Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Drink is the New Smoking.

DIY - Drink it yourself.

The Tories are confident of winning the next election. They probably will, too. When that happens, many left-leaning blogs imagine that those they call right-wing (which is everyone who doesn't agree with them. I've even seen the SNP called right-wing!) will fall silent, and it'll then be their turn to rage against the machine.

Not going to happen, in this case at least. I don't care about 'left' and 'right', these are just labels and they have lost most of whatever meaning they ever had within the last few years. Along with words like 'racist' and 'Nazi', they have been bandied around so much, in such irrelevant and inappropriate situations, that they are no more than vague terms of abuse now. We might as well go back to calling each other 'cad' and 'poltroon' for all the effect the current round of words have.

The Tories are so confident that they are already making pronouncements and already spinning the figures. Doesn't look like Dave's Change is going to be all that much different after all.

Here comes one of the New Puritans now. Shadow Home Orifice Monster, James Brokenshire, has decided that we all drink too much. Not that we have any reason to, oh, no. It's all because of those deadly 24-hour drinking laws that the Terrible Labour let through. The Lovely Tories plan to take them back and control us some more. No smoking in pubs, and soon no drinking and no talking.

Data obtained by shadow home office minister James Brokenshire shows that the number of deaths related to alcohol rose 40 per cent to 7,341 between 1999 and 2008.

Rose from what figure precisely? Well, let's see. Working backwards gives an original figure of, interestingly, 5243.57 for 1999. Don't bother arguing about 'rounding up'. Look at his figure. It's not rounded. It's a 'spammer's number' - the sort of thing spammers use when trying to get you to hand over money because a precise-looking figure is more believable than a round number. So, working with the Monster's made-up number, someone in 1999 was only half-dead from alcohol related illness. If you're going to invent your data, try to make sure it matches up.

The difference between the figures is 2097.43. That's 200 people a year, roughly, over the period mentioned. Out of a population of 60 million, that's not too harsh a level of alkies, I'd say. In fact, 7500 represents 0.0125% of the population. Even that's not a huge level of alcohol deaths, even if it was real. It will include the meths drinkers and the sherry-bottle-in-a-bag park bench brigade, most of whom die of exposure after drinking themselves insensible in winter. It will include the drunk drivers who mistake a tree for a parking spot.

It will also include anyone involved in a collision with a driver who was over the limit, whether or not the drinker was to blame. If you drive over the limit and someone crashes into you, it's going to be your fault no matter what. That's the best reason not to do it. Whatever happens, you'll get blamed. Everyone involved in every accident where one or more people was over the limit (not necessarily pie-eyed) is counted.

Everyone involved in a fight where one or more were drunk, is counted. Everyone who stumbled into the road and was mown down by a sober driver doing twice the speed limit, is a drink-related death. He's also a traffic statistic and if he was smoking, they claim him too. If he was also overweight, he's died four times.

The reason all these Terrible-Thing-related deaths increase so fast is that the definition of what constitutes a related death is cast wider and wider. Jimmy Brokenbottle is well aware of this. He's anticipating the reins of power and the yoke of control and getting ready to take over where his predecessors leave off. Interfering in every little detail of our lives until we can be arrested for wearing the wrong kind of hat.

Mr Brokenshire said: "I am increasingly worried that the Government's decision to introduce 24-hour drinking is having a real impact on antisocial behaviour in our town centres and not nearly enough is being done to tackle it.

Drunk and disorderly is an offence. Why not arrest the disorderly drunks and leave the jolly, quiet drunks alone? Drink does not make people violent and abusive. What you see there are violent and abusive people who happen to be drunk. Arrest them. Leave the quiet ones alone. Is it really so complicated?

The Tories will continue the Ban Frenzy just like Labour. There will be no change. Rather than tackle violent and abusive people, who might be difficult to deal with, the Tories will criminalise us all and then arrest the easy targets. So they'll fill quotas and make not a jot of difference to the violence. Just as Labour are doing now.

Lest we think he's forgotten the Great Victim:

"The impact on services like the NHS really can't go on. The Government seems to be completely unaware of the enormity of the problem of binge drinking in our society and its effects on society and our communities, and its tragic consequences."

Does anyone know what the NHS is for? I thought it was there to cure the sick and heal the injured. Apparently not. We are to pay for it but we must never use it. There are already mutterings about withdrawing treatment from smokers. There are already murmurs about how expensive it is to treat the fat. Now it's too much bother to treat drinkers. NHS treatment. Only the pure of body and soul need apply. The NHS is there to patronise the healthy and kill off the sick as fast as possible. That seems to be the Tory line these days. We must protect the NHS by living pure lives and never going there. For what it's worth, I'd advise you to avoid going there anyway. They have diseases that are yet to make the news.

