We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Reject the message…and also the messenger

Groups like ‘Alcohol Concern’ like to use the force of the state to make people act the way they want. They do not care about making an argument and convincing people to act a certain way, they want prison and truncheons to make people tow their particular highly debatable line.

Parents who give alcohol to children under the age of 15 – even with a meal at home – should face prosecution, a charity says today. Parents who let children drink should face prosecution, says Alcohol Concern. […] A charity spokesman said: “It is legal to provide children as young as five with alcohol in a private home. Raising the age limit to 15 would send a stronger message to parents of the risks associated with letting very young people consume alcohol.” It is illegal to buy a drink in a pub under 18, but a 16- or 17-year-old can drink wine or beer if having a meal with parents.

You know what I would like to see? Whenever someone threatens me with force if I do not modify my social behaviour more to their liking in my own damn home, I would like them get arrested and thrown in jail. And I would like to see them beaten with truncheons if they do not comply with the cops just like they want for others who do not comply with their wishes. Such people are addicted to using force to impose their will on others and so why not “send a stronger message” that threatening people via the political system is really no different to threatening them with violence via some other institution, like the Mafia, for example.

If ‘Alcohol Concern’ want to convince people that they should not allow their children to drink (which is bullshit, I might add, as I suspect that encourages alcohol abuse in later life), well fine, let them take out adverts and evangelise their views like civilised members of civil society. However when they want the violence of law to impose their views, they should be regarded as anti-social thugs calling for the destruction of yet more civil society. Such people want to see society replaced with ever more politically derived formulae for personal behaviour. And of course such nonsense is unenforceable other than by family members denouncing each other a la the Communist model, which no doubt is what a group like ‘Alcohol Concern’ would like to see happen … which is literally anti-social.

It is not enough to reject the message of groups like ‘Alcohol Concern’, people who want to impose their views on every household in the country need to be held responsible on a personal level for advocating the force backed destruction of civil society. Such people are part of the problem of modern Britain, not part of the solution.

17 comments to Reject the message…and also the messenger

  • 6th Column

    I agree completely. I suspect most of these people, like many politicians, know that what they advocate will not achieve the stated aims. As you say, they want control over the lives of others.

    The meta context has to change. Too few people in our society seem to be aware that every new regulation decreases freedom by decreasing personal responsibility and the people who are advocating all these rules are all potential dictators. They are the worst kind of scum because they steal from us all while telling us they are helping us.

    Freedom means allowing people to do things you think are stupid. If the only person the stupid hurt is themselves, and they are old enough, then it is their lookout. In my experience this is how you mould children into sensible civilised adults.

  • Tim S

    Alcohol Concern is funded by the government in the first place. So if you want to get rid of them you will have to get rid of the government first.

  • So if you want to get rid of them you will have to get rid of the government first.

    That works for me.

  • nick g.

    Wow! Another war, this time on underage drinkers! Rally around the flag, boys and girls! It’s for your own good, honest! Nanny State knows best!
    Let’s hope this war works as well as the ‘War’ on drugs, and poverty, and smoking, etc.
    At least you won’t have Blair to worry about soon. The papers say he’s going- i wonder if he’ll have ‘earned’ a Diplomatic posting? Or will he be awarded a peerage?

  • CFM

    Alcohol Concern is funded by the government in the first place.”

    I sense a second Volstead Act in the works on the other side of the pond.

    If the Brits really find it necessary to copy something the Yanks did . . . why choose the really dumb stuff?

  • Phil A

    As far as I can see Children learning to handle alcohol under controlled responsible parental supervision is just about the safest way for people to learn to handle the stuff.

    I find it very difficult indeed to believe such leads to alcoholism, or binge drinking, that I suspect originates elsewhere.

    When an organisation starts coming out with this sort of fascist rubbish maybe we need to take a long hard look at it – and those who have managed to wangle their way into power within the organisation.

  • Maybe we should raise a fund for some experimental legal actions? Anyone calling for the application of State Power to individuals is, in effect, inciting violence. If I went out on the street and called on the people to seize, imprison and punish Blair (which I can barely restrain myself from doing whenever I visit London), I would be guilty of some crime or other. When Alcohol Concern’s grey harridans call for me to be arrested and imprisoned for my civilised Continental approach to teaching my children about alcohol, I am sure that’s some kind of a crime too. They have passed so many stupid, contradictory and ill-thought-through laws that even in our unconstitutional democracy, some investment in legal research ought to yield useful fruit.

  • Michael Taylor

    I’m sure the following will surprise no Samizdatans.

    Though described as a charity, Alcohol Concern is, inevitably, partly funded by the Dept of Health. As for some of the people involved:

    Srabani Sen, Alcohol Concern’s ceo, is a career campaigner. She got the top job at Alcohol Concern in 2004 having been Acting Director of Nations, Religions and Campaigning at Diabetes UK. (Nations, Religions and Campaigning?)

