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Temperance

Crikes oh Lor! A good news Health story.

Almost inevitably it is… Experts warn… Scientists warn… Uncle Tom Cobbley and his Nanny warns, but this one is different, it modestly celebrates the raising of the wrist.

We tipplers have always known that the safe Units crap was made up on the back of an envelope, much like that secondary smoke will laser its way through walls and kill entire families while they sleep, especially the Cheeeldren!

And on the cure for a cold being alcohol (with a little bit of spicy help), I can concur…

Many years ago the Gay Buddhist, my wife and I were working our way down a bottle of Tequila. I had a  stinking cold, and I mean really stinking , coughing up stuff that looked like well masticated Pistachios. Ness curled up and went to sleep, but the GB and I decided to go out for a curry, Cardiff Curry houses staying open till 3 in the morning in those days.

We both had a Vindaloo, and mine was so goddam hot my eyeballs were sweating. Then we went back to the flat and polished off the rest of the Tequila. The next day I woke up and the cold had completely gone.

So raise your glasses ladies and gentlemen…

Total Fucking Barbarians…

From The Guardian

One of seven Saudis due to be put to death on Tuesday by crucifixion and firing squad for armed robbery, speaking over a smuggled mobile phone from his prison cell, has appealed for help to stop the executions.

Nasser al-Qahtani told Associated Press from Abha general prison on Monday that he was arrested as part of 23-member ring that stole from jewellery stores in 2004 and 2005. He said they had been tortured to confess and had no access to lawyers.

They were apparently juves at the time which don’t matter a jot to me. Nothing much does when I hear the word “crucifixion” uttered in anger in 2013AD. And I bet it’s done in public though you won’t be able to sup a beer during the hilarity for that would be immoral. Or watch girls in their summer clothes for that too would be immoral. Crucifixion for three days though is moral. Sometimes allegedly they behead you first – with a sword. Thank heavens for small mercies. God almighty, even the bloody Romans would take a few coins to break the condemned’s legs and help ‘em on their way. These depraved camel fuckers are beyond anything I can imagine – 3 days! Is that in the Qu’ran? I’ll bet dollars to donuts it ain’t anyway it’s 2013 for the love of fuck. A kid was born recently who was HIV+ and is now not. Dennis Tito is planning a second honeymoon for a middle-aged couple to Mars! My wife’s new phone has more computing power than Alan Turing ever played with. But not it would seem in the Un-Magic Kingdom (the unhappiest place on Earth). What an epic shit-hole!

1. 9/11 terrorists – 15/19 were Saudis.

2. One enlightened princeling owns an airline (as you do) and employs a female pilot. This is progress – w only got there with Amy and Amelia when my grandad wasn’t even in short pants – of course we could have got there sooner but we had to wait for two guys from Ohio to build a ‘plane. Of course whilst she can fly (because they never got around to banning it) she can’t drive to the airport because women can’t drive. She’s allowed to fly a Boeing or Airbus but a Toyota is beyond her.

3. The last King (the one before Abdullah) had hordes of children due to his harem and due to his alleged “dicky ticker” had the planet’s only one-step escalator installed in the Royal Palace.

4. I can’t go to Mecca on pain of death! Only Muslims can. Not that there is much point anyway because it’s all been paved to build 5* hotels for rich folk on the Hajj (have you seen the cost of that?). The archaeological stuff has just been flattened. It’s like Vegas without the gambling and booze and broads. Or a complete fucking waste of concrete in the desert.

But they are a key ally in the “War on Terror” (see 1) and for some Godforsaken reason we sell ‘em Gen 4.5 Strike Fighters. Blimey. The first time I saw a Tiffy it was in RSAF colours in Malta. I assume on a ferry trip. They also crucify people. I wouldn’t trust those intellectual and moral retards with a propelling pencil let alone a fighter jet. And BAE Systems only managed to get the deal via grand an hour hookers and Scotch Whisky laid down when Rob Roy was knee-high to a grasshopper. If it wasn’t for the World-Class blow-jobs and the Malts they’d have bought Block-52-60+ F-16s like any sensible person. But so would we! And I guess when you are in a country that is dryer than an Arab’s sandal* and all the girls wear the Millet’s back catalogue God knows.

Perhaps the odd crucifixion relieves the tedium somewhat. God alone knows why we don’t call them for what they are. They aren’t the only gaff knee-deep in four-star. Alberta is but that involves fracking which is controversial. Now if fracking is controversial where does that put crucifixtion?

We live in a very morally troubled World.

