We in the UK like a tipple. Everyone knows that. And by tipple I mean, ‘getting smashed, starting a fight and vomiting on the street’. It seems to be in our veins. Or at least a bloody great amount of alcohol does.
To try to end this behaviour (and the vast amounts being spent by the NHS on alcohol related illnesses) MP’s have called for a change in government policy to combat binge drinking. They want to introduce minimum prices per units of alcohol and a rise in duty on spirits.
There are two factions at war here. The first are health professionals who estimate alcohol abuse in England and Wales kills 40,000 people each year. They want people to stop drinking and become more healthy.
On the other side is the drink industry who believe that alcohol abusers should be penalised rather than society as a whole. And gosh darnit, I feel dirty saying it, but I have to side with the large evil corporations. Their motivations are obviously greed; a rise in duty would hit their sales (exactly the MP’s intent), but through this greed they have actually stumbled upon a vital argument.
You cannot punish sensible law abiding citizens for the abuse carried out by others. If it is possible for an act to be conducted sensibly and safely, then it should be legal and the government should not be involved. If action is to be taken, it should be directed at those who are irresponsible. If alcohol misuse is too costly for the NHS, then it is more ethically acceptable to reform the NHS than simply punish every drinker in the UK. If drink fuelled crime is an issue, then you need to clamp down on the crimes being committed, not the alcohol that happens to be in their system. If a person can drink and NOT commit crimes, then those who do cannot blame it on the booze.
Another suggestion. How about we legalise Cannabis, Coca, Opium and Ecstasy? All four are far less harmful than alcohol and lead to far better behaviours whilst intoxicated. Revenue would still be generated for the taxpayer, whilst savings would be made for the NHS and Justice system. Think about it, just don’t let the Daily Mail whisper nonsense in your ear as you do so.