a doctor but a politician, and therefore—in your own eyes—God almighty.
If women drink heavily at the end of pregnancy, their babies can be born addicted to alcohol and will have to go through the withdrawal process. That is absolutely horrendous... Alcohol in excess is a drug of addiction. It is a poison in excess, leading to comas and things that, in the past, have led to deaths in police stations... Alcohol is not a stimulant; it is a narcotic... jaundice, cachexia, a grossly swollen stomach and distended veins, and vomiting blood...

Christ, that balanced and objective overview is enough to make anyone give up drinking. You are, I presume, a teetotaller?
However, I am with everybody else: not consumed in excess, alcohol can bring a great amount of pleasure, and I would never miss out on the House of Commons claret, for example, or several of the other potions that we can have here.

Gloating about the claret in the subsidised House of Commons bar while you scheme to rob the public of yet more of its hard-earned money. I hope your constituents tear you limb from limb.
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North, Labour): To reinforce my hon. Friend's point, I studied and taught economics, so I know about a thing called a demand curve, which shows that if the price is raised, consumption goes down.

Just think about that for a minute. That is the whole quote. I haven't edited it. He actually interrupted a debate in the mother of all Parliaments to recite the most elementary piece of information in the field of economics. That he felt the need to do so says something about him or it says something about the stupefying ignorance of his fellow MPs. I fear it may be the latter.
And then there's this asshole:
Pete Wishart (Perth & Perthshire North, Scottish National Party): Let me clarify: everybody in Scotland is for minimum pricing, whether they are health professionals, chief police officers and the licensing authorities. The only people against minimum pricing in Scotland are the Labour party in the Scottish Parliament, the Liberals in the Scottish Parliament and of course the Conservatives, as we would expect.

That's quite some support you've got there, Pete. Everyone's on board except the Labour party. And the Liberals. Oh, and the Conservatives. Apart from that, everybody.
And what do the Conservatives think about all this anyway?
Anne Milton (Shadow Minister, Health; Guildford, Conservative): In 1947, we drank 3.5 litres of alcohol per head in this country; now, the figure is well over 9.5 litres.

So what? As Dick Puddlecote has pointed out, we were under the yoke of rationing in 1947. Is that Tory party policy now?
The British Medical Association believes that we have some of the heaviest levels of alcohol consumption in Europe

In that case, the British Medical Association are lying cock-suckers to man. World Health Organisation figures show that the UK drinks less than the Czech Republic, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Spain, Denmark, Hungary, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Finland. That puts us firmly mid-table, no?
Minimum pricing is regressive in that the capital made by increasing the price of alcohol will go straight to the supermarkets and shops that sell the alcohol. Instead, why not tax the alcohol so that the profits of any increase can, as the report says, go back to the Government.

Aside from the fact that this woman has no idea what the word 'regressive' means, you have to admire the Tories for being up-front about it. They want to screw the punter just as much as Labour, but they're going to make damn sure that it's the government, not the retailers, who get the money.
So, not a cigarette paper between the Tories and Labour on this issue, as usual. In a three hour debate, only one voice of sanity emerged from this den of liars and thieves. In these dark days it is only proper to give credit to a man who exhibits some balls and principles. To that end, I give you Philip Davies MP...
Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative): Given the Chairman's lack of complaint about his own colleagues appearing and intervening in the debate, I suspect that his concern with me is not that I am contributing to it after having arrived late, but simply that he will not agree with what I am about to say. I am afraid that I am going to disappoint him again.

The report is certainly a useful contribution to the debate on addiction—not, unfortunately, on addiction to alcohol, but on this Government's and the Health Committee's addiction to the nanny state. They have already helped to dismantle the pub and club industry with their smoking ban. Pubs are closing at the rate of 50 a week—many because of the ban on smoking in public places—and the same fate is being felt by many clubs, such as working men's clubs. It seems that the Health Committee, not satisfied with dismantling the pub and club industry, now wishes to direct its fire in other areas, such as at cinemas and commercial broadcasters, to try to close down those industries. Many sports will also be adversely affected if its recommendations are introduced.