*BTW the (in)famous episode of “Yes, Minister” in which Jim Hacker get’s pissed on a visit to a fictional Mid-East country is based on truth. That’s magic that is, “There is a call from the Scotch (sic) Office – a delegation of Teachers”. “A call from the Soviet Embassy – a Mr Smirnoff”.

Rambo V

Sylvester Stallone says, at the age of 65, he is ready to don his jungle gear again and star in Rambo 5.

The actor says he is working on a script that will see the former Vietnam veteran fighting his final battle.

With what? Reality, plausibility, drug lords. Yes, drug lords. He is going to be taking on AstraZeneca and Pfizer in a bid to prevent them rigging the price of prostatitis medication. “Rambo V: Sometimes a Man’s Gotta Pee.” No.

In an interview with MTV, Stallone hinted that the veteran mercenary’s last showdown could take place in Mexico, in a battle against the drug cartels. He claimed Rambo’s “destiny” was “to go out in a blaze of glory”.

Magic. Perosnally, I wouldn’t regard getting involved in that nasty, evil, “little” war as involving glory in the slightest. I suspect the average Mexican would put that statement much more strongly. The US-led War on Drugs is destroying Mexico. Perhaps in some areas it has destroyed society there almost beyond redemption. A while back I considered a post but the subject was too enormous and too dreadful and the solution too obvious to go further. But suffice to say the dead number in the tens of thousands (are Code Pink doing anything?) and the effect on civil society via increased militarism and police corruption are utterly corrosive.

I can think of few better empirical examples of the failure of drug prohibition. I wonder how many conservative NRA members are vehemently anti-drugs? I recall their slogan, “When guns are outlawed only outlaws have guns”. Very true. Works if you substitute “drugs” for “guns” too.

Now that suggests a solution does it not?

But no! Instead of that all it needs is one all American hero with a huge collection of firearms (presumably he’ll have a sort of caddy for those) and a bus pass.

Domino theory lives

I am sure these people would be horrified, or at least, dismissive, at the suggestion that they might be the leading edge of a totalitarian campaign to shut down discussion and control what we are allowed to read or hear, or limit our ability to make an informed decision.

FOUR former Australians of the Year have signed a joint letter to federal MPs, urging them to support legislation to mandate plain packaging for cigarettes.

They are among 260 professors, from medical and health faculties throughout Australia, who say plain packaging of cigarettes would help reduce the appeal of smoking, particularly to children and young people.

Professors Sir Gus Nossal, Ian Frazer, Fiona Stanley and Fiona Wood have put their names to the letter, which was coordinated by the Cancer Council, the National Heart Foundation and the Public Health Association of Australia.

Professor Mike Daube from the Public Health Association says the scientists are backing plain packaging because of the compelling evidence and the potential for improved public health.

Anyway, here we are:

24 August, 2011

The Gillard Government’s world-leading plain packaging legislation has passed through the House of Representatives today, as Australia moves one step closer to implementing plain packaging of tobacco from 1 January 2012.

“Today Australia’s Parliament took the first courageous step towards legislating plain packaging of tobacco,” Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said.

“Plain packaging will remove the last remaining form of tobacco advertising in Australia.

Now we all know the arguments; this isn’t a slippery slope, it won’t set any precedents, and once they have plain paper packaging for the nasty tobaccoey type products then everyone will be satisfied and this restriction on advertising and free expression will never be extended to any other products.

Ever.

Tobacco is so eeviill that it stands on its own and principle will never be breached for anything else.

Ever.

THE Coco Pops monkey and Paddle Pop lion would be scrapped under a Cancer Council proposal to ban cartoon characters and sports stars from spruiking unhealthy kids’ food.

Cancer Council NSW, backed by the Obesity Policy Coalition and The Parents’ Jury, are seeking a ban on promotional characters, movie tie-ins and the athletes who promote foods high in sugar, fat and salt.

Although stopping short of calling for plain packaging, Cancer Council nutritionist Kathy Chapman said regulations around the marketing of foods to children were urgently needed.

Well, that’s Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle and Pop, and Ronald McDonald sent to the camps then. What about the image of the Colonel? Is that still used? Would it still be legal?

What’s a your average control freak gunna do? Follow their profession? Or become a professional campaigner? Because parents are simply not fit to make these decisions themselves, are they? But then, here, I’m preaching to the converted.

Research by Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney’s Prevention Research Collaboration found that nearly 74 per cent of promotional characters on Australian food packets promote products to children that would fail healthy nutritional standards.

