Alcohol – collective punishment beckons

SOME people in Ireland have a problem with alcohol. The vast majority don’t. Some people who drink cause problems for others. The vast majority do not.

So what do you do? The answer, according to the report of the Strategic Task Force on Alcohol is to enforce laws that will impact on everybody.

Impose extra drink taxes on everybody. Curtail opening hours. Put a ban on new outlets. Encourage people to inform on each other. Control sporting organisations sponsorship decisions. And so on.

I had a pretty good read of the report and I can’t find any reference to respecting people’s right to make up their own minds. The whole thrust of the report is that the population is there to be subjected to, and respond to, state propaganda on the issue of drinking.

And there is one very sinister recommendation. Read for yourself: “Require organisations where the majority of the funding is from the Exchequer to have a workplace drug and alcohol policy.”

Now taken with thrust of the rest of the report it doesn’t mean that you should arrange wine with your worker’s canteen dinners. It means that you and your organisation will toe the state’s line on alcohol or that taxpayer’s money will be withdrawn.

These are the people who brought us the ban on kids in pubs after 9pm, a measure that is bitterly resented by many parents in this country.

Did anyone on the Task Force represent this opinion? We don’t know, but it certainly didn’t make it into the report if they did.

So be afraid. This report is one of the most negative, anti-liberal, joyless, tight-arsed pieces of literature that I have ever had the misfortune to read.

The Government will love it.

‘Public Health’ is a licence to bully

IN his press statement on the alcohol report Minister Micheál Martin said that it is his job to protect ‘public health’.

Well Micheál, let me tell you something.

My health is none of your goddamn business. I haven’t transferred or devolved responsibility for my health to you. I have never consented to you making decisions about my health and I never will.

And I know that I speak for a lot of people in Ireland when I say this – people who are absolutely sick of the state interfering in their lives.

Because whenever the words ‘public health’ are uttered, the jackboot is never far behind.

The nonsense of ‘Binge’ drinking

SO 58% of men in Ireland binge drink. We must spend half our time legless.

You’d think so, wouldn’t you. That is, until you look at the definition of binge drinking.

Four pints is a binge according to the lifestyle zealots who are out to protect us from ourselves.

I would guess that a normal person would use the word “binge” for an all night party, or something that happens after you win the All-Ireland.

That a group of grown-ups would describe four pints as a binge shows how out of touch they are with reality.