Do my eyes deceive me, or is this fellow bang on the money?
All that would not be so bad if I thought that, in the end, if after all the Committee's recommendations were introduced, its members would say that they were satisfied. The problem, however, as with all these matters, is that the report panders to the zealots in society who are never satisfied. I guarantee that if all the recommendations were introduced, Committee members would, within a few months at most, come back with further recommendations because the previous ones had not gone far enough. This lobby is impossible to satisfy.

How did this fellow sneak into Parliament? Security!
The problem with the political classes generally, particularly in this House, is that when they are faced with a problem—there is no doubt that there is a problem with excessive drinking of alcohol—the solution that they propose has to be constituted of two particular themes. The first ingredient in any solution that politicians propose is that it must show that they are doing something; they have to be seen to be doing something. The second ingredient, which we always see, is that the proposal must not offend anyone and must be superficially popular. Once again, that approach applies to many of the recommendations, most of which would not make a blind bit of difference to excessive or under-age alcohol consumption.

Goddamn. That was good. I think we're going to need one less lamp-post. Naturally, the government's response was dismissive and patronising.
Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North, Labour): It is clear that the hon. Gentleman and I come from polar opposite positions, but he is making the classic freedom speech. He is saying that we have the freedom to do what we want, without intervention from the state.

"The classic freedom speech". That's what centuries of political thought boil down for these fascists. John Locke, Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill—it's all just a bit of verbal jousting to them.
The same speech will have been made against the breathalyser, crash helmets, the compulsory wearing of seat belts and a whole range of traffic regulations that are designed to save lives. Freedoms affect other people, not just the person exercising them.

No. No. No. Wearing a seat belt and a crash helmet does not affect other people and never has. It was with those laws that the rot set in. I've quoted it before and I'll quote it again, but when Ivan Lawrence spoke in 1979 to oppose compulsory seat belts, he predicted exactly where this would all lead:
Why should anyone be forced by criminal sanction not to hurt himself? That was never, at least until the crash helmet legislation, a principle of our criminal law. Where will it end? Why make driving without a seat belt a crime because it could save a thousand lives, when we could stop cigarette smoking by the criminal law and save 20,000 lives a year? Why not stop by making it criminal the drinking of alcohol, which would save hundreds of thousands of lives?

When will we realise that laws not only cannot cure every evil but are frequently counter-productive? Here the harm done to our criminal process may well exceed any good that the law can do. We can see that in advance, so why do we persist with it? If there was a law which made it a criminal offence to smoke or to drink alcohol, neither of which, of course, do I advocate, just think of the amount of bereavement that would be saved, the number of hospital beds that could be put to better use, and the time and energy of our doctors and nurses which could be more usefully employed. Yet we do not consider doing that. What is it about the motorist that requires him to be singled out and subjected to this sort of legislation?

The harm to justice caused by this legislation will be far more substantial than we think. When will we realise that every little infringement of liberty, for whatever good cause, diminishes the whole concept of liberty? If life is the only criterion, why did we sacrifice so many millions of lives in two world wars? Why did we not in the Second World War lie down and say "Because millions of people may die, we should let our liberty be taken away before the onset of the Nazis?" The answer is that more important than lives is the concept of liberty.

Since I have been in the House I have seen the cogent arguments and the telling pleas of hon. Members on both sides of the House persuading and succeeding in persuading the House that it is only a very little piece more of liberty that we are withdrawing and for such great benefits and advantages. As a result we have far fewer of our freedoms now than was ever dreamed possible a few years ago. In the end we shall find that our liberties have all but disappeared. It might be possible to save more lives in Britain by this measure—and by countless other measures. But I do not see the virtue in saving more lives by legislation which will produce in the end a Britain where nobody wants to live.

And he was dead right. If people had opposed that little law back then we would never be in the situation we are now, with authoritarian scumfucks like Kevin Barron citing is as a precedent to justify the state fixing prices. And once we accept that the state should fix prices for our own good, what will come next? Even now, with overwhelming evidence that these bastards will never stop, the basic principle of individual liberty is drowned out by the spastic yelps of the temperance zealots. Even now, a photo of some tart pissed up in a town centre carries more weight than centuries of hard-fought liberty. Even now, there are people thinking that it's only the cider-drinking plebs who will lose out from this bullshit law. From making it a crime to not wear a seat belt to banning happy hour in one generation. Silently but inexorably, the state marches on.