What are healthy nutritional standards? I love a pile of boiled potatoes, sprinkled with salt and dripping with butter. Mmmm, fresh potatoes, a big pile of fresh potatoes. Is that better than a bag of crisps? What about a bag of carrots? Carrots are good for you aren’t they? Would a carrot by itself meet healthy nutritional standards? Eat a load of carrots and you go orange.

They gunna regulate the number of carrots I am allowed to eat?

This campaign doesn’t even have the fig leaf of the health downsides of tobacco. Only an idiot, or an activist with an agenda, judges a single food item by itself. Any food, taken by itself, won’t meet some arbitrary ‘healthy nutritional standard’.

My mother will shoot me for saying it, but there is no such thing as junk food, only junk diets.

Nothing wrong with giving the kids a feed of McDonalds – burger, shake and fries – just don’t do it every meal. Likewise, don’t give them liver and bacon with fresh potato, cauliflower, tomato and cabbage every night either, they won’t thank you.

Still food isn’t the point, is it? The point is – give the control freaks a single finger through the door and they will pour through in droves. They can’t acknowledge temperance, because admitting it destroys their raison d’être.

They’re having a go at the oranges now…

Following on from the cucumbers of (non)-calamity and the beansprouts of buggeration we now have the orange juice of obesity.

MILLIONS of people are putting their health at risk after research showed that natural fruit juice is so packed with sugar it can be addictive.

Drinking just two glasses a day could give people a “sweet tooth”, making them crave calorie-packed food, a study claimed yesterday. Experts are so concerned they are even calling for juice drinks to be taxed in a bid to curb Britain’s growing obesity epidemic.

Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, who led the study, said: “This has serious implications for public health. The research shows how few sweet foodstuffs are required to actually change your taste perceptions and how powerful sweet- tasting products are.

“We are heading for a multi-level health disaster with rising obesity levels and the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes.”

We’re DOOMED!!!

Pure fruit juice, as well as carbonated drinks and cordials, are all “too high in sugar and too sweet”, the study found.

Given there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, milk contains animal fats, tea and coffee contain evil caffeine and now all soft drinks turn you into Billy Bunter what pray tell Herr Doktor can we drink? dihydrogen monoxide?

But it was a “study” so it must be true! Err… no. Listen to this gem…

Researchers say it is the first time such a link has been established.

Perhaps because…

And it is not just the overweight who are susceptible. The study found that people who are slim and active also risk developing a sweet tooth after having just two sugary drinks every day for a month.

So, do they still remain “slim and active”? I suspect so because two glasses of orange juice a day is hardly unusual and lots of the slim and active” drink that for decades whilst remaining “slim and active”. So your point Herr Doctor is?

But wait, it get’s worse!

Low or zero-calorie drinks with artificial sweeteners do not solve the problem as they only encourage people to over-eat at the next opportunity to make up for the calories missing in the beverage.

Herr Doctor, I hereby nominate you for winner of “Voodoo Science 2011″. We used to execute witches. Time to re-instate that law I feel.

Meanwhile, in case you’re worried about the evils of orange juice I suggest you follow my prescription for a nutritious breakfast. Wrap a sausage in cheese and deep fry it. Wash it down with half a pint of gin and finish with a cigar. That’s at least as sensible as Herr Doktor’s sorcery.

Idiots Of The Week: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers

“Pubs to display alcohol units in public health ‘responsibility deal’” shouts, or at least mumbles, The Telegraph

The article is a list of Healthist claptrap, which the foolish industries have “voluntarily” agreed to; displays of alcohol “units”, warning labels, reductions in the palatability of food, demands we’re all familiar with now. But the doozy in the article is this-

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, an influential trade body, has told its members: “Ministers have made it clear that signing up to the deal will be taken into account in considering new legislation in these areas.

“This could help fend off further calls for action from the health lobby.”

For sheer stupidity, it really takes the (trans-fat free) cake. Let’s just revel in the dim-wittedness of that again-

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, an influential trade body, has told its members: “Ministers have made it clear that signing up to the deal will be taken into account in considering new legislation in these areas.

Many years ago, Enoch Powell coined the term “The Rule Of The Threat Of Law” to describe this. (For students of Conservative history, it also turns up in The Selsdon Manifesto, which arguably was the first stirrings of a classical liberal Conservative reaction that culminated in Thatcherism). But anyway, I’m digressing-

TROTTOL is now routine. Somebody is called in to see the minister, and he is told, “We want you to do this voluntarily. If you don’t, we’ll force you to by legislation.” In other words, the same kind of “voluntary” as holding a woman by the throat and telling her that if she doesn’t agree to sex, you’ll rape her. Astonishingly, The Association Of Licensed Multiple Retailers are taking this at face value. Can’t you just see their idiot pride at fending off legislation? Sigh.

