As I mentioned, I was invited to a debate on RTE tonight on the concept of "Dry January" and the "role of government".
Now personally, I have nothing against the concept of people giving up the jar for a month – it's their choice They can give it up for an entire year or for life if they so wish. It is none of my business what people decide to do. However the Righteous have set aside January "to give us a rest from alcohol after the Christmas period". How fucking twee! Now what I would like to know is how much has been spent on this tacky concept? And what fucking business is it of theirs anyway?
As far as I can see, it's just a massive fund raising gimmick anyway. The only people who are going to take part are those who probably only rarely drink, and how many of those are even going to last the course? Anyone who has a problem with alcohol or even just enjoys their pint is going to ignore the whole circus.
All of this is an attempt to demonise alcohol, where alcohol is not the problem. The problem lies with the person who can't handle the stuff and they, thankfully, are in a minority. The vast majority can have a relaxing pint or glass of wine and it will benefit them both mentally and physically, but the word is out now – alcohol is a vicious killer and it must be consigned to history.
I have noticed quite an increase in focus on alcohol lately, and always in a negative fashion. I heard a bit of the radio today [about two seconds worth before I left the room] and it was some petty criminal blaming alcohol for his crimes. Then I saw a strange headline in the paper – Mother of teenager (13) found lying in the street drunk with a head injury warns of perils of alcohol – which had me wondering why having a daughter was relevant before realising it was the thirteen year old who was the central character. So here we have a petty criminal who has a drink problem and a teenager who went a bit over the top, but we are supposed to raise out hands in horror and run all the publicans out of town. Is minimum pricing going to help the petty criminal? Are we seriously supposed to believe he will give up his life of crime for the sake of a few bob? Not at all – he'll just have to steal a bit more to make up the extra price. And that teenager in theory isn't allowed to buy alcohol so it wouldn't affect her anyway.
They will deny it, but this is the thin end of the wedge. It's all part of the grand plan to turn alcohol into the Demon Drink which must be taxed, and "denormalised" out of existence. Already there are calls for "plain packaging", health warnings and the banning of all advertising.
It is the Tobacco Template all over again.