Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Shame on You! Nannies in British Government Consider Ways to Eliminate Binging, Drinking; Update: Awesome Beer Holster

Britain's trashed New Year's celebration (berated on this very blog) was just the tip of the iceburg. Now the British government is proposing a number of new measures to prevent the public from getting absolutely trashed every night:

Among the measures being considered were a prohibition on discounts on alcoholic drinks in supermarkets, reduced happy hours, higher taxes on alcohol and a total advertising ban.
Pardon me, but why don't they just ban booze while they're at it? It sure seems like this is their ultimate aim. This is absolute rot. Yes, let's punish the responsible for the actions of the irresponsible. (More after the jump)

A government health adviser recently proposed banning the sale of alcohol in supermarkets in addition to "price controls." This doesn't address the culture of binge drinking in the least, unless you assume that adults have no self-control.
Professor Julian le Grand, the chairman of Health England, said customers should be made to make a conscious decision to buy drink by going into a different shop instead of being "lured" into buying alcohol during their weekly grocery shop.

He said alcohol had become "like adult candy", with customers seduced into buying cut-price drink on their way around the supermarket in the same way that sweets used to be placed near tills.
Adult candy? Seduced into buying booze n the same way that fat people are lured into buying sweets placed near tills? I sincerely doubt that alcohol is a impulse buy. And even if it is, this will only apply to those with no self-control. At least in the States, most people don't buy candy every time they go to the store, just because it's right by the checkout. The blogger Harry Haddock, over at Nation of Shopkeepers has a particularly impassioned response:
What an utter loon this pompus pile of half rotten pheasant guts is. Now, the good Professor way be such a f**king moron as to loose control of his faculties when he enters a supermarket, but the rest of us make a conscious decision. We walk into a supermarket to by goods. We notice their business model means that these goods are reasonably priced, which is a good thing, as we have an increasingly small amount of spare cash left over after the BBC / Nu Labour alliance have bent us over and given our wallet a good raping.

But not the nutty Professor. He walks into a supermarket, and an evil Svengali in a Waitrose (probably, given his salary) uniform jumps out, saying ‘look into my eyes, not around my eyes into my eyes, and… your under’. He is then commanded to ignore his shopping list (250g tin of self importance, 1lt of asses’ milk, 2 tubs of contempt for the man in the street and a jar of ‘aftertaste the difference’ authoritarianism), and head straight to the booze isle, where he is able to pick up 15 bottles of red wine for 14 pence, with a six pack of alchopops thrown in for free. He is immediately overcome with the need to force feed his 3 year old child the alchopops, drink the wine (all of it), and then drive around in his Volvo, listening to Vivaldi really, really, loud, while terrorising the neighbourhood (binge drinking now being a middle class problem, apparently).

Because Le Grand Prix thinks that we all do this, he has another solution, other than restricting free trade. Price controls ~ whoopee!

‘He also said there should be a “dramatic rise” in prices.’

Clearly, this will be in the form of more tax. Jolly good.
Another blogger, the Pub Philosopher makes a very good point:
Surely, it is up to those who want to ban anything to show that a ban would improve the safely and welfare of the majority. There is no evidence to show that re-imposing licensing hours would reduce alcohol related crime, so why ban the rest of us law abiding drinkers from getting a beer a midnight.
On a passing note, wow:
Lager and cider cost less than bottled water in British supermarkets.
Update:And now for something completely awesome: A beer holster.

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