But here’s the real crowning moment of FAIL-

“This could help fend off further calls for action from the health lobby.”

Sorry, let’s just hear that again.

“This could help fend off further calls for action from the health lobby.”

Can’t you just imagine this-

The scene: a sparklingly fluorescent meeting room at Alcohol Concern’s headquarters. Don Shenker looks around the conference table at the assembled activists, resplendent in their white bonnets and collars and their tall hats, his face all grim with foreboding. “I have terrible news,” he intones in his dour, Presbyterian voice, “I’m afraid it’s all over. We’re finished. Sunk. The Satanic Alcohol Industry has won.”

A shiny eyed young lady with scrubbed complexion asks, her lips a tremble, “But how, Don? What has happened?”

Don clasps his hands together under his chin. “I’m afraid,” he says, “they’ve totally outfoxed us. They agreed to put units on the pump clips. We were never expecting that. There’s nothing we can do. It’s a masterful stroke by Satan.

“After this meeting, I have no choice but to commence winding up the Temperance Movement. We have no further role to play. I’m afraid we’re all going to have to go out and find real jobs.”

Does anyone find that even vaguely plausible?

What astonishes me is the naivete of the spokesman. They have seen this process with tobacco. Do they really have such a lack of understanding of how the puritan lobby works? Do they really not realise that this isn’t a way of putting them off; that it is instead seen as a win, as a victory, as an encouragement to further action? Do they not realise that everything the industry agrees to do, or is forced to do, is just a step on the road to the next stage of gradualist prohibition? How can anybody- especially somebody who is supposedly employed to act on behalf of the industry- be so naive?

Dear Mr Association Of Licensed Multiple Retailers, get this through your head. They are not interested in “moderate” drinking. They are not interested in some sort of reasonable compromise. They want you destroyed, and if you are foolish enough to help them, they will not even thank you. They will take your agreement as an agreement that you are indeed pedlers of an evil poison, and note your every acceptance of that fact with your naive “cutting down drinking” industry campaigns. And they will use that fact against you. At some point you will find that you are not even invited to the meetings any more. You will find that all your compliance was for naught, and that all it did was to hasten your ruin. You will be told to put your beer in plain bottles, and hide it from view, and then eventually not able to sell it at all. You are not dealing with reasonable people. You are dealing with fanatics. How hard is it to comprehend this? If you don’t grow a backbone, you are doomed.

One can only presume that these people don’t read anything outside their little corporatist bubble. They don’t think outside that bubble either. Presumably they don’t ever bother to read excellent blogs that could explain to them what is happening, like Dick Puddlecote or Velvet Glove, Iron Fist or Frank Davis or The Pub Curmudgeon or numerous others. They must sit there in splended isolation in their own committee rooms, saying “Well, we’ll just do this thing, then they’ll be satisfied. Yeah, that’ll work.” And then all slap each others’ stupid backs.

At times like this, I sometimes feel that if people can be this stupid, perhaps they deserve all they get. And get it they will. In spades. Oh yes.

Current Mood: Angry

I went to the Chinese takeaway earlier on to get me dinner, and came back incandescent with rage. Not because of the food, but because the nice lady who runs it asked me if I wanted a newspaper to read while waiting, and I said yes. So, she gave me the Sunday Times (Northampton is one of the more highbrow chavtowns) and down at the bottom of page 1 was a little story with a headline something like, “Pssst, Can I Have Some You-Know-What Please?” about the fact that our glorious government has decided enforce plain tobacco packaging. Here it is in the Daily Mail.

There are times when I take some leave from the blogosphere and pretty much stop looking at the news, because it just makes me angry and I need a break from the stress. Because, for me, pretty much everything that happens at the social and political level is something I don’t want to happen. The tide is eternally flowing in the opposite direction to that in which I wish it were flowing. I cannot think of a single new law, or new initiative, or economic policy, which I have approved of in more years than I care to remember. I feel as if I am living in a nation of aliens; or rather, that I am alone alien teleported into 21st century Britain and trying to understand and survive it. I increasingly feel like I’ve nothing in common with everyone around me. How can I be so out of step with public opinion? Is everyone else mad, or is it me?