Where did binge drinking come into the figures? He's added that in for effect. The figures make no distinction whether the deaths were due to a binge or a glass of wine. He sounds just like the hysterical harpies we have running the country now, and he has no more idea of what to do about it than do they. The 'enormity' of the problem affecting less than 0.0125% of the population is his hobby horse. I certainly won't be voting for this party. It's New Labour with a different rosette.

Expect no relaxation of the derision pouring from blogs when the Tories take over. They are going to be exactly the same.

Even the SNP are starting to look very similar indeed. Their new booze rules come into effect in September and will make no difference at all to the dedicated pissheads, but will inconvenience everyone else. Since they won't work, and they know it, they'll be drafting the next level of control now. Just like all the other parties.

Why am I sure it won't work?

In India, few people can afford licensed booze. Just the situation our government wants here, because they believe if we can't buy it, we can't drink it. In parts of India, booze is banned. Our politicians would love that - no booze, no alcohol problems, right? Well, perhaps they should read this little article for a taste of the effect their meddling will really have on alcohol-related deaths. Or this one. Or how about a situation where brewing or drinking alcohol is punishable by jail or the lash? Will that help? Booze is easy to make but it's also easy to get it wrong. As the price goes higher and control gets tighter, more people will try, and more will get it wrong. The NHS had better brace themselves because they're going to be very busy indeed.

The Tories had better brace themselves too. They'll get no easy ride from the blogs.


Atheist Ranter said...

Fuck me OH but you have got a turn of phrase that makes me jelous. That article is so right and so to the point that it made my eyes water. It should be required reading in all schools and universities.

Well done sir and keep it up.

My total admiration

Man in the Street said...

Hear, hear. They're no better than anyone else. Fuckers will still vote them in and moan for the next 12 years.

Fuck it, I'm going to live in South America or somewhere similar.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Leg-Iron, I said it over at yours and I'll repeat it here, get with the f***ing curve!

Drinking was already the new smoking ages ago, chocolate is now the new drinking is the new smoking.

See also: Baroness Warsi and khat or Boris Johnson and drinking on the train.

WV: rests

Charles said...

Top-notch piece with many excellent points brought out.

Anonymous said...

When that happens, many left-leaning blogs imagine that those they call right-wing... will fall silent

A few weeks ago someone told me that "Nineteen-Eighty Four" was about a right-wing fascist dictatorship. Truly, the terms are meaningless now, existing only in the minds of Labourlist mongs locked in constant battle against the eeeevil Tories.

Tom said...

OK - check out the devil:

Five myths about alcohol


March of the Zealots

Neither of which is exactly unreasonable...

The English language is beginning to fail me when it comes to commenting on the state of our country.....

Leg-iron said...

Mark - it's impossible to keep up with the rate of banning.

Watch out for ice cream. All that greenhouse energy used to chill things when it's unnatural, man. We should have icehouses like in the old days, man, when the factories used clean coal scrubbed by peasants who then sucked out the CO2 using their children as carbon sinks and everything was green except the money, because nobody had any.

There's no need to ban chocolate anyway, it's already a doomed crop because it's all one little genetic pool. Like bananas. And wheat. One fungus or one virus and it's all gone.

Look at the way cacao is grown and you'll see why the little green men really want it banned. It's unsustainable, innit? They can't hit it directly because of who's growing it, so they go for the end product.

Prepare to eat sugar free chocolate substitute, as pioneered by Baldrick in Blackadder Goes Forth. I have some in the lab here. Just needs the pathogens taken out.

Then again, why bother? They've all come from hospitals anyway.

Leg-iron said...

Anon- I don't understand why the Labour drones hate the Tories. They're the same party. They can wail all they like but when the Tories take over, I bet we won't notice the difference.

Those people regard Stalin as right-wing. They're so far left they're out of sight.

(if only...)

Leg-iron said...

Tom - the Filthy Smoker, over at the Devil, is a soul brother.

We've never met but if we ever do, there'll be much consumption of booze and tobacco. We should be able to raise the national average between us.

Sue said...

Bloody right. I don't trust the Tories anymore than I trust labour.

We want our democracy back and the Conservatives needn't think that they'll get away with anything less than what we demand.

