Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Suck my Magna Carta: Let's Have a Drink.

I've decided to clump together all of my political rants into one title, 'Suck my Magna Carta'. This is for a whole load of reasons, the main one being that I'm quite immature and the rest are more boring things like clarity.
I've used the Magna Carta because it was a document that was a) imposed by peasants onto Lords which given the class ridden nature of British society, I rather like and b) because it was arguably the first written charter of rights in the Anglo world. 
I think I've made it pretty clear how much I value freedom, especially individual freedom before, but these posts will cover more specific issues, from the fundamental to the rather silly. I'm going to start with an issue that is both of those options: the consumption and attempts to regulate alcohol in the UK.

Now I'm going to make a disclaimer right here right now: drinking lots of booze is really bad for you. It messes with your liver and generally makes you act like a dick (actually not necessarily- a unit of alcohol takes nearly an hour to process through your system so if you just had a shot and suddenly feel elated, light-headed and inclined to high five and start wet t-shirt competitions it's either earlier booze or the result of your brain dumping dopamine onto you because you've trained it to associate alcohol with good).

However, just because it's bad for you doesn't mean that the government should fuck with your right to sink a bunch of cheap lagers after a week of hauling shit around at the factory or being beaten down by your condescending boss.

I say cheap lager for a reason. The government isn't for example limiting imports of the high alcohol  'gets you smashed at weddings' drink i.e. champagne but is instead targeting cheap lager, the type bought in supermarkets by poor people because if there is nothing worse than poor people it's drunk poor people.

The pint, especially a true British pint is a holy thing for the Brits. The government aren't going to mess with it except to tax pubs out of existance and then moan about how poor people are buying piss-weak foreign lager instead of just meekly paying higher prices they can't afford.

I also get that we have a National Health Service which we all pay for and dealing with boozy people is expensive. So is looking after old people though, in fact that's pretty much the most expensive thing. I'm not try to equate alcoholics with say, your lovely gran, but the point is that lots of things cause health problems and we are still paying them. Actually that isn't the point at all. The point is that enforcing a collective morality on people of low incomes is a flat out terrible thing to do, especially since people of middle and upper income actually drink more 

That's OK though since they work hard unlike say someone who slogs through hours of a depressing job just to pay an extortionate rent in London since it is next to impossible to find anywhere cheap to rent in the city since much of its economy is driven not by actual enterprise but through rent collection.

Also they're probably wealthy because they drink. Poor people on the other hand: fuck them they can't enjoy a few cold ones because they might behave in ways you don't like and then who knows what will happen.

I'm not ignoring the blight of alcoholism on a culture, ours especially. I'm saying that government intervention is logically fallacious and morally wrong. See for example how Real Ale is making a comeback all on its own with the re-emergence of microbreweries as a place to visit and the fact that people now value individualism in their drink. Minimum pricing and cross-board tax can only harm growth in an industry that is actually entrepreneurial: you know, the type where you actually make a product and then sell it and the best product sells the most.

As a final addendum, I'd point out that in Japan you can buy alcohol from shops 7 days a week and 24/7, the citizens there get blind drunk too and yet the crime-rate is relatively low.

Anyway, this is really quite a silly post and though perhaps confused at times, I hope highlights what I generally feel about government i.e. they should absolutely not be in the business of 'promoting responsibility'. Especially given the character of those who are actually elected into office.

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