Never mind that, think of the children. You don't want babies being born addicted to alcohol do you? What kind of a monster are you? Look at our statistics. Feel my sincerity. Alcohol is cheaper than water. Is that what you want? Is it, eh, murderer? Won't somebody please think of the children?!?

No one heeded Lawrence's warnings in 1979 and no one will heed Philip Davies in 2010, because it's just one little law, isn't it? It's not as if thousands of little laws add up to one big tyranny, is it?
Richard Taylor (Wyre Forest, Independent): When parents are not providing adequate control, the nanny state has a place, if it is thinking of the good of all the people.

Fuck you, Taylor, and fuck your nanny state. I wish nothing but harm on you and your kind. Nothing.


Dick Puddlecote said...

Very fair, IMO.

"Neither I nor the Committee recommend an immediate leap to those levels of duty on spirits, but we should certainly make a start."

Irritated that I missed the 'immediate' there.

As you say, one could almost write a book about authoritarian methods merely based on that one 4 hour debate.

Ta for the link. :-)

Anonymous said...

That was utterly glorious.

It worries me though, that "fisking" is just turning into a (pants-wettingly wonderful) art-form.

We are actually going to have to do something effective against these people. And so we are going to have to understand this phenomenon, this people-hating, infantile rage they have for us. What is it really?

paulo said...

Let's see if I've got this right...

The country is on its arse, totally broke and as yet nobody, but nobody (in Westminster), has suggested a credible way out of said mess and the even bigger mess about to enfold us and what are our parliamentary representatives discussing ...

.....alcohol consumption?

Nope, I can't get my head round that ...

What have I missed?


john in cheshire said...

Filthy Smoker, i agree entirely with what you have written. The question is how to put a stop to it and in fact reverse all the illiberal laws that have been introduced over the past 60 years or so? I haven't a clue; does anyone? I honestly don't think talking achieves anything.

Anonymous said...

Said it before, must say it again. Enough fists in coppers faces alone can stop these laws.Their masters can talk their arses off but without blue thugs enforcing their will it is futile. At the moment bluebottles still have the edge in terms of power and support. I don't know how to change that but that is what lovers of freedom must put their thoughts to now, NOT endless diatribes about how milk rounds will work in the hoped for Utopia.

Manu said...

Fantastic post - 'nuff said.

In response to comments above about what can be done about this, a good first step would be to actually have libertarians (in marginal constituencies) for whom one could actually vote.

Since the libertarian blogosphere has just recently demonstrated the ability to raise not insigificant amounts of cash at short notice, perhaps the barrier of stumping up the £500-odd deposit to stand as a parliamentary candidate might not be so high? Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Kevin Baron is weird.
I think the term would be.
Kevin Baron is a creep.

Vladimir said...

Great writing.

It is so tragic that only one MP spoke out against this totalitarian nannying. You quote Ivan Lawrence from 1979. Back then, more than a few other MPs would have agreed with him. Now, we are cursed by career politicians and their total lack of principles.

John B said...

It's sad that even Davies feels the need to pander to the lie that "there is no doubt that there is a problem with excessive drinking of alcohol". No there fucking isn't.

sconzey said...

Bring it on, government! Bring it the fuck on!

My homebrew collective and I await the massive profits you will bring us.

manfromthefuture said...

presumably the idea of a tax bias towards retail as opposed to pub purchased booze, is to prevent further deterioration of the pub business. the end game being retail booze being almost the same cost.

However, how exactly are they going to arrange this tax to go to the government rather than retail. it must be by levying it at breweries when they sell it, to have (converging) retail booze tax and pub booze tax. then there are imports, so this will have to be fixed somehow.

there is no doubt that this will happen, unfortunately. the EU illegality being a slight inconvenience that they will get around somehow. so im now wondering what else this "minimum price" racket can be applied to.

the big picture is that we're seeing legislation forcing people to pay for bogus, superfluous services. money for bits of paper is one such example; boiler servicing, gas safety, electrical compliance, etc. the latest of such is house energy HIP for sellers - what a load of cobblers. it's free money for non-job numpties. what we have here is forcing people to buy booze in pubs, that's the end game. pubs themselves are massively taxed for their licenses too (money for paper again) and its all free money for the government.

"URL contain illegal characters", get lost!

Gandhi said...

