Tom Paine recently made a blogpost in which he suggested that resistance to State nannying is only likely to become serious once the pleasures of the working class are directly targeted:
The state can beat up as many anti-statist intellectuals as it likes and no-one will protest. Let it beat up the smokers, drinkers and pie-fans however and popular resistance can be expected - even from those usually too idle to move further than to the nearest Greggs. Doctors with God complexes may therefore be our best hope. Perhaps as we enter the final phase of end-of-year excess, we should be campaigning for votes to be proportionate to BMI, units of alcohol per week or fags per day?I’m not too sure about that, as we seem to have meekly accepted all kinds of intrusion into private behaviour in recent years. But the BMA seem determined to prove him right, with their latest call for official government alcohol guidelines to be revised downwards. Apparently we should cut our consumption to no more than a quarter of a pint of beer a day. That’s really going to keep loads of pubs in business.
Mind you, if this becomes official, the convenient figleaf used by CAMRA and others that “moderate drinking is compatible with a healthy lifestyle” will be torn away. If you accept the BMA’s definition of a healthy lifestyle, it won’t be. To my mind, the day CAMRA abandon any pretence of standing up for “responsible drinking”, as officially defined, will be the day they are set free.
Of course, all this stems from a ludicrous misinterpretation of the concept of risk. Pretty much everything you do involves some risk, and drinking a bit more (or even quite a lot more) than some made-up official “guidelines” actually doesn’t involve significantly more risk. And it’s funny how they keep quiet about participation in sports and promiscuous sex.