My anger at this latest announcement is beyond my ability to describe. The English language does not have sufficiently extreme adjectives. “Incandescent” seems far too mild. I feel like, if I met one of the Righteous, perhaps on the way back from the Chinese, I would be unable to restrain myself from violence against them. I feel that way because I know they hate me, and thus to hate them in turn is a normal reaction. They hate me with the same intensity that Nazis hated the Jews, Communists hated the kulaks, the Ku Klux Klan hated blacks. They want to do me harm; they lie awake nights figuring out how to do me harm.

I feel scared.

I wonder how far this puritan phase will run for before it runs out of steam, or there is a backlash. We know who the next targets are already, and the run-up against them is already underway; drinkers of course, and fat people. And meat eaters. Oh, and off-message Christians, caught in the crossfire of progressivist groups emulating the religious struggle in the USA. Maybe ten years from now, Bibles will have to be sold in a plain cover, like pornography.

So anyway. Why does this matter so much? Who cares about packaging anyway? Well, it matters because it is another step forward for the Enemy, in general terms. But it is a remarkable step forward. According to the Times and the Mail, tobacco will be sold “without branding”. No brands.

Think about that for a moment. If it is being reported correctly, they are taking a step never taken before in western economic history, which is to ban the identification of particular products. The reports say there will be nothing on the packets except a picture of a dead baby with its guts torn out and “a smoker did this” as a caption (or, a health warning as it is politely called).

How do you order a product when it has no name? Will it be like the pop singer Prince, and we’ll have to ask for “25g of the product formerly known as Golden Virginia”? And if the packet is blank, how can you know what the shopkeeper has given you? It could be anything. It probably will be. It seems that there will be nothing sold but generic “tobacco”. If this goes ahead, presumably a few years down the road you will only be able to buy blank bottles of generic “beer” and “wine”. No Bombardier or 6X or Spitfire, no Merlot or Beaujolais. Just generics. Probably just stamped “alcohol- deadly poison”.

To remove branding is to remove the possibility of choice, that most glorious consequence of free market capitalism. Branding is the most wonderful thing, because it is a manifestation of the reality that products are not fungible. We don’t just buy “bread”. We buy Warburtons Soft White Farmhouse or Hovis Brown or what have you. A brand identifies the manufacturer; it allows you to make market judgements like “that was good last time, I’ll have that type again”. Without it, you cannot exert your will in the marketplace.

Which of course is what those evil people, the Progressives, want.

They can often be found eulogising the good old days before brands, and advertising. When you went to a local shop for local people instead of a nasty supermarket, and got “eggs” and “flour” and “cheese” and there was one type of each and that was that, and it might be different each time. You had no idea. Branding changed all that. Once shops were selling different manufacturers’ products, and consumers had choice, brands appeared. It became, Macdougall’s Flour and Farmer Brown’s Eggs. So removing branding is an essential part of the Proggies’ desperate, stupid urge to fling us all back to the pre-industrial era; to end “consumerism”.

I feel scared.

I can see the world I grew up in being dismantled, bit by bit. There are times I wish they’d just get it over with. In a sense, it is the gradualism that is unbearable. There are times I wish they’d just ban everything- baccy and beer, burgers and bangers, and all the rest- once and for all. Instead, they creep forward one apparently tiny step at a time. It’s like being executed with a bacon slicer.

Sometimes I think, this cannot go on. There will be a reaction. There will be a great rebellion and they will be cast out of the high places, these evil priests of puritanism. But days like today, I feel totally hopeless. This law will pass without complaint and a year from now I will be buying a pack of something-or-other from an apologetic newsagent, and we’ll grumble and put up with it. We are excluded from the public discourse. We can blog, but ministers don’t read blogs. They have meetings with ASH and Alcohol Concern and Mothers Against This That And The Other, and blogger after blogger writes impressive articles and is ignored, while the guardianista front called Mumsnet decide to do a “campaign” on the first thing that enters their tiny chattering class minds, and it gets in the papers. I want to do something. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if there is anything I even possibly can do.

I am a libertarian. I am as is well known more than happy to spend hours in intense arguments about anarcho-capitalism or the Land Value Tax or the value of a PPE degree. But the bottom line is, I just want to be left alone. That is my grand political ideology. Nothing more. I’d like to just be left alone to go about my life, quietly and peacefully. It does not seem like too much to ask; but my nation (and it seems, all others) is full of these hateful people who just will not leave me alone; whose sole purpose in life is to not leave me alone. I want to grab them by the lapels and shout, “Why are you doing this to me?!”

