Polly Today

Now, at the first anniversary of the smoking law, it\’s been a triumph: 28% have stopped smoking, 43% have tried,

Eh? Without bothering to look it up, I thought that the total number of smokers was about 30% of the population?

As for drink, what\’s the point of Labour handwringing when it could do what it did with smoking? As Scotland now proposes, ban off-licence sales to under-21s, control supermarket prices strictly with no loss-leading two-for-one offers making booze cheaper than water. Why not ban drink advertising, as with cigarettes? Drink consumption is highly price-sensitive, and cirrhosis and drink-related diseases far worse in the poorer areas. Changing cultural attitudes to drink is not impossible. But part of the government\’s reluctance to challenge all manner of culturally destructive forces springs from its fear of confronting the great gods of the market.

And as we all said right at the beginning: once they\’d done for the smokers they would come for the drinkers. Further, look at that, she wants to change the entire culture! Us Anglos Saxons and the Scandanavians have, for a millenium or more, had a binge relationship with alcohol and she\’s going to change all of that with a little manipulation of the tax system?


Oh, and the obligatory Polly error of today is this:

Drink consumption is highly price-sensitive,

Depends which booze you\’re talking about.

An extensive review of the economic literature on alcohol demand concluded that based on studies using aggregate data (i.e., data that report the amount of alcohol consumed by large groups of people), the price elasticities of demand for beer, wine, and distilled spirits are -0.3, -1.0, and -1.5, respectively (Leung and Phelps 1993).3 (3Leung and Phelps (1993) emphasize that these numbers represent “best guesses” because of the wide range of estimates contained in the studies reviewed.) These estimates suggest that beer consumption is relatively insensitive to price changes, whereas demand for wine and distilled spirits is very responsive to price.

That beer that is sold in the two for one offers is exactly the type of booze where the demand is highly insensitive to price (correction in comments).

My final point would be those "great gods of the market". Markets are simply the cumulative end results of millions of individual decisions. In this case, the reason that people drink lots of alcohol is because they want to….that\’s why they buy it, see? The Great God of the Market is in fact the individual liberty to design one\’s own path to the grave. We all get there in the end after all, and preferably without being told what we may or may not do, as long as our actions are not harming others.


13 thoughts on “Polly Today”

  1. I just want to string these NeoPuritans up from the nearest lamppost.

    I have drunk regularly for the past 20 years. I enjoy Beer, Cider, Wine, Whisky and a host of strange local brews from the four corners of the globe.

    I have binge drunk, partied all night, mixed evil concoctions in buckets, played drinking games, sung offensive songs and played tricks on my equally sodden friends.

    I had a period of my life when being drunk 3-4 times a week was usual. Going out was preceeded by a bottle of Thunderbird, and drunkeness was the name of the game.

    Now older, wiser and more inclined to slowly savour the delights of centuries of Scottish talent or mix fine new world delights with old world food, than bulk drink plonk, I never the less look back on my drunken days with misty eyed remembrance.

    I was never once arrested, cautioned or admitted to casualty. I was never involved in drunken fights, though I did run away once or twice. In short, my inebriation was none of anyone elses business.

    The movement that Polly and her breed have supported for decades, destroyed families, forgave criminals and guaranteed welfare, thereby creating a permanent welfare junkie class, from difunctional families, dedicated to a life of violence and anti social behaviour.

    Now that these people are out of control, the rest of us inoffensive drinkers have to pay.

    Its called group punishment, and is outlawed by the UN Charter of Human Rights.

  2. “Its called group punishment, and is outlawed by the UN Charter of Human Rights.”

    Fortunately, Matrix Chambers may well help us out there..

  3. On smoking she presumably means 28% of 30%, which is bollocks, but never mind.

    Also, what Serf says. Poetry chief! Pure poetry!

    And it seems unfair not to point out that this is not just PT; the GMC, the BMA, Nulab and The Tories are all equally bansturbatory in this regard.

  4. Watch out for the next items on the bansturbation list: meat, salt, caffeine, snuff and cars. It’s going to be a great place to live, isn’t it?

  5. Serf

    Would that they would listen to your golden words, but the little shits think they’re right, God help us.

  6. “Markets are simply the cumulative end results of millions of individual decisions.”

    A point that should be made a lot more often than it is. Polly and her ilk speak about the market as if it is some ideology rather than the expression of peoples desires. When someone claims a market needs to be regulated, they are claiming they know what people want, better than people know what they want. Hubris in the extreme.

  7. Judging by the pictures I’ve seen of her, I’d have thought that it was in her interest to promote the use of beer goggles.

  8. Little Black Sambo

    Why don’t we just ban people? All these nasty things are just things that people want, so ban them all at once.

  9. All this ranting of the Goverment’s idea crowd does change public behaviour though. I made sure to by plenty of beer crates in Asda’s recent 3 for £20 deal in case the bastards ban my booze savings before it comes round again. My neighbours have done the same.

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