Just guidelines?

When the Governments chief puritan revised the drinking “guidelines” downwards ignoring the J-shaped mortality curve, and declared there was “no safe level of drinking” – I and many others said this would be used to justify more action being taken against drinkers. In response many people replied that they were just guidelines, and besides they didn’t drink that much so where was the problem?

Well hardly had the ink dried on those new guidelines than already the “experts” are retroactively applying them and calling for more action.
“Around 2.5 million people in Great Britain – 9% of drinkers – consume more than the new weekly recommended limit for alcohol in a single day, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The 2014 data predates the new limit of 14 units of alcohol per week for men which began in January.”
(Emphasis mine)

So what is to be done about the fact that people didn’t abide by “guidelines” that didn’t exist at the time? As yet we’ve not been told but we can take some guesses as:
“Public Health England said it was looking at the best ways to help tackle problem drinking.”
That would be the problem which didn’t exist at the time the figures were collected, but were rather magicked out of thin air in January. I’ll predict the solution will be to give the puritans more funding and to increase taxes/prices and maybe we need more graphic labels and plain packaging as well? Maybe it’s about time our leaders followed their own advice?

First they came for…

I like many other wiser people have been banging on about the Puritans slippery slope for ages now. Many people think we’re wearing our tinfoil hats too tightly and that we’re all a bit paranoid, after all it’s all about health and nothing wrong with encouraging people to try to be more healthy, right? Well smoking went from only smoke in one carriage, to bans on smoking in your own car, bans on smoking on the beach and cigarettes being put in plan wrappers behind closed doors. The smokers warned the drinkers that we’d be next, and so it came to pass that alcohol got increasing health warnings, the amount we were “allowed” to drink decreased till now there’s no “safe” limit on drinking, whilst taxes go up, drinking is banned on public transport and in parks and plan packaging and minimum pricing is considered. Some of the actions can maybe seem reasonable at first glance after all who “really” needs to drink whilst on a bus, but they are slices off freedom and restrictions imposed on what we can do that grease the slippery slope. These days the goal isn’t really prohibition but to maintain the smallest possible “problem” population that keeps the funding flowing to the charities and pressure groups dedicated to tackling the problem, after all what would Alcohol concern do if we all just stopped drinking?
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A modest proposal

Safe to Drink I have suggested that the Government should follow its own guidelines when it comes to booze. People have objected to this on various grounds that, we should live and let live, that they’re only guidelines or that the guidelines are reasonable so why should we object? Whilst I disagree with all of these points for various reasons none of them are arguments against the petition.

If the guidelines are just guidelines then that’s fine but if the Government would like us to pay attention to them they should lead by example. They’re spending our money to tell us to drink less and that there is no safe level of drinking, so that being the case what could speak more clearly than their taking the lead to practice what they preach?

I absolutely agree that we should live and let live, so if the Government wants to stop telling me how much to drink and funding “charities” to tell me to drink less, then I’ll happily ignore how much they drink. But all the time they make it their business how much I drink, then it’s my business how much they drink.

IF as some people hold the guidelines are perfectly reasonable and “14 units a week… its plenty for [you]” then what’s the problem with asking the Government to keep to those same guidelines after all it’s plenty.

If our leaders want to drink more off Government property then we’re not going to stop them, but on Government time and property let them take the lead and set an example. Given the health risks we’re told we suffer by drinking and how perfectly reasonable these guidelines are what possible objection could they have to leading by example?

So if you think the guidelines are unfair and the government should leave us alone, or if you think it’s all perfectly reasonable then in either case please sign and share the petition. After all if the guidelines are oh so reasonable why would anyone object to following them?

petition that the Government follow its own advice on drinking