But I know what they would say, and it fills me with sadness, and with anger. They would just say, with a smug, patronising smile, “Because we can. Because you can’t stop us. Because it makes us feel good. That’s why.”

Let’s Rock!

I watched Ian Hislop’s “Age of Do-Gooders” on the telly a coupla nights ago. It alerted me to this chap…

In the late 1840s, Cruikshank’s focus shifted from book illustration to an obsession with temperance and anti-smoking. Formerly a heavy drinker, he now supported, lectured to, and supplied illustrations for the National Temperance Society and the Total Abstinence Society among others. The best known of these are The Bottle, 8 plates (1847), with its sequel, The Drunkard’s Children, 8 plates (1848), with the ambitious work, The Worship of Bacchus, published by subscription after the artist’s oil painting, now in the Tate Gallery, London. For his efforts he was made vice president of the National Temperance League in 1856.

We can all raise a glass to that miserable sod! Of course these Victorian puritans were… well, puritanical and never got invited to parties and that. They railed against music halls and such. I recall hearing recently about a late C19th variety star in London who wowed the crowds by performing a high wire act with no knickers on. She probably was injurious to health in terms of cricked necks. Hell, I’d like to see that! A lot more fun than that sourpuss professional quinoa eater and turd sniffer “Dr” Gillian McKeith not eating bugs for the amusement of Ant & Dec.

Nothing changes. I watched the finale of ITV1′s X-Factor over the weekend and apparently Christina Aguilera and her dancers outraged the morality of the Daily Mail. I just love this from the linked Mail article, “The images below have been published to show the fury they’ve caused”. Yeah, right! There is nothing like the heady cocktail of mild titilation and furious righteous indignation garnished with a dash of “thinking of the children” is there? Didn’t cause any fury round where I was. I liked it (apart from Aguilera who is beginning to look a bit like a real-life Miss Piggy) though the dancers did it for me. Why they didn’t like it is a mystery… Except it isn’t is it? Whether it’s “Onward Christian Soldiers” or Decembrow (Do read it, it’s the first use the phrase “power eyebrows” since Leonid Brezhnez kicked the samovar) it’s the same old dismal thing. It is the same assault on fun of any description. It is with us now because it has always been with us and it has been with us because some people are no fun whatsoever and therefore want to level that playing field (I recall invitations as an undergrad to certain Christian Union “does” like, “This Halloween we are holding a prayer vigil for the sins of the campus…” – oh, do fuck off) Wesley* himself, whilst reading divinity, was regarded as too pious for his own good. Probably because he was the miserable cunt.

Anyway back to Cruickshank…

Punch magazine, said in its obituary: “There never was a purer, simpler, more straightforward or altogether more blameless man. His nature had something childlike in its transparency.”

Perhaps Punch hadn’t read his will by that point…

Upon his death, it was discovered that Cruikshank had fathered 11 illegitimate children with a mistress named Adelaide Attree, his former servant, who lived close to where he lived with his wife. Adelaide was ostensibly married and had taken the married surname ‘Archibold’.

Cruikshank provided financially for his mistress and their children in his will and also left them his considerable cellar that he kept at Adelaide’s house.

I cannot even begin to be surprised. Cruikshank’s magnum opus was “The Worship of Bacchus“.

Originally a painting (it’s in Tate Britain) – that’s a link to the print. Check it out at A3 size. Just have a look over it. Probably the first thing you’ll think is that it owes a bit to Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of “Earthly Delights” but with one key difference. Whilst Bosch (to modern eyes at least) is rather cryptic Cruikshank isn’t in the slightest. Cruikshank goes absolute “route one” to make his point. And what is that point? Well, obviously it is that booze is bad and indeed pretty much the root cause of every Victorian social ill (apart from those caused by masturbation, obviously) – note the signs on the buildings along the top of the picture for example. OK, so the demon drink is evil but there is another story here as well. I’ll illustrate it with a snippet from towards the top-left of the picture though I could have chosen many other little bits instead.