Anonymous said...

I live in Thailand where the sale of booze in shops is only legal between midday and 2PM then 5pm till midnight no advertising allowed cigarettes where on sale must be hidden from view so there is a sign saying cigarettes sold here. All well and good but the best selling alcoholic drink sold here is never advertised and sold everywhere "lao khow", white whisky about a £1 a bottle and tastes like paint stripper and is resposible for most of the road deaths here tens of thousnds a year mostly pissed upm men on motorbikes. Fair play to the Thais with all the governments campaigns to stop drinking or cut it down a bit they tell them to fuck off.

caesars wife said...

It is interesting to remember that only a mere 150yrs ago the standard british breakfast would have required at least a pint or two of small beer 3% ABV , this was both to provide calories for the graft of the day that lay ahead and the fact the water supply was not always clean , the alcohol in the beer killed most bugs ! Beer was good for you literally.

as someone who was a careerist in alcoholic poisening , i am glad i found a way out it , still enjoy a good red or white though as well as ale , but more for taste rather than showmanship these days .

smoking ?? despite knowing its proven to be no good i still smoke , although in fairness i would happily see it end and people farm medicines instead of a drug that stimualtes by constriction of the blood vessels , delivered by burning the leaf attached to non bio degradable filter tip and paper laced with Sodium Nitarte so that it burns .

as for ganga , that really is no brainer (in the end), run for profit ,literally

Anonymous said...

Leg iron, I strongly recommend you read Christopher Snowden's Velvet Glove, Iron Fist: A history of anti-smoking. I've just finished it and it provides concrete evidence not just about the anti-smoking pogram but about all attempts at 'denormalisation'. The fuckers have been at it for years.

Phil McVile said...

Remember when Boris was elected and all the high hopes? The first thing he did was not to sack a load of jobsworths and get Local Government off people's backs it was to ban booze on the Tube. I remember his campaign. All that bollocks about re-phasing the traffic lights to make life easier for motorists, re-introducing the Blackwall Tunnel contraflow etc. None of it happened but a ban was introduced double quick.

Shower of cunts, the lot of them.

banned said...

Can't recall the figures but the taxes we pay for tobacco sin and alcohol sin far outweigh the costs to the NHS of treating related illness ( however wide theycast the net ) we actually deserve a refund.
Why not tax sports, all those overweight unfit twats clogging up A&E every Sunday morning with their self inflicted sports related injuries ?

Anon Thai 01:33 09 July 2009 01:33
Thank you, please forward to James Brokenshite.

Tom said...

banned - it goes like this:

Bliars zealots tasked the government actuarial department with a survey of "how much all smoking related illnesses cost the health service" - anything goes... AKA how much does it cost to bury the smokers?

The 1999 report noted £1,700,000,000 - £1.7 billion per year.

The same report noted that in 1999 the government collected £10.2 billion in tobacco revenue - 5:1 a ratio that'd make a cocaine seller happy.

This report has been comprehensively expunged from government web sites - damn - I wish I'd saved a copy....

Strangely enough Bliar himself touted the £1.7 billion figure in an attack on smoking 8 years later in the twilight of his presidency and presented it as a "current figure" - a simple lie. Needless to say the creep didn't volunteer what the 2007 tobacco take was - I think you'd find it's a number they're unhappy to hand over.

The word hypocrisy just doesn't convey adequate meaning somehow.

Anonymous said...

Changeing 24 hours drinking laws? No shit? Mr Broeknshore. Horse as bolted comes to mind, the desired damage as been done.

Will he be also closing the corner shopoff licenses taht litter our towns and cities.In my area we have 13 within 5 minutes walking distance

ranter said...

Leg iron - no disagreement from me. I dread Cameron and the Tories - there'll only be more of the same, more control, more tax more EVERYTHING!

No one in the political elite ever says that it is quite possible to get pissed....regularly, without having to glass someone in the same venue; go outside and kick the shit out of someone, then piss everywhere, jump on the roof of a car and have a dump, murder the minicab driver and rob him once you get dropped of outside your home and thenm go indoors and beat the fuck out of your wife and kids.

Why don't the police nick these arseholes and the courts sentence them to some hard labour instead of giving them tickets and making life miserable for the majority.

Why do modern Tories think the way they do?

Tom said...

Off Topic - I'll grant you but this is something that I've been advocating for hmm about the last 5 years - but not for the same reasons:

My plan was to send our shits out there - cheaper to outsource to Africa - good for their local employment. Then when the sods want to come back they have to find work and save up for their return air tickets... somehow I expect a reduction in repeat offenders......

