Friday, 1 January 2010

New year, new calls for control.

Many sore heads will agree with this morning's call to cut down on drinking. My head isn't sore any more, and I wouldn't agree even if it was. Not because drinking too much is a good thing - it's not a hobby for everyone - but because it's building up, just as with smoking, to a ban.

I think it's already illegal to be 'drunk in a public place' but not enforced unless the drunk causes problems. It could be though, and don't imagine for a moment that the Gorgon and his nosegoblins aren't rubbing their hands at the thought of all those fines. The police won't do it, it'll be handed down to more Council Stasi who will only accost harmless drunks and never, ever, interfere with the fighting drunks or the loud drunks. It's not for 'public protection'. It's for the money.

The NHS are now sending out iPhone apps so you can see how drunk you are (assuming you can still read the screen) which are supposed to make you go 'tsk' and put down your third half-pint of the evening. As always, the Righteous have not for a moment considered what the British drinking public will actually do with this app and are now horrified to find they have started a whole new game.

And now we have 'unwitting binge drinkers' who don't realise that the measure they pour at home is bigger than the one they get in the pub. Oh, I think you'll find we do know that. That's why we haven't installed optics in our houses and why those, like me, who once had a set soon stopped using them because they give out pub measures. Measuring the drink is only relevant when you're paying for a set amount of it. When I have a bottle of whisky, I've already paid for all of it so I'll pour as much as I please.

There's no mention of smoking killing huge swathes of innocent children today, for which I suppose we can be thankful for at least one day of not being the Evil Ones. It's all about drink because January 1st is Resolution Day (and January 2nd is forget-it day) so we're all expected to resolve to give up drinking today.

Not happening, not here. Since I went out last night, I still have that bottle of Grant's Ale Cask visitor whisky so there will be a small aperitif before tea and few more after.

None will be measured.


Quiet_Man said...

I wont give up on drinking at all, I can brew/distill my own should the need arise (and it may well) Natures bounty is still out there and good sloe gins, damson vodkas and other diy spirits can still be produced no matter what the state does.
(Living 60 miles from Dover and the ferry service helps keep the cost down too)

Snowolf said...

Re the news story on the NHS app.

LO and indeed L.

That is all.

(except to say; wv: rolium, is this the Chinese discovering the element that makes us laugh?)

Anonymous said...

Last night, at a NYE “do”, I was talking to a relatively-recent non-smoker (not a smug one) about the impact of the smoking ban (which she felt was thoroughly unreasonable). I seized upon the opportunity, as we were both quaffing a goodly glass of the red stuff at the time, to point out that all the signs were that alcohol was next in line for the same treatment - the anti-smokers having paved such a clear and easy path for others to follow in their wake. Inevitably, her reply, with a little carefree laugh, was: “They’re not going to be able to ban that in pubs, though, are they?” To which my response was: “You say that, but think about it - ten years ago you’d have said the same about smoking, wouldn’t you?” To say she looked as if a light had suddenly been switched on inside her head is an understatement. I think there are many, many non-smoking drinkers out there who simply don’t see that there’s any connection between the two – and it is the duty of those of us who are on the receiving end of one such “process” to get the message across to those who are just now at the beginning of another. True, many of them fall into the category of “none who are so blind as those who will not see,” but with the smoking ban still relatively new and fresh in everyone’s mind, there are far more out there who simply need it pointed out to them to start them thinking ………. Who knows, if enough non-smoking drinkers wise up to what’s waiting in the wings, maybe simple self-interest might get those same people fighting for changes to the smoking ban, if for no other reason than to re-direct the attention of the Righteous back onto a battle which they believed they'd already won, and thus away from their new target of the Demon Drink?

Furor Teutonicus said...

January 1st is Resolution Day so we're all expected to resolve to give up drinking today.

I did. But then I remembered the garage is opoen 24/7, and has my favourite beer as well.

I nearly paniced for a few seconds.

soapy souter said...

Scotland is already leading the way against alcohol. Minimum prices of 40p per unit of alcohol are planned. Luckily Liebour etc are holding them back but for how long ?

Leg-iron said...

If Labour were in power in Scotland, they'd be pushing for minimum pricing and the SNP would be opposing it. They both want it but neither wants the other side to do it. It's fortunate that politics is so petty, when the government doesn't have a majority.

A bottle of whisky is around 30 units. At 40p per unit, the minimum price would be £12 or so. Since my preference is for single malts, the minimum price won't affect me but I oppose it absolutely anyway - because once this gets under way it'll only get harsher.

Remember when trains had one non-smoking carriage? Then one smoking carriage, then no-smoking on the trains, the platforms, the waiting rooms...

Now they have one silent coach where mobiles and games are banned. Just watch that spread.

So it will be with minimum pricing. No sooner will it arrive than the calls to raise it will start. If I ignore this because it doesn't affect me now, it won't be long before I'll need a mortgage for a single malt.

So I won't be voting SNP either.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I did enjoy the BBC article on unwitting binge drinkers, but what struck me is that people who drink at home or at a friend's house don't pour themselves 'too large' measures, they probably pout themselves 'the right amount' and that measures in a pub are simply too small.

P.T. Barnum said...

As a smoker who is unable to imbibe alcohol (and hasn't for 19 years)invite suggestions as to how I become an honorary drinker since I fear being taken for a righteous teetotaler when actually I'm just jealous of the lot of you?

John Pickworth said...

Commenting on the iPhone app, Don Shenker, from Alcohol Concern, said: “There will always be some people who use these things irresponsibly..."

Oh My God!!! They're going to ban the iPhone next. Eeeck!

Leg-iron said...

PTB - the Smoky Drinky places are mainly smoky. The drinky is optional.

We just do it there because we can't have both at once in the pub any more.

John P - Apple have already decided their warranty is invalidated if the buyer of their product is a smoker. So they'll get no support from me. I own no Apple products, and never will.

They've already sided with the Righteous.

banned said...

I stayed almost sober on NYE because I chose to as I wanted to drive my car early the following day.
I was expecting a barrage of binge stories in the press on 2nd Jan and was not ammused to hear that twat babbling on the radio about drink costing the NHS £3B pa without anyone pointing out the vastly greater sums raised in Tax (+VAT) on New Years Day itself.

Re the smoking ban on trains, when they introduced it on the London tube, smokers were allowed to smoke in one carriage only. The front one, where you get killed in a crash.
They then used the Kings Cross fire as an excuse to ban smoking completly when the real problem was their failure to keep the place clean.

I spread the 'drinkers are next' message as frequently as I can, which is often.

opinions powered by