Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Nanny's been busy.

Nanny Cameron wants to implement minimum pricing on booze. CAMRA are idiotically in favour of this because they (and much of the pub industry) think it will save the pubs.

It is not being done to save the pubs. It is being done to REDUCE the amount people drink. All of it. Not just the supermarket plonk. Not just the 'bingers'. All of it.

Most of the people who buy supermarket own-brand beer only buy it because they can't afford anything else. Oh, they can afford bottled water which is, and always has been, cheaper than any alcoholic drink or fizzy drink of any kind. They don't want water, they can get that from the tap. They want something that tastes like beer even though you'd have to drink enough to make your bladder explode before you felt any effects.

Minimum pricing will not drive those people to the pubs. They still can't afford pub prices. It will drive them to homebrew and to criminal cut-price fake booze. Unregulated stuff of unknown strength and often dangerous contents.

Most of the people who go out on a Friday are drinking to a budget. That's why they have a few before they go out, to cut down how much they drink at the higher prices. If you make their home-based tipple more expensive, will that make them spend more in the pubs? No, it will mean that their budget is more dented before they leave home, so they have less to spend in the pub.

Eventually they will use their entire budget on their home drinks and not visit the pub at all. Perhaps they'll start coming along to Smoky-Drinky or form something similar themselves.

Well, smoking at home is likely to come under Nanny Cameron's baleful and mindless gaze soon, and that allows the inspectors in to check your booze cupboards too. Oh and while they're there, they'll have a look in your fridge and check your salt stocks in case you are going to 'cost the NHS money'.

Minimum pricing is not going to help the pubs. That is not its intention. It will close them faster. That is its intention. CAMRA and the pub industry don't seem to realise who is calling for this measure. Look up 'Puritan' and you might get a clue. Look up the names involved and compare them to the names involved in the smoker-hatefest. Notice anything yet? What they did to us, they are now doing to you with exactly the same methods, and you simply will not see it.

Oh, what's the point? They don't believe the smoking ban has had any effect, they still revel in their smoker-bashing, they even blame smokers for not supporting the pubs they banned us from. Let the pubs close. Maybe when the last one shuts its doors, the likes of CAMRA will finally see what's been happening.

The Smoke Doors are already appearing on displays even though they are not officially required yet. Plain packaging will be implemented and the tobacco companies are already preparing for it. Smoking will be banned in your own car and as soon as they have implemented a ban on your own property, your home is next. The abuse, the snide remarks, the open bullying will continue and the only respite for smokers is that it will now be diluted by the same attacks on drinkers, fat people, anyone who visits a burger bar and anyone who likes salt.

As Frank says, we've stopped spending. Effectively banned from town centre facilities, we no longer browse the shops. Speaking for myself, I go to the town only when I have to, buy what I went there for and get the hell out. I am not welcome in any pub, cafe or restaurant so there is no point lingering. No point buying a newspaper to read over a coffee and cigarette in a local cafe. No purpose in calling in for a pint and then, with wallet control slightly loosened, take a look at the trinket shops. No, these days I go into town only for specific purposes and when that's done, I'm gone.

I used to take a bus or train ride occasionally, just to go somewhere new for fun. Sometimes I went quite a distance, booked into a B&B for the night, tried out some different pubs and came home next day. I never do it now. I can't remember the last time I used a taxi or visited a cinema. I am not spending like I used to and not trying to earn like I used to either. I need less to spend, so I don't need to earn as much, so I pay less tax. In effect, the smoking ban caused me to start a withdrawal from the economy.

Soon the drinkers will join us in dropping out of the economy. They don't want to, just as we didn't want to, but they will be left with no option. Not when they, like the smokers, are up against people who are happy to lie and cheat to get their way. All with the full support of the people they voted into office. I'd like to think they'd keep that in mind at the next election but I am increasingly convinced that many people have no minds.

Australia is ahead of us with nannying, and I never thought I'd see the day when all those hard-drinking, hard-smoking 'no worries' people would accept that they will no longer be allowed to bring back any duty free tobacco at all. I wonder how well they'll accept its inevitable extension to booze?

I have no idea what percentage of Australia's overseas travel includes those who are just heading out to stock up on smokes, but it looks as if a large part of the cross-channel ferry business in the UK is currently being supported by people like this guy. How many crew will be unemployed when all EU-bought and overseas-bought tobacco is banned, I wonder? Oh, but it won't have anything at all to do with the ban.