Gandhi Speaks: John Kampfner - Illiberal Cretin

thefrollickingmole said...

Nicely written piece.

Does anyone in the government know just how easy it is to brew something alcoholic?

I worked in detention and can honestly say you can ferment nearly anything. (taste is another matter)

Ive seen brews "dry brewed" in zip lock bags, wet brewed in buckets, strained through a bedsheet and added to milk to make it drinkable.

Dry bread for yeast, stonefruit, apples, potatoes, all ready for drinking in about 2 weeks or less.

The logical outcome of overpricing booze will be poor quality, and at times dangerous home brews.

Rod said...

That Ivan Lawrence quote is powerful and prescient stuff. Great blog Sir.

Pavlov's Dalek said...

"We think that a start should be made. We recommend that duties on spirits be returned in stages to the same percentage of average earnings as in the past."

I think, to quote Somegreybloke, that if Time Travel was a real technological possibility, there would be an article about it on wikipedia.

Middle Seaxe said...

Excellent stuff FS. I'm actually ready to take to the streets about this issue.

Going back to the time travel theme, If it were possible, I'd go back in time and kick Kevin Barron's old man right in the fucking knackers.

What a plague on all our houses the bastards are.


Yes raise the legal age for drinking,lower the age for homosex,then the MPs can bugger a tea-total child with no fear of being vomited on.

Anonymous said...

That Baron turd is a complete shreiking little cunt.
I feel like smacking him round his moronic excuse for a head with a BASEBALL BAT.
Little shit.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a bunch of third rate little nobodies trying to make a name for themselves to me.
What a shame they will probably be overulled by the EU.
Why because eventually all EU law and taxation will be the same.
And with political pygmies like these excepting the Honourable Mr Davies (a sensible man),were fucked.
They obviously have nothing else to do with their time do they ?

Anonymous said...

Too many mentions of "Home Brewing".
I can see that will be rapidly be banned and made a criminal offence worthy of a "Life" sentence.
Just an aside,Orange Juice, Sugar and Wine Yeast can produce an acceptable Vodka and Orange drink in two weeks, better still in four weeks.
The traditional "Prison Wine".

Traction Man said...

It's time this country had a court of repeal. Citizens could ask for a law to be repealed and it would be up to the politicians to defend it and prove that the law was still needed. And as for listening to police, social workers, fake charities and other ridiciulous bodies, their views should carry no more weight in these debates than the voice of a lone voter.

Lola said...

yeah well. After 70 years of statist indoctrination centres laughingly passed off as schools it is nigh in impossible to expect the average scrote to have any idea at all about freedom and how long it took to win it and why.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post! Best of the week.

Paul said...

Brilliant article, once again they're appealing to the "its nice to come home fromt he pub not smelling of smoke" crowd who'd rather lose their liberty than do the laundry.

I think the solution to this is rallying the British people to ignore party politics in the next election, pick a candidate in each constituency and vote against their MP. Could you imagine the chaos caused by 646 new MP's trying to form a coherent Government without their leaders, they'd have no time for any of this petty fascism.

Old Holborn said...

you'll love this survey by HM Govt

Think This said...

Fantastic post. You've made my day

Ian B said...

Marvellous post, Filthy Smoker.

JonnyN said...

Bravo times 1000000000.

Ian B said...

I've come back to this post several times today, and read it through; it's that good.

It demonstrates so well the vast disconnect between the parliament and the people it supposedly represents. It shows what a failure our "democracy" actually is. And it's strongly reminiscent of the debate on the infamous Video Recordings Act, all the way back in 1984 (which is one of my hobby horses). Every MP "on side", ever MP falling over themselves to sound more moral (and often more anecdotal and irrelevant) than the one before. So much for opposition and adversarial politics. When morals are involved, the unity is absolute.

The political class are a failure. They will fuck us over, over and over again. People often complain that democracy is the tyranny of the majority, but the truth is that in general representative democracy is the tyranny of the minority; that small elite class with access to the power structure. The rest of us are just bystanders, fobbed off with a useless vote every five years for which faction of them will fuck us over, over and over again.

Britain adopted a form of what we may term "moral socialism" in the mid 19th century. It is that underlying belief system- that the government is there to enforce morality- which has led ever since to this steadily increasing secular sharia.