    The director of policy & public affairs is Geethika Jayatilaka. Wearing another hat, she is head of policy & parliamentary affairs at the Fawcett Society, a feminist pressure group sponsored in part by the Home office (Women’s Policy Unit).

    AC’s website tells us it has two aims:
    i) To reduce the incidence and costs of alcohol related harm.
    ii) To increase the range and the quality of the services available to people with alcohol-related problems.

    I don’t suppose it crosses their minds that these two aims will in practice turn out to be mutually exclusive.

  • Phil A

    So from Michael Taylor’s info/comment, the movers & shakers at Alcohol Concern are essentially “right-on” professional lobby industry-istas, with an eye to the public purse, who push the angle of whatever front organisation they happen to be covering at the time – and they hide behind the “spokes person for…” thingy to avoid being called on to resign.

  • nick.g: Let’s hope this war works as well as the ‘War’ on drugs, and poverty, and smoking, etc.

    The problem is, they will outlaw almost everything while enforcing very little. Imprisonment by stealth. People will not know they are encircled until it is too late – like putting in all these very deep, robust fence-posts with no fence panels. All seems open. One day you will wake up and the panels are in, you are trapped and they can decide what law they wish to impose to nail whomsoever they desire.

  • England is the last part of the British Isles to allow smoking in bars and restaurants.
    “It’s not that we’re illiberal.I mean, look, I’m a pretty liberal sort of guy, but we really have to move with the times, and when even Northern Ireland forbids smoking in pubs, we can’t resist the winds of change.
    This is not a time for sound bites, but the wind of change is blowing the smoke away and we can’t stay in the English jungle forever, at least until after the locals cos we’re weak in England…..wait…..are we live? Can I pretend to be Prezza?”

  • Brad

    My parents (more or less my mom) let me drink beer at family parties from about the age of 11. When I went off the college at 18, drinking was no big deal. Meanwhile hundreds of kids didn’t seem to be able to handle their new found freedom. I’m sure for every person such as me there is someone who was allowed to drink rather young in a gutter somewhere, all I can say is that the mystery and magic of drinking, the forbidden fruit, was not there.

    With Alcohol Concern there is a great concern to me that there is altogether too much government money being thrown around to fund seemingly private “concerned” parties who call for ever more government action. Similarly, on another blog, a person provided several sites “proving” global warming, that by and large derived all their funding from governmental sources. Their mission boldly stated to “educate and enlighten the public and policy makers”. In other words, bureaucrats legitimize their budgets by granting money to “enterprizes” and “corporations” to hype a particular meme calling for more action. I think of it as the Non-Profit/Higher Education Industrial Complex. This is just another example.

  • I was in a pub (heh) on Saturday night and some bloke with a stupid beard from Alcohol Concern was on the telly being interviewed. There was no sound, but I could tell what he was saying and his smug, snivelly expression indicated he was deserving of just the treatment Perry advocates.

    I was drinking wine with meals since age 5. That’s at least part of the reason I never understood or mixed with kids who thought drinking on street corners was cool and grown-up. Another part of the reason is that I wasn’t taken into state “care” and my parents weren’t thrown in jail for the way they raised me.

    But none of that’s really the point. So why is it that only people who write for and read this website get that that’s not the point? Debates between the MSM and politicians are always about *which* kind of threatening people via the political system is best for the children. Even the linked Telegraph article ended with some academic complaining the alcohol is too affordable and presumably should be taxed more.

    It’s all pretty tiresome, which I suppose is why I hardly ever watch the news or read a newspaper any more.

  • guy herbert

    Another point about Alcohol Concern, that is clear in some other banning and controlling pressure groups (strangely they seem to manage to be charities a lot of the time, unlike more openly campaigning organisations for a point of view) – such as Action on Smoking and Health, LIFE, the Food Commission, League Against Cruel Sports, and so forth – is that they end up being an instrument for an absolutist agenda pursued by the Troskyist technique of transitional demand.

    In some cases their explicit aims may be limited, but they end up in the arms of prohibitionists, because they have to keep on asking for more. In others the absolutists may be fully in charge (as tends to be the case particularly with anti-abortion groups as far as I can see) and the transitional demand is a deliberate step on the way to prohibition.

    I’m biassed of course, as a freedom extremist. But the situation is not symmetrical. I’m not about to force anyone to drink or smoke or eat cheap food who doesn’t want to. My absolutist demand is explicit: Leave us alone; let us manage our own lives.

  • I was tempted by a job advert recently-“Alcohol Enforcement Officer”.
    I can see it now.
    Walk into a pub.
    Somebody is standing around without a drink.
    “Get this man a drink, now!

  • Try and enforce this during Passover in my house.

    Freedom of religion?

  • The director of policy & public affairs is Geethika Jayatilaka. Wearing another hat,…

    Is it a tinfoil hat?