Now the UK government has committed to spending several millions of dollars advertising that people not even take one drink because itís too risky. Itís too risky because the drinker might drink more and maybe even go over the legal limit. Isnít that great? Theyíve just given the public more hours to drink (they said) to fight "excessive" drinking and now theyíre spending millions of taxpayerís money to tell drinkers not to take even a single drink if they intend to drive. They give the pubs more hours to ply their booze to drinkers and now they advertise on national television that anyone who plans to drive shouldnít even drink one! Yes, I know Iím repeating myself. I just want to hear myself say it so I can get it clear in my mind. The figures on death due to drunk drivers have climbed and the government quite rightly want no more deaths. But the worry over increased boozing has been growing and deaths on the roads are only one of the tragic elements that generate the worry. The cost to life, limb, the economy, police presence, innocent bystanders, court cases and on and on is astronomical. The truth is, there's no way to measure the damage the booze industry inflicts on society.
So thatís what a handful of "experts" have come up with, huh? They want a crowd of friends to go to the pubs for a good time, a good time with longer hours to have a good time, and they expect them to pay attention to DONíT EVEN DRINK ONE DRINK. And a group from say six to ten will all come in one car, won't they? Yeah right! So if there's more than one vehicle there has to be more than one in the group that'll refuse to drink even one. So here we have these ones and twos, sitting there nursing their lemonade or cola while the rest get giddy with pleasure?And millions will be spent trying to sell that? Oh well. The booze industry loves these "experts".
So whatís the answer? I donít have an "answer" thatíll fix it. I'm insisting that until we see the booze industry for the parasite that it is weíll not look for a radical solution, or a radical part solution. We wonít dare to attempt the politically disastrous and much less will we think the unthinkable. Do you think the booze industry will stand for advertising restrictions that will bite into their profits? Do you think anyone in the corridors of power will insist that we treat booze the way we treat other drugs that are produced by pharmaceutical companies that have serious side-effects? Cannabis is outlawed and booze is advertised with government protection? Ecstasy that kills its tens (damn it!) is pursued by the government and booze that kills and maims and saddens its millions is treated like a good-natured uncle and given even more hours to spread its infection?
A handful of people will continue to sit in some office and come up with the kind of laws and foolishness weíve recently heard. The tobacco industry has felt the power of opposition but the booze industry? The rich bosses in the industry must laugh up their sleeves at what they get away with. They must bust out laughing--it's too hard to hold it in--in their business meetings when they think of the stupidity and gutlessness they face as the opposition. No smoking adverts on television but booze and sex, booze and elegance, booze and "the great life", booze and humour, booze and holding on to your dreams, booze and friendship, booze and happy family lifeóall over the screen, day in and day out.
And then some Christians talk about how harmless it is to support the booze industry with a beer or a glass of wine every now and then?