Sunday, 15 March 2009

British public is giving Nanny the finger

Idiots such as Liam Donaldson should have been strangled at birth. His latest proposals, for a minimum alcohol price, will no doubt have a hypnotic fascination for this government, which enjoys nothing more than spending billions in taxes on nannyish fiddling that has no effect.

Much work has been done on the price elasticity of demand for alcohol in the UK. It varies for beer, wine and spirits. It varies for some other factors. Both own-price elasticity and cross-price elasticity must be considered. The Treasury Model (.pdf) in particular suggests that spirits taxation in particular is far below its revenue-maximising level; that the duty on spirits could be raised by 40% to maximise revenue, and sales (and revenue) would only fall off if duties went beyond this. This means swingeing price increases on cheap supermarket vodka, with the cheapest under Donalson's proposed 50p a unit tax at £18.75 for a litre of own-brand 37.5% abv Tesco voddy, from a current £10.98 a litre.

In practice the poorest and unhealthiest families will become even poorer and more unhealthy. As their booze costs more, they will give up fresh fruit and veg, fish and proper cooking and live on biscuits and Iceland 99p pizzas as long as they have a few tinnies of Stella or bottles of WKD to wash it down. Their children will grow up with rickets and ringworm. We'll go right back to the 1920s in a perfect example of regressive Socialist doctrine.

And the village pub, so long a fixture of our society and people, a local institution that does more to foster community cohesion, build social capital and combat social exclusion than the efforts of every Nanny State worker combined, will become history.

The House of Commons Health Select Committee has just published a report (.pdf) that has found that this government has pissed away billions in failed social engineering experiments; rafts of knee-jerk measures that cost the earth and have had no overall effect whatsoever. In fact, health inequalities have widened - by 4% amongst men and 11% amongst women, since 1998.

If these cloistered fools ever once asked themselves why people drink to excess they might just find that it's the escape that many have from the suffocating, cloying, overweening, intrusive, impertinent and unwelcome interference of Labour's Nanny State in the minutae of their lives rather than the cost per unit that's the more important factor. But that's a lesson these idiots will never learn.


Yokel said...

Didn't the Soviet Union have problems with excessive consumption of alcohol in their centrally planned utopia? If I remember correctly, they even had difficulties with the Plan being disobeyed such that grains and sugar intended for other uses were, in fact, diverted to vodka production!

Anonymous said...

The correlation between the Nanny State and damaging behaviour by the lower socio-economic classes is so fucking obvious that it really shouldn't have to explained.

If you rely on government welfare handouts and you live in social housing with the rent paid for you, what precisely do you do with your day other than drink (or take drugs or engage in dangerous promiscuous sex)? And, if you're constantly insulated from the consequences of your own actions by government money, how will you ever learn responsible behaviour?

Most of the people we're talking about - the people whom the Labour Party would once have described as lumpenproles - have literally have nothing else to do with their days. They drink and do drugs and breed bastards like rabbits and watch Trisha and make everyone else's life a misery. They'll never have to take any responsibility for their behaviour; they'll never risk losing a job or losing the roof over their head. They are protected. They are cossetted. They are safe, because the benefits will keep on flowing no matter what they do.

Socialism has taken the once-proud working classes and turned them into a horde of feral dependent entitled children without the common sense that God gave to a cat. The Nanny-Knows-Best state now sees people with jobs as the slaves of those without and as idiots to be worked to death to pay for people who've been made too lazy and too stupid for work through generations of socialist policy.

wonderfulforhisage said...

I wonder how much the subsidy to the House of Common's bars will have to be increased if this comes to pass?

Curmudgeon said...

Very well said, Mr R - as usual, you are absolutely spot on!

Scrobs said...

The sponging tossers we pay to 'govern' our land are useless.

This will do nothing except bulge the pension pots of helpless and inefficient politicians who are desperate to make a 'mark'.

Why they can't actually make a difference will be down to the next election.

Kinderling said...

Another Stealth tax?

Anonymous said...

"The village pub...will become history".

Indeed, and at a higher rate than the already high rate of loss.

However, for our leaders that is a feature, not a bug.

Pubs are where free people can go to discuss things, in ways that are hard to overhear and record. Freedom might be mentioned, dissatisfaction might arise. Action might even be contemplated.

Pubs are Places of Assembly. All such must conform to the State's requirements - despite efforts, pubs do not; they have to go.

it's either banned or compulsory said...

Anon 11:33, you deserve more than anonymity.

At first I was not too worried about the Govt. increasing the price of Vladivar Value Vodka or supermarket piss lager but, of course, they would soon introduce a sliding scale on proper drinks once they see how much loot comes rolling in.
Dewayyne Chav on the lash couldn't give a toss about "own-price elasticity and cross-price elasticity", he'll have to scrounge, mug or whine for more cash to buy it ( or just plain steal it ).

Chalcedon said...

Minimum price? LOL. Not allowed by the EU. So the bastards might instead raise the tax on booze. If they do expect ructions and if the do and exempt Scotch Whisky expect bigger ructions.

Bill Quango MP said...

Gordon said no.
Mandy will have pointed out that fighting the Unions and the eco lobby and commercial TV companies is enough without alienating the actual cheap beer drinkers too.

Anonymous said...

The Presbyterian ninnies in government want us all teetotal, given the chance there'd be prohibition, but they can't do that because it'd lose tax income.