Friday, 13 November 2009

Another year, more temperance nazi trash

The temperance nazis unleashed their latest assault on the Manx government website today, when the DHA announced a 'voluntary’ scheme for off-licences which further infantalises Manx everyday life.
According to the official lie: “All off licences on the Island have signed up to a Code of Practice to ensure responsible retailing of alcoholic products.
Implementation of the first elements of the Code by January 2010 by all off licence holders is being co-ordinated by Offwatch (members of the off licence trade) in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs and the Police Central Alcohol Unit following consultation with the Licensing Court.”
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Pathetic, isn’t it? At this rate, all Manx adults will be wearing nappies by the New Year.
Reading between the lines, what happened is that the usual suspects pulled a few strings to ensure that no shopkeeper wanting a licence to sell booze can get one unless he joins this sad little conspiracy against free choice.
Nothing new there, as I’ve been saying for a while (see, for example, Stop the temperance war on choice). In fact, as these sanctimonious pondlife have annoyed me so much, I’ll give you an update on that very story.
After the third fruitless day at the courthouse waiting for the DFT not to turn up, the garage chain struck a deal with them. The unfortunate employee at the centre of the entrapment was sacked for a ‘coincidental’ minor matter and his manager had an official warning from a superior, who, I’m told, was ‘coincidentally’ angling at the time for a place on another secretive government committee.
Now remember, neither knowingly did anything wrong, while the DFT illegally used an underage child to buy cigarettes in order to spark a token prosecution. I can also tell you the innocent kid has had one hell of a time landing any job since – employment prospects destroyed by bent government officials and a lying toad of a politician attempting to kiss evangelical botty and help a few unqualified godbotherers land an excuse for public money.
And it’s gettting worse.
Because of a ridiculous, and again illegal, scheme nobody can buy a drink in a Manx supermarket unless they can prove they’re over 25. My younger workmates were telling me only today of picking up cans in Shoprite, having their ID handy in the queue to prove age, only to be singled out by a supermarket manager and ORDERED like common criminals to put down the cans and leave the shop.
How ridiculous is that?
Which leads me to people outside of Toyland’s take on such things.
In We must stop being tolerant of repression at US advocate and libertarian Wendy Kaminer argues:
“Today, with people being summarily detained and tortured, political rights seem paramount. It’s easy to scoff at people who complain about social restrictions on their daily life, from the right to smoke or overeat to the right to indulge in allegedly abusive speech. And their complaints can seem relatively trivial when viewed individually. But collectively, these restrictions upon people’s daily lives are really quite consequential. Collectively, they erode the basis for a free society, because the more officials exert control over everyday behaviours, the more people develop habits of submission, the more they become tolerant of repression.”
Elsewhere on the same site at , Brendan O’Neill argues in a piece called Nutts to these anti-alcohol ‘experts’ that:
“Nutt’s science-moralising is worse than the government’s. At least the government employs an equal-opportunities ban on drugs, legally denying everybody access to them, whereas Nutt’s scientific/moralistic opposition to alcohol would disproportionately impact on poor people (who would be priced out of booze consumption) and the young (who would be banned from drinking). He wants to use ‘science’ not only to moralise but to discriminate.”
O’Neill describes a scene eerily like the one I witnessed up at Nobles last year at an alcohol awareness conference when he says that:
“When I stood up and said I felt like I had wandered into a meeting of the temperance movement, and that Nutt and his supporters were explicitly also bastardising ‘science’ for perniciously moralistic purposes, he didn’t really know what to say… except, after a lot of hot air about ‘evidence’: ‘Well, you have a point.’”
Except that Nutt, at least when talking about drugs, is an honest and fully informed scientist, while the ‘science’ the Manx government used (underwritten, incidentally, by a drinks industry desperate to stop supermarkets using their bulk buying power to get prices down to affordable levels) was, at best, patchy, and as the two chief researchers admitted to me personally, did not say what the Manx government, the temperance lobby and individuals interested in a cosy job paid for by our taxes wanted it to say.
I still conclude with the same words as I did this time last year.
This government no longer cares if anyone unemployable outside the finance sector lives or dies. It just pumps out media bilge full of buzz words like ‘empathy’, ‘caring’, ‘family’ and ‘concern’ which fool enough Daily Mail readers too lazy to read further. The kids know that, and if there were enough local people who care enough about real civil liberties we would grasp it too and oppose the temperance nazi intent to interfere with informed choice where it still remains.

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