Thursday, 29 March 2012

Thought for the Day...

If you're intolerant of intolerance does that make you a hypocrite?

Monday, 26 March 2012

What price Freedom?

Sigh. Here we go again. On Friday the powers that be, or rather those who’ve found themselves in charge despite themselves, decided that it would be a good idea to start charging a minimum cost per unit of alcohol in England, in order to stem binge drinking culture.

Now I hate binge drinking, I really do, I used to do it myself and any fun there is to be had is usually completely forgotten by the next day when you wake up to find you’re barred from the pub, disowned by your family, bailed due to lack of evidence or in Uruguay. However trying to tackle it with the age old ‘let’s make it more expensive’ tactic really isn’t thinking anything through.

Firstly, what is the infatuation that modern governance has with making the small pleasures in life the domain of the rich? Cigarettes went up 7% above the rate of inflation last week in what I can only describe as ‘tobacco gentrification’. Good idea, that way in the future the only sick people would be the rich - could be worse.

Are we to believe that cost is the major determining factor for why Britain has such a large binge drinking problem? Do the law-makers seriously think that putting prices up will stop those with drinking problems acquiring alcohol? It would be a spectacular feat of naivety if that were the case.

As is well documented we Brits don’t get great weather. Yes, in the south during the summer it can get hot and is invariably sunny but during the long dark of winter it can be several months before you see anything resembling our nearest star.

I’m also led to believe that we work longer hours than our European counterparts and receive less statutory days off. So we spend more of our lives at work than we should like to which, unless you’re one of the fortunate few who genuinely enjoy their jobs, is not a good thing.

Then you consider the fact that we are relatively small island which is fast becoming over-populated, where the cost of living is sky high and that currently finds itself suffering from record rates of youth unemployment and an economy that is stuttering - happy days.

People who drink excessively are doing so to escape. They’re trying to escape the darkness, the cold, the wet, the metronomic grind of working life, of being skint, of all the daily reminders that life in modern Britain isn’t exactly a bowl of cherries. So why do you surmise that a price hike will make a blind bit of difference to the status quo?

We need a cultural change, whether its grass roots education, more holidays, less stress or European-style table service, we need to do things differently if we’re going to exact change. Following the same old formula of ‘charge more’ will only force more people to resort to crime to feed the monster, as the last habits people tend to change are their bad ones.

I’ll leave the argument with the best sound-bite I heard from the news reports on Friday as the BBC canvassed opinion on the street. One sharp lady who was obviously unimpressed by the proposed price increase gave this very commonsensical reply –

“We’re all adults. Once we’ve paid our taxes it’s none of the Governments business what we spend our money on.”

 If only that were true.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

FREE BUFFET - All the 'Tartare' you can eat ( Sat 03/03 & Sun 04/03)

Willpower will get you so far and then it'll get you killed...

Are you a non-smoker? Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about when people try to stop smoking? 

Are you a smoker? Have you ever wondered how far you would go to quit? 

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