And yes - I do have direct personal experience of that part of the world.

Ampers said...

What pubs? Are there any left?

Fausty said...

OH, (off-topic, sorry) might I draw your attention to VOTR and urge you to take action

Hairy Arsed Bloke said...

These 24 hour pubs that you speak of, how many are there?

Most pubs I know still use the 23:00 (22:30) hours. Maybe a few may add an hour or two on Fri/Sat but that is it.

I don't live in the sticks either but central London.

Anonymous said...

By the time the Nigels get done with negotiating with that lefty cow in charge at our end it will end up costing 300 Billion and we'll all have to sign up for ID theft. Why can't we just shoot the thieving, lying bastards? And the Nigerian prisoners!

Grinningsadist said...

Bollocks on the rounding OH - you're looking in the wrong place.

An increase to 7341 deaths from exactly 5243 (no decimal-person shenanigans) is 40.0153%, with the .0153 being negligible. *This* is where the rounding's happened, not in percent-of-a-person.

Other than that, spot. Fucking. On.

Anonymous said...

The modern Tory party will piss off its core white middle class voters just as surely as the modern Labour party has managed to piss off its core white working class voters.

This is part of the political crisis in the west. We are lumbered with old, arrogant and corrupt establishment parties representing no one but themselves, leading their countries into oblivion.

Ivor Bigot said...

Dave = Obama, i.e. shiny new face, same old shit.

I can't help but wonder when homebrew is going to drift under the crosshairs. I can heartily recommend it BTW, if anyone is feeling the pinch. True, my paint stripper is never going to win any prizes, but knowing I haven't paid alcohol-tax on it makes it taste so much better!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Alistair Darling has increased beer duty by 20% since April last year while his staff are telling the house that it is a price-insensitive product. Ergo, they know taxation isn't going to reduce consumption.

And as LI rightly points out, it's more of the same from the Tories once they get in. James Brokenshire has form. Here he talks about "enforcement" and "punishment" towards those who enjoy alcohol.

Anonymous said...

There is of course one rapidly increasing segment of the population of modern Britain that would very much welcome a clamp down on everything alcohol related.

It couldn’t possibly be that the establishment is softening up the rest of us to accept ever more alcohol restrictions to appease a certain group?

Chalcedon said...

I am sick and tired of government meddling with our lives. They need to back off. Way off. I think you are right. Another bunch of authoritarian fuckers are flexing their muscles. I do not expect all the CCTV and speed cameras to be reduced or abolished. I do not expect any relaxation of the smoking ban. I expect that restricted dinking zones will increase. Freedoms are fast being lost. I'm sick of it. No wonder certain fringe parties are benefitting. No point voting for the main parties are they are all as bad as each other.

BlogTart said...

If these bastard politicians are so much against the demon drink, wouldn't you think that they'd set the example by closing the 646 heavily subsidised drinking establishments in the HoC? Hypocrites, to a man.

If the Tories are serious about getting rid of unnecessary QUANGOS they should start with the health advisory wasters like Alcohol Awareness.

Anonymous said...

"Booze is easy to make but it's also easy to get it wrong."

Sorry Leg-iron, but you're onto a wrongen there.

So long as the alcohol is naturally generated by the yeast (beer, cider, wine etc) and the fermentation temperature is kept within 16-22 degrees for ales(won't kill you but could give you a bad hangover or be undrinkable) then you cannot 'kill' yourself.

Take a look at this site for practical home brewing:

You can get kitted out to make 23 litres of ale at Wilkinsons for 25 quid! Then it'll cost you about a tenner per 23 litres from there on. Fifteen to twenty quid will buy you a real ale beer kit that's as good as the pub too.

Obviously home distilling is dangerous, and also illegal in the UK.

steve said...

When will these socialist do-gooding cunts just FUCK OFF and leave us alone. Im off out now for some beer and lots of fags - which are both legal - for now. I dont want to live in NuLabs brave new world. Bring on the rioting, i say. I want to emigrate to 1956.

Liam Gallagher's Toothless Gurn said...

glass someone in the same venue; go outside and kick the shit out of someone, then piss everywhere, jump on the roof of a car and have a dump, murder the minicab driver and rob him once you get dropped of outside your home and then go indoors and beat the fuck out of your wife and kids

Aye, it were a fooking top night, weren't it? I was well mad for it, me. Give peace a chance!

Peter Scargill said...


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