Thursday 12 September 2013

The Plebs Cannot Be Trusted

An average working class house yesterday
Alcohol brands pervade football broadcasts, apparently, according to a new study.  Booze companies, sponsor tournaments, put signs up by the pitch, even get the commentators to mention their brands.  This increases acceptability of alcohol and creates costly problems as people buy lager and get drunk on it.  Children will even be tempted to try it.  The horror.  So researchers have revealed at the British Science Festival, anyway.

Notwithstanding the picture on the website with children messing with tomato ketchup - surely that would make such a high-sugar, high-salt food acceptable to kiddy palates- you only have to look at the list of sponsors to doubt their motives.  General Electric - a major polluter and designer of the infamous reactors involves in the Fukashima Disaster; AzkoNobel, just your average toxic chemical manufacturer; and Saudi Aramco, a state-owned oil company. Nothing untoward, of course, being made normal and acceptable here.

The attack on Beer Sponsorship by these researchers is, as always, the result of middle class snobbery.  The working man will see Man United or Chelsea in an FA Cup game on TV, and will go out and buy cases of the promoted product (in this case Budweiser), proceed to get hammered and beat up his wife and kids.  This is because he is stupid, and does not know any better.   Nice middle class people do not drink lager.  They have a single glass of wine with their dinner and of course never have any problems with alcohol whatsoever.  There is always the assumption that the uneducated will see a single beer advert, and become alcoholics as a result.

(Advertisers see it much the same way.  Macrolager sponsors Football, the most watched sport in the country.  More middle class sports are given cash by financial companies offering esoteric services to the rich.  Had you heard of Investec before the 2013 Ashes series? I hadn't.)

The Portman Group were actually quoted in the BBC article as saying "National trends around alcohol consumption are encouraging. Government figures show that fewer and fewer children are even trying alcohol and the number of adults that drink to harmful levels is also falling."  The evidence suggests this is, in fact, true.  But the paper's authors insist "We believe a similar restriction to that imposed on tobacco products may be justified."

I will be blunt here.  Even taking away the whole personal responsibility angle, there is a difference between alcohol and tobacco.  Tobacco, when used typically, shortens life and impacts health.  Alcohol, when used typically, does not.   So, why treat them the same?  Simply because the upper and middle classes do not like the workers enjoying themselves when they could be being more productive - ie. serving the economic interests of their betters.  All that time and money spent in the pub or on Carling slabs could be spent working or saving.

I can't see Prohibition coming (history shows it doesn't really work), but I can see an awful lot of people's pleasures being curtailed

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