Blog: Chris MercerWhat 'the people' reckon about alcohol

Chris Mercer | 15 July 2010

The new UK Government has given everybody a chance to speak up on the laws of the land and alcohol has proved something of a hot topic. So, what has the Great British public been saying?

Prime minister David Cameron has handed the initiative to Nick Clegg, chief gimp leader of the minority party in the Conservative-dominated coalition - rather like a master might throw his dog a bone to keep it occupied.

But nevermind the high-brow politicking, what a fascinating opportunity we have to see what people reckon the Government should do to stop us escaping our monotonous lives by drinking ourselves into moronic stupors.

First up is drink-driving and the general consensus is that drivers should be banned from consuming any alcohol at all, or at the very least that the Government should lower the limit. "No alcohol for drivers!" exclaims an incensed pauldb38.

Quite a few other posts dive straight in on the thorny issues of minimum age and restricting supply. Perhaps people are taking this seriously afterall.

What soon emerges, however, is that for every post in favour, you can find another one saying exactly the opposite. Perhaps Clegg will toss a coin to decide upon which avenue the Government should pursue - that's if he can find any coins (cheap austerity joke, apologies).

Some do-gooders, having mistakenly taken Clegg at face value, have been snuffed out by the forum's moderators.

'lisax' agrees with the Scottish Government that the minimum purchase age should be 21 in the off-trade and 18 for the on-trade.

However, a faceless forum moderator has rebuked lisax. "Please note, this website is about repealing or amending existing laws in order to restore civil liberties and cut business and third sector regulation," said the moderator in response to the post. "For that reason, we have closed this idea for further comments," said the Government's referee of libertarian principles.     

Beyond the do-gooders come the real nut-jobs.

"Legalise ecstasy or ban alcohol," says an ultimatum from 'ninjalinesman', who goes on to declare that "illigocity drives me ruddy crazy". More people should use the word 'ruddy' in general conversation, I feel.

ChrisThorp, meanwhile, wants to ban the supermarkets from selling alcohol. I'd like to see Sir Terry Leahy (Tesco CEO) work out a way to make money from that...

Hmm, after the initial cautious optimism, I can't help feeling that I've just wasted my time and that maybe the Government has, too.

I guess we'll just have to rely on responsible politicians like Mark Reckless to point us in the right direction.


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