Today's ‘recommendation’ by yet another bunch of prod-nosed piss-artists that older people ought to go teetotal (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13863196 ) has, quite rightly, been greeted with contempt by anyone with an ounce of sense. See Chris Snowdon’s reaction at Velvet Glove, Iron Fist (http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2011/06/wont-somebody-please-think-of-old.html) for one of the bluntest, most succinct.
Mind you, the Beeb report does quite handily sort out some clueless, self-serving busybodies (Age UK, Alcohol Concern…) from those with more respect for the aged. It also highlights just how much time government agencies waste hectoring those who pay their wages, instead of just doing their job and being of genuine public service.
And what a bunch of puritan pillocks modern psychiatrists are compared to their predecessors in the heyday of that, now almost redundant, profession.
When I first read one of today’s reports, and after I’d finished laughing at all this codswallop posing as 'social concern', it struck me that, back in the days when I worked in those long gone old school mental hospitals that liberals shudder just thinking about, today's ‘recommended maximum daily intake’ was actually less than many patients could get on prescription. I should explain that in those days it was quite common for some of the old boys to get a bottle of Guinness off the medicine trolley.
Not only that, but once a week, as a student nurse, it was my not-so-solemn duty to accompany a gang of our more mobile long term clientele to the local pub for a couple of hours, where we all got half-cut and struggled back up the hill to the hospital before the front door was locked at 10 PM.
The nub of today’s problem is summed up well by Emma Soames, editor of Saga magazine, who comments: "I think people will be infuriated by this. It's described as a public health problem, it's actually a private health matter."
As Chris Snowdon acidly puts it: “There are, let's face it, only two things that are likely to cause poor health: bad luck and bad habits. You can't do anything about the first and the second is entirely a matter for the individual. Those who interfere in private behaviour do not deserve to be described as part of a public health movement. Call them anything you like—busybodies, wowsers, puritans, zealots, neo-prohibitionists—but don't go along with the charade that the private is public.”
“Busybodies, wowsers, puritans, zealots, neo-prohibitionists”…that only just begins the list of alternative titles we could award to the local amateurs setting such policy for the Manx government.
And given half a chance, they will.
2 years ago