Last Friday there was an article in the Irish Times.
I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time as it was fairly typical of the kind of scaremongering that goes around these days. I mean to say – “dirt cheap”? For fuck’s sake! Anyone in this country who goes for a few pints is very rapidly going to find his wallet emptied.
And what’s all this about suicides? I know the suicide rate has increased alarmingly over the past couple of years but I would hazard a guess that unemployment, debt, house repossessions and the rest have a certain bearing?
Then I noticed a paragraph –
Ms Shortall said that, in many cases, young people were not able to handle the amount of drink they could now afford and that there was “an onus” on the Government to address the problem.
Aha! Here we go. The Bully State is moving in on alcohol?
She expected the group to make recommendations on pricing and availability which would then be examined by the Government. “We’re looking at the question of minimum pricing to remove that dirt cheap element from the market,” she said.
There was one whisper from the voice of reason –
Kathryn D’Arcy, director of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, said alcohol consumption was on the decline in the State over the last decade but that it would support all evidence-based proposals to address misuse.
Sorry, Kathryn but you should know by now that “evidence based” means a rake of biased junk ‘science’.
But one swallow does not a summer make, as they say so I let it pass.
On Tuesday however, the screws were tightened a bit.
This was more or less a regurgitation of Friday’s piece but the language had become that bit more hysterical.
Alcohol has gone from “dirt cheap” to “exceptionally cheap”. Wow! “Huge quantities of cheap alcohol are being consumed.” Fuck! The country must be swimming in the stuff. “The statistics are stark.” Hah! In a Bully State, the statistics are always stark.
There were a couple of lines that did bring a cynical smile to the face though –
“Furthermore, one in four deaths in young men is due to alcohol, compared with one in 12 due to cancers and one in 25 due to circulatory disease”
Here it is folks. If a Bully State wants to control you they try to terrify you with the prospect of cancer and heart disease. Where have I heard this before?
“overindulgence in alcohol was the biggest social problem facing Ireland today.”
Damn! And here was I thinking that it was poverty and unemployment or even smoking and obesity. Just shows how wrong I can be?
Coincidentally [my arse] another item appeared on Tuesday.
Now this one was the “science” bit. Just in case we are not scared by the politicians’ rhetoric, they start firing scary statistics at us.
Of course this piece introduces the poor innocent children. These poor little waifs who are so hard done by with their errant parents.
over half a million children are living with adults who engage regularly in hazardous drinking.
What the fuck is hazardous drinking? Do the adults insist on lowering their pints while sitting on a narrow ledge on a tall cliff?
“This equate [sic] to 587,000 children – over half of whom are under 15 years of age – being exposed to risk from parental hazardous drinking.”
Bloody hell! There can’t be a sober house in the land.
Of course the figures don’t bear close examination but that doesn’t matter. The scary stuff is out there now and everyone is quaking in their [alcohol filled] boots.
Is it a mere coincidence that we have a budget in the next few weeks? Do I see an obvious connection?
Let’s make some predictions for the budget and beyond.
- A big hike in excise duty.
- Minimum pricing.
- Graphic [Photoshopped] images on all bottles.
- A massive clampdown on advertising.
- Restrictions on where alcohol can be consumed.
- Talk of “secondhand alcoholism”.
Need I go on?
You know the routine.