Let it all fail, I say. Let every pub close, let every club, cafe, cinema and bingo hall lose money and die. Every loss of business, every lost sale takes a little bit more VAT and income tax away from the government. Let the economy collapse. Let it all fall to the ground and when it's all flat, there will be nowhere left for those who are responsible for it to hide.

Maybe then, just maybe, the drones will look at the Dreadful Arnott, the BMA, and all their revolting friends in government and in the whole nannying industry and finally say 'Look what you did'.

I really don't think that realisation will ever come unless the whole house of cards comes down. So let it fall.

Think of it as an overgrown garden. Get in there with the strimmer and the fork and rip it all up. We can put it back together once we've ripped out the strangling weeds.

Except... this is effortless. It involves working less hard and spending less money. No revolution, no riots, no shouting or placard-waving.  They talk about austerity, let's show it to them. Work as much as you need to and no more. Buy only what you absolutely have to buy. Repair, or use second-hand.When next door buys a new car, don't think jealous thoughts. Think about how much tax the mug has just paid. How much harder he had to work to get that car and how much interest he'll pay on the loan.

There are many who are just about covering their bills as it is and have no room to cut back. The ones who will make a big difference are those who are currently spending on big-screen TVs and 4x4s and the latest pad computer or phone. If they cut back to essentials, the tax man will notice.

It won't be forever. If enough people did this it wouldn't even be for long. So why not give it a try?

If it achieves nothing else, it'll do your blood pressure a world of good.


Lfb_uk said...

I visited friends in Australia for three weeks in 2010. The cigs there were 25 aussie dollars for 40 cigs (about £17) In city bars you could buy pints of beer, in the towns twas all schooners ( 2/3 rds of a pint) at £6 for lager. When talking to the average Aussie about the prices, they all knew a bloke who could sell chop chop, which is home grown tobacco and many in the bars I visited were rolling there own cigs. Everyone was pissed off with their politicians not listening and all being the same no matter which party they voted for. It seems politicians the whole world over are pissing off the electorates and refusing to listen.


Lou said...

Interesting your comment about a weedy garden.

I've frequently thought about the smoking ban as the equivalent of those fires we see in Brazil and Indonesia, where they clear all the native stuff to plant their cash crops.

Great for a couple of years but the yields get smaller and they have to use fertilizer, then it reverts to native vegitation and all the trees have gone and all the noble creatures that lived in the forest have gone and it's a nice place for insects and lizards and rodents.

Gonkione said...

And the insects and rodents will be the politicians

Zooter11 said...

To true...No pubs for me. Prices outrageous. Used to go out with wife at least twice a week and drink moderately. Often had a meal. NO longer. Now buy a bottle and extend it with a mixer. Already planning to home brew and do some wine.
Your cinema point is well made. I cannot remember the last time we went. Don't do foreign holidays due to travel taxes. Infact we have cut back on all our expenditure. Not because we cannot afford it, but due to the constant rip offs we encounter. 

Guest said...

Been going down this route for some time now. Starving the beast is easy and painless.

Bulaman said...

Beware substitutes.. This doesn't happen with real cigarettes!

Moi said...

"CAMRA are idiotically in favour of this because they (and much of the pub industry) think it will save the pubs"
Of course they are, but I don’t think it’s because they really believe that it will save pubs.  Deep down inside, they know that it’ll hurt pubs every bit as much as it’ll hurt any other alcohol retailer.  But all the time they can blame the “wicked supermarkets” for the demise of the pub industry, they can go on ignoring the real reason for the trade’s devastation, continue to steadfastly deny that they backed the wrong horse and thus continue to do absolutely nothing meaningful about it (such as, for example, officially changing their stance on it, with the benefit of hindsight).  Pride and saving face, it seems, has become more important to the pub trade and their so-called supporters in CAMRA than has running, or supporting, the pubs themselves.

Junican said...

Ref the exploding ecig:

"Parker said fire investigators do not know the brand of cigarette, type of battery or age of the device. It appears the battery was rechargeable lithium because a recharging station and other batteries were in the room, he said."

So they really have no idea what happened? No remains of the ecig? No remains of the battery? Nothing at all? Very fishy. 

Anonymous said...

You might want to withdraw all your money from the bank as soon as you are paid etc.

It hurts the bankers and stops the paper trail.

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