We were a liberal country once, but have not been for a very long time. It is good to read posts like this; it provides the small but significant comfort that I am not the only person in Britain filled with rage against the machine.

fatandbaldandmadashell said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a great post.

From your use of Ivan Lawrence's quote it really is amazing to see how the clarity of thought and articulation of higher minded political principles in our nation's parliament has eroded away to nothing more than planted questions, deceits and childish sniping over the last 30 years.

How depressing. But thanks for carrying the torch.

Rob said...

Seatbelts DO affect other people. They reduce the number of deaths of people in cars but increase the number of deaths of pedestrians and cyclists because drivers drive more dangerously.

Also, ironically, the number of deaths of children in road accidents rose sharply AFTER the law on rear seatbelts was introduced. Again, drivers felt safer and so drove faster and with less care.

Progressives do not, have never and will never understand people. They are just vast egos in hobnailed boots who just aren't living unless they are saving people from themselves.

Robin said...

The bosses of ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury`s and Morrisons meet up and secretly agree amongst themselves to increase the price of all alchoholic drinks . The government is not consulted.

MPs - discuss if this is in the public interest .

Mike Gogulski said...

I gushed. I do that rarely.

Xeno said...

Firstly, a brilliantly argued post. That it needs to be written at all shows that we have already witnessed the birth of a totalitarian state. When did democracy die? I don't know but we can all smell the humming corpse now, especially since it is apparent Cameron is not going to ride to the rescue of the country. Just wait until it starts becoming scary rather than only infuriating.

In answer to Anonymous, above, there is a relatively simple explanation for why the political left is liable to become totalitarian given enough power. Being left wing is based around the idea that humanity's competitiveness and striving for money, power, success can be eliminated, by the correct political structures, and by the repression of one's own competitive strivings and urges to dominate others.. Unfortunately they then labour under the delusion that these urges have disappeared from their minds and their organizations. They then begin to reappear in mutant forms (the "return of the repressed", as Freud put it). A good example is political correctness. People whose stated aim is to eradicate intolerance end up becoming amazingly intolerent themselves, and completely oblivious to the fact to boot. To those who can actually cope with the idea that humans are a mixed bag of good and bad, the left looks utterly insane.

If nothing is done there will be a turning point, when people become scared of each other because no one knows who is an informant. This has happened many times in human history, and will definitely happen again. at that point any resistance is basically futile. There will come a time when people have to do more than just blog.

RJ said...

Well argued post. I think it's a bit harsh (albeit funnily) on Robert Syms. His speech might not be perfect, but he does say:

"To some extent, alcohol consumption has increased because of affluence-people simply have more disposable income and more choices. It is also worth noting that people live rather longer than they did in 1947. One must take into account a range of factors concerning how people live today...I believe that pricing is less of a factor than other hon. Members believe...It ought to be said that the drinks industry is very important...the scotch industry is important in areas of our country where alternative jobs might not be so easy to get, and it is a major exporter that creates wealth for our country; and the brewing industry involves more than 400,000 jobs..."

Which is not exactly in the Barron category of malignity. Even the marmalade bit was making a good point, ie that people in this country have drunk a lot more in the past, and people have always got in a flap about alcohol consumption, the presumed inference being, get some perspective and calm down, the country is not on the brink of alcohol-induced collapse.

Anonymous said...

"No. No. No. Wearing a seat belt and a crash helmet does not affect other people and never has."

This is only partially correct, if the guy sitting behind you has no seat belt, he can kill or seriously hurt you when as he flies forward.

The side effect of expensive booze will be that:

a) people will party at home (and pay less tax) with all the good and bad consequences that'll bring.

b) learn to make hooch, beer, country wine or other concoctions (bankrupting the alcohol industry and depriving the tax man) see here:

At the basic level, 1.5kg of sugar and a couple of tins of fruit and a 1/5th of a pack of wine yeast (£1 so 20p) makes 4.5 litres of 13%-23% wine in a relatively short time if you don't care too much about the taste. Add enough sugar to sweeten and anything is 'drinkable'...

c) end up flogging dodgy moonshine (think 80%+ abv) to 'spice' things up a bit and to save space, so the drug dealer industry has a new product line and the RNIB gets a regular stream of new members...

As always, any attempt to impose order introduces more chaos.