cruik

That little tableau is hardly difficult to decipher is it? At the bottom the officers are carousing in the mess whilst a sailor above is flogged presumably either for drunkenness or something done under the ‘fluence of the demon. An easy analysis of this is that the plebs can’t be trusted with the bottle but their “betters” can be. Certainly that would fit with Mr Cruikshank keeping his mistress and fathering bastards into two figures with the bed-springs heaving over a monumental stock of booze in the basement. Hypocrisy, thy name is George! But I dislike that line of attack. It’s too much of a “gotcha!” argument. It is true of course and undoubtedly has as it’s modern progeny in such things as minimum pricing per unit which might make a bottle of Lambrini cost more but won’t effect the price of a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape one iota. But it is even worse than the patronising attitude that it is only the lower orders who need protecting from themselves whilst the Philosopher Kings can drink their fine wines around Islington dining tables and set the World (or at least the North London of their own imaginings between the Waitrose and the organic deli) to rights. Yes, it is worse than that but this aside is I think worth it because it is exactly the same mentality that rails from a Conran chair after rather too many glasses of a particularly cheeky Merlot against the chavs getting pissed as had Cruikshank getting loaded on Claret and doinking his bit on the side whilst peddling his temperance schtick. It really is no different and neither is the post-modern sin of carbon emissions which sees the same later day bien pissants criticising EasyJet whilst recounting their eco-tour of Guatamala whilst their dinner party guests oh!!! and ah!!! about some frankly awful piece of “fairtrade” tat they picked up that was made “authentically”**.

No, it is worse because both Cruikshank and his current “intellectual” heirs think that the higher orders ought to set an example. To go back to the above picture snippet Cruikshank’s point is that not only can the “lower orders” not help themselves off their own bat but that they could if only the genteel “officer class” set a good example. That is horrendously patronising to everyone. I suppose I’m lower-middle class and fight urges to buy the Daily Mail and all that but… Should I set myself up as a beacon to the proles? Should I, in my turn, follow the doings of my betters (presumably up to and including their Royal Highnesses***)? No! I am Nick. I am me. I am whatever I can be bothered to be. So are you. So is everyone. I am not here to set an example because I just am [This is teetering on the brink of becoming a torch song - Ed]. So are you. Now I’m not going to get all Kipling (“Walk with Kings yet not lose the common touch…”) but I have met some right troglodytes of every social order and the same applies to good folks too. Essentially Cruikshank’s painting is classicist (bet you never thought you’d read that word on a libertarian blog…). It is saying that if only the higher-ups lived lives of abstemious virtue then so would the plebs. Tacit within that analysis (emphasis on the first syllable) is the idea that morality is inherited along with money. See ***. I didn’t give my bride a sapphire the size of a Vauxhall Astra but on the credit side neither did I fuck my mistress the night before the wedding. The heir to the throne did because he’s a twat.

Anyway, back to iDave’s house. Yes, our own dear Prime Monster. His very soul espouses the idea that those of good birth ought to be exemplars (If we ignore his Bullingdonian antics but that was OK because iDave is special). Why else in these carbon-fearing times does he have a fucking windmill on his house? It’s the same thing. Now, don’t get me wrong. The deck chairs have been re-arranged and the “look-up to class” might be Matt Cardle**** and not the Duke of Northumberland but it’s the same old…

Yes it is. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow I lead the revolution (weather permitting). Now I know this will not rally the troops but…

The ruling classes are not just hypocrites (though they are) but hypocrites who know they are but don’t care because they believe that their public persona (and their public) is enough to persuade the plebs to live socially useful lives.

Well fuck ‘em I say! Fuck ‘em with a calumny of greater or lesser fucks. It is well past time to raise the banner and set the tumbrils rolling.

I think Twisted Sister said it better than me…

Let’s rock!

Or you could listen to Chris Martin and Blandplay because he cares so much about beige causes he even fucked (word count hit exactly 1776 there!) Gwyneth Poultry (the unthinking man’s Cate Blanchett) simply because he’s the dismal and exceedingly well-chiselled twatter he truly is. There are things gurgling down plug-holes in abortion clinics that communicate more to the porpoise than that wretched cunt.

Your choice.

*That bugger got everywhere. You know the park where Forest Gump sits with his box of chocolates? I’ve been there – Savannah, GA. It’s got a statue of Wesley – he was a bishop there. The commuter-belt village I grew-up in had a “Wesley’s Mount” (Fnarr fnarr!) where he once preached. Nine hours across the Atlantic and I still couldn’t get away from the methodical sod!

**The computer I’m typing this on was made by me in a shed. Is that not authentic enough for them? No, of course not. The components were made in factories of course and me being English and not living in a hut with naught but a bucket to crap in I’m hardly “authentic” am I? Except you’re reading this so if neither this computer or the keyboard jockey are “authentic” you must be channelling some mighty big ju-ju or have your Tibetan birthing-rug aligned with the right chakras or some such shite.

***Such fine moral exemplars that they are.

****Heaven help us if it is Cheryl Cole who was only rehabilitated from being a talentless bint who punched a toilet attendant when she got married to Ashley Cole and found out he had a penchant for scoring during “away fixtures”. Married to that mooasaurus I am hardly surprised. Ye gods she’s thicker than industrial-grade pig-shit concentrate!

The Bansturbatory Round-Up

AKA – “The Circle Jerk”

There’s a few…

Drinking alcohol on all public transport – including cross channel ferries!

Sugar in hospitals – just Wales so far but recall the smoking ban started in Scotland?

Selling half a dozen eggs.

Drinking games.

Smoking in cars with children and “potential” play grounds.

Photography.

Sunbeds – because some slag was stupid. Note the Daily Fail comments.

Trans fats – whatever they are – salt and saturated fats.

Saying you find breastfeeding, “creepy”. Yes, someone said that saying that, “shouldn’t be allowed” (presumably whilst tripping over her earth-mama duggs).

These bansturbators… It’s gone well beyond political action. They ought to be put on tumbrils and dragged through the streets to the pyre.

I’m moving to Saudi Arabia. I think It’ll be more fun.

Puritan Seeks Rent

More puritanical rent seeking reared its ugly head today, as oligarch Terry Leahy, boss of Tesco, called for more temperance laws including his pet favourite, price controls, in collaboration with chief temperance nutter Don Shenker, of course.

The selfish benefits Terry gets from this are obvious, but worth enumerating. He gets more money from selling beer at a higher price; his competitors are prevented from undercutting him by offering lower prices. He gets to look “moral”; he gets to say that he is doing something about the latest, well orchestrated, moral panic; so-called “binge drinking”. And in the process he helps to perpetrate the false consciousness upon which puritan campaigning depends- that is, that something which has always happened, in this case people getting pissed and sometimes causing bovver, is a brand new problem which is threatening to overwhelm and destroy civilisation.

Something else that depresses me about this is here on Leahy’s main Telegraph article. It has the inevitable, apparently obligatory, fat girls photo as illustration. The photo is there to represent a stereotype; it’s a pernicious form of propaganda. We are supposed to look at this photo and see the collapse of civilisation. The photos are always fat girls. Fat girls drinking.

Fat people represent excess (literally). They represent the out of control untermenschen who over-indulge and must be reined in. It is the mithering of the puritan class; capitalism gives people too much luxury and that is why they are “obese” (nobody’s ever chubby any more). And look, no class; they’re drinking! Drinking from the bottle! Drunks!

The idea that being drunk is fun is now verboten. You are still allowed to drink… in moderation. That is, you can have a little drink so long as you don’t become intoxicated. This is Britain. You’re not here to enjoy yourself. So the photo of three girls having a laugh comes to represent something else; the breakdown of the social fabric. The idea that these three lasses may just be having some fun at the end of a boring week’s work doesn’t enter into it. The mere fact that a photo which- on face value- shows some people enjoying themselves having a drink is used to illustrate an article calling for state measures to prevent them doing that shows just how perilously near to total puritanism we are.

The Libertarian Alliance have issued a press release decrying Leahy’s vintage whine and for a Tesco boycott. Good for them.

Whatever “civil” liberties the Coalitionistas may be offering us back, we need to be aware that the pressure on our private liberties, and particularly on using impoverishment as a means to control them, is going to be as least as intense, and probably more intense, than under NuLabour. In terms of puritanism, the combination of crusty conservatives and hardcore sandal wearers is likely to be toxic. “Binge Drinking” is an invented moral panic, but millions of people already believe it and will dutifully acquiesce to, and indeed support, this latest raid on our wallets. Tough times are ahead for personal liberty, I fear.

Merry Olde England

Ian brings out the Devil in me. I was holding this for a suitable time… But hey-ho, let’s go!

The Meux and Company Brewery, located on Tottenham Court Road in central London, had one of the largest beer vats in the city. The 20 foot high container could hold 3,555 barrels (511,920 liters) of beer and was held together by 29 strong metal hoops. Several other large vats were also housed in the same building. The ale had been fermenting there for almost ten months, but the containers were very old and starting to show signs of fatigue.

On October 16 [also cited as October 17th - Ed], 1814 the metal hoops that held the big vat together snapped and beer exploded in every direction, causing all the other vats in the building to rupture. A total of 8,500 barrels (1,224,000 liters) of beer smashed through the brick wall of the building and out into the crowded slum area of St. Giles. The sea of beer ran through the streets, flooded basements, and demolished two homes. The wave collapsed a wall in the nearby Tavistock Arms pub and buried