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October 27, 2006

Witless Idiot

Can someone remind me how this witless idiot gained political power over us?

A swingeing increase in tax on alcopops and other alcoholic drinks favoured by teenagers is being demanded by the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, in an attempt to stop young people damaging their health by binge drinking.

She seems to think that teenagers drink alcopops because they like the flavour. Thus, if they are taxed more heavily, teenagers will drink less.

Err, teenagers drink alcopops because they are a cheap shot of booze. Make them more expensive and they'll move on to the next cheap option: scrumpy perhaps.

October 27, 2006 in Politics | Permalink


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Were none of these government ministers ever young? Did none of them attend university?

Whilst I don't binge like I used to, I remember those days fondly, as would any normal person.

Posted by: Serf | Oct 27, 2006 9:09:15 AM

Precisely. Some arsewipe here suggested something similar a few months back.


Posted by: Twenty Major | Oct 27, 2006 9:30:49 AM

It would only make a difference if you put a lot more than a few pennies on duty. Which would solve the teenager problem but would lose billions for the treasury in more people choosing to buy their booze in calais.

Posted by: Tim almond | Oct 27, 2006 9:38:44 AM

Wrong again, Tim. Alcopops are not the cheapest way of getting drunk in the UK, not by a long shot - a 275ml bottle has about half the alcohol content of a pint of booze, but costs about the same. The cheapest thing to get drunk on is still White Lightning.

There's a theory (and I'm not sure whether I believe it) that alcopops are part of problem because they taste so sweet, and so much nicer to the untrained palate than beer.

Posted by: sanbikinoriaon | Oct 27, 2006 9:57:06 AM

To be fair though serf, she's not talking about students, but thirteen year olds. It's the V-C of Reading university that wants bars in the town to stop selling cheap booze.

It's a dirty, expensive drug, alcohol, unless you go for top quality stuff...:) But it is still illegal for the kids she is talking about to buy it. So why not just enforce the law, instead of upping the price of my malts.

Posted by: Jock Coats | Oct 27, 2006 9:59:43 AM

To put this into some kind of informative perspective, most of us are appropriately horrified by road traffic accident fatalities - the latest official figures put the toll of fatalities in Britain at 3,201 in 2005:

Fortunately, the trend in Britain is declining and per head of population we have one of the lowest road accident fatality rates among the affluent countries in Europe despite our roads being amongst the most heavily used in Europe.

By contrast:

"The number of alcohol-related deaths has increased by nearly a fifth in four years, figures show. The Office for National Statistics data revealed deaths in England and Wales rose by from 5,525 in 2000 to 6,544 in 2004 - an 18.4% increase. The highest increase was in Yorkshire and the Humber which saw a 46.5% hike."

While there is much talk and some discriminatory action about providing healthcare in the NHS to smokers, there seem to be no suggestions about denying NHS healthcare to those who bring about their personal health problems through alcohol abuse. I wonder why that is?

Posted by: Bob B | Oct 27, 2006 10:29:04 AM

People drink alcopops because they want to get drunk, but don't like the taste of alcohol. Their existence is not exactly a stunning validation of the direction western culture is currently heading.

Posted by: G | Oct 27, 2006 10:42:29 AM

Jock is right

The current law is not enforced, so she is suggesting extra measures.

Its like adding a guard dog to the alarm system that didn't work, because you don't actually turn it on.

By the way, my comment about being students was simply in regard to the general puritanical nature of these fuckwits.

Posted by: Serf | Oct 27, 2006 2:01:05 PM

Has Britain ever endured a more incompetent government? Enforce the law, you stupid cow. It's easy. Fine shopkeepers who sell alcohol to minors. Take away licences from pubs that sell alcohol to minors.

Why do they have this aversion to enforcing our laws?

Posted by: Verity | Oct 27, 2006 6:00:46 PM

"Has Britain ever endured a more incompetent government?"

Yes, but only once in the last three hundred years. That's why America is independent.

"Why do they have this aversion to enforcing our laws?"

Because enforcing laws isn't done by politicians, and politicians simply _must_ be seen to be _doing_ something about the "problem".

Posted by: Pete in Dunbar | Oct 27, 2006 6:51:03 PM