Here we go. The stalinist bastards have got out of bed before us, as ever (‘coz they izz boring turds who don’t write computer-games or run silicon-valley firms.) Perhaps we should design less comuter games, and have less long hair and lip-piercings; and instead carry more real guns and point them while loaded at bureaucrats who have no sense of humour.
Why don’t bureaucrats laugh at anythng? When did you last see a “public employee” laugh?
I though so.
Here’s some of it:-
European Union and United Nations officials are plotting to make drinking as socially unacceptable as smoking.
Your drink could endanger others, claim UN and EU officials
Hectoring campaigns over “passive smoking” are credited for Europe’s almost total smoking ban. Now alcohol is in the sights of the public health miserablists and they have invented the concept of “passive drinking” as their killer argument.
The Daily Mail takes up a report in New Scientist to trumpet a new “guilt campaign” that is heading our way. “The World Health Organisation’s global strategy will aim to match the success of campaigns which have made smokers feel guilty about the harm second-hand smoke does to others,” says the report.
Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians is wheeled on to confirm the new approach. “The tipping point for banning smoking in public places was third party damage,” he said.
The EU public health brigade are not far behind, in fact Brussels miserablists in the European Commission’s DG SANCO have been trying to poison the drinking debate with this new assault on reason for years.
I took up the EU “passive drinking” debate around two years ago in response to strident claims, in a Commission report, about the high environmental or social toll of alcohol, the “harm done by someone else’s drinking”.
“The total tangible cost of alcohol to EU society in 2003 was estimated to be €125bn (€79bn-€220bn), equivalent to 1.3 per cent GDP, and which is roughly the same value as that found recently for tobacco,” said the report written by Dr Peter Anderson, who has a background in the World Health Organisation (WHO) and who played a leading role in Tobacco Free Initiative Europe.
“The intangible costs show the value people place on pain, suffering and lost life that occurs due to the criminal, social and health harms caused by alcohol. In 2003 these were estimated to be €270bn, with other ways of valuing the same harms producing estimates between €150bn and €760bn.”
On Thursday, at an informal meeting of health ministers in Brdo, Slovenian Health Minister, Zofija Mazej Kukovič dusted off the report – and its language.
“Harmful and dangerous alcohol consumption causes more than seven per cent of the premature morbidity and mortality in our countries. The annual costs stemming from this have been estimated at as much as €125 billion for the EU as a whole. However, the harm caused by alcohol is still underestimated,” she said.
The figures are meant to be pretty scary. Drink is responsible for 2,000 homicides, four out of 10 of Europe’s annual murders. “The economic cost of alcohol-attributable crime has been estimated to be €33bn in the EU for 2003….while the intangible cost of the physical and psychological effects of crime has been valued at €9bn – €37bn,” said the Anderson report.
Children, too, are passive victims of drinking. “Many of the harms caused by alcohol are borne by people other than the drinker responsible. This includes 60,000 underweight births, as well as 16 per cent of child abuse and neglect, and five to nine million children in families adversely affected by alcohol,” says the EU report’s summary.
The link made by between alcohol and crime today, whether violence or child abuse or other social ills, follows not from hard facts but from an outlook that sees human characteristics as damaging in general. And if human beings, particularly when under the influence of stimulants, are destructive, then, the argument goes, social intervention must follow. The idea that almost any activity – drinking, eating, speaking, even thinking – can cause harm is often blown out of proportion and used to generate frightening figures and policies.
The sheer absurdity of the idea of “passive drinking” would be funny if the public health lobby was not so powerful and unpleasant. I found that in a twist of irony, probably lost on po-faced public health types, that the expression “passive drinking” seems to have originated as a spoof in two Peter Simple columns in the Daily Telegraph in 2002 and 2003, written by the late Michael Wharton.
Mocking the rise of nonsense research to justify social measures, he wrote about research work being carried out by “Dr Ron Hardware of Nerdley University”.
“They were the first to discover the scourge of ‘passive drinking’, showing by painstaking experiments and finely adjusted statistics that it was just as deadly as ‘passive smoking’ and equally capable of causing cancer and innumerable other ills,” he wrote.
It is no longer a joke or satire – do read more here on Spiked.
We need to stand up to these people.
Posted by Bruno Waterfield on 17 Apr 2008 at 21:27