Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Drinka drinka drinka drink

I remember posting this on another blog nearly two years ago.  Things have not changed much.  In fact, they seem to have got worse.  Cue the Pub Curmudgeon :

Apparently, so this article says, drinking alcohol is not good for you.  And drinking lots and lots of alcohol can cause you major health problems.  Who’d'a thought it?  Who woulda thought it?

I’m sure it’s reasonably well known that the Inland Revenue makes a hefty profit on alcohol tax and, even if you take out the costs to the NHS and Police caused by alcohol abuse, I’m sure the Government kitty receives a nice boost from the booze.  So why does it spend so much time and effort trying to get people to reduce their intake?

From what I can see, it’s fairly simple.  The Government, comprised and run as it is by the Upper Classes, does not approve of the lower orders drinking.  They hate the idea of loud, garishly dressed, uncouth and smelly people cluttering up the streets when drunk.  The obvious manifestation is the flat tax on alcohol.  This is based on the amount of pure alcohol in the product.  At present, the rate for spirits (alcoholic beverages above 37.5% ABV) is £25.52 per litre of pure alcohol.

Let’s take my regular daily dram, Sheep Dip.  This costs around £25.  At 40%, a 700ml bottle contains 280ml of pure alcohol, meaning spirit duty will be £7.15 per bottle. Fair enough.  But this amount will be the same for all 40% 700ml bottles, whether stuff like High Commissioner (£12) or a rich bastard’s whisky such as this 1952 Highland Park.  See the iniquity?  The poor man must pay much more tax as a percentage of his purchase than the rich man.  This is because he cannot be trusted not to neck the whole bottle in an hour, beat up his wife, smash up a bus shelter and throw up on the council flowerbeds.

The health “initiatives” from the Department of Health always amaze me.  Eat your five portions of fruit and veg a day.  Drink moderately.  Don’t smoke.  Take more exercise.  For what end, I ask myself?  I can’t honestly believe the Government and their corporate paymasters actually care if we’re fit, healthy and free of pain.  They would gladly have the entire working class in agony so long as they kept quiet and didn’t cost anything.  I can only assume that they like the idea of controlling people - “It’s good for you, damn it.  And if we say it’s good for you, then you’ll do it, by God!”.

And despite what the BMA seems to believe, even if you lead the healthiest of lives, eventually you will die.  And these days (and we are actually more healthy, generally speaking, than we were 100 years ago) we are healthy enough to live long enough to die from nasty age-related diseases which will have us lingering in supported ill-health for years.  If I were cynical, I would say doctors want this as then there would be more demand for their highly-paid services.  I’m so glad I’m not that cynical, or anything.

With a bit of luck, and a lot of trying, I won’t end up like that.   My intention is go the way of my grandfather and drink myself to death by 75.  It’s not a cheerful train of thought, I’ll admit, but better than than being 90 and not having enough wherewithall to know who’s wiping my arse. (3/10/2011)

1 comment:

  1. Alcohol can bring us the moments of relaxation. If too much abuse affects our reason for our own health, it also affects our loved ones so I think that Taxes on wine, especially high spirits, are essential.