MPs telling us what to do; slightly confused about how to tell us

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January 9, 2012 by galudwig

The “Commons science and technology committee” wrote a report recently, outlining their thoughts and ideas on how much we should be drinking and calling for a “review of all government guidelines on alcohol in the UK.”

Of course, it’s easy to poke fun at some of the absolutely ridiculous advice this group of tax-funded geniuses came up with after what probably amounted to weeks or months of vigorous debate and lobbying. Things like advising people to have “two alcohol-free days”, questioning whether previous guidelines appeared to “endorse daily drinking” and exploring the possibility of setting “a lower limit for older people in the same manner as there are more specific rules for children and pregnant women” — as if anyone, anyone at all, is actually going to listen to these babbling baboons.

But my problem with this particular news item is much more fundamental. Why the hell should members of parliament be investing time and effort –which they are paid generous wages for out of the money taken from our collective purses at the barrel of a gun and the threat of incarceration– to come up with ways of telling us how much to drink? Are we really to be treated like little kids who need to be told exactly what is acceptable and what is not by our wise overlords who purport to know the ins and outs of our body and metabolism much better than we do? Is there no end to the boundless arrogance of elected officials in coming up with new ways of telling us what to do –and then disagreeing with one another on how exactly to tell us? Just read some of these sentences from the article and try not to be disgusted by the paternalistic attitude these glorious defenders of public health are taking.

[The report] says there are “sufficient concerns” about the recommendations on how much people should drink.

Uh okay, sufficient concerns for whom? For the fat, worthless bureaucrats who leech off the private sector by virtue of being in control of guns and rockets. Why are the drinking habits of individuals any concern for anyone else but the individuals themselves and, at most, those in their immediate circle who are affected by their behaviour?

[The report] said having two alcohol-free days would “would enforce the message that drinking every day should be avoided”.

Well whoop-de-doo, apparently we’re not only not smart enough that drinking excessively is bad, we are in fact so stupid that if someone comes up to us and tells us that the daily consumption of alcohol should be x “units of alcohol”, then we would automatically jump to the absurd conclusion that we should all be drinking the average amount of alcohol every day! Why thank you oh gracious government, for clearing this up for us! Perhaps you would care to tell me how many times a day I should use the toilet as well?

The report highlighted problems when it came to understanding how many units of alcohol there are in a drink.

A survey by the Office for National Statistics suggested that 90% of people had heard of units, yet fewer than one in three knew how much one unit of wine was and that only 13% kept a check on the units they drank.

The report does support the concept of the unit, but said more work was needed to help people understand them.

Well yeah, of course 90% of people have heard of units! The law requires alcohol producers to print it on their labels! And of course hardly anyone knows how much one unit of wine is and of course very few people keep a check on the units they drink. Nobody cares about some made-up government measure. People don’t need help to understand them. We resent being told what we can and cannot do!

But wait! Telling us what to do and spending silly amounts of resources on deciding how to tell us is not even the end of it! No, of course not! In their noble battle against alcohol abuse and foetal alcohol syndrome, our omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent government overlords/angels/supermen will of course resort to sound economic tools such as minimum prices and miles-long red tape!

With the new alcohol strategy currently being developed, the government has the opportunity to confront alcohol harm on several fronts, including minimum price control and the empowerment of communities to control local licensing.

Oh right, and surely, everyone will stick to the letter of these controls and licensing acts right? Not a single incentive will be given to illegal alcohol distributors right? No additional public resources will have to be spent in order to make sure that people actually conform to these new laws and price controls, right?

Lastly,

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “It’s crucial that people have good advice about alcohol so they can take responsibility for their own health.”

And thank you so much, dear Department of Health, for providing us with the advice that we, ignorant money-cattle we are, are too stupid to think up for ourselves. There is no way that we could possibly realize the bad effects of alcohol abuse by ourselves, and we humbly bow our heads in acknowledgement of your superior knowledge of our bodies. Perhaps if I follow your new guidelines, maybe I won’t be waking up with hangovers anymore?

Phew, sorry for all that sarcasm and hateful vitriol in this post, but this piece of “news” really ticked me off..

BBC News – Two drink-free days a week needed, MPs’ report says.

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One thought on “MPs telling us what to do; slightly confused about how to tell us

  1. Yes! Love the ignorant money-cattle line. Great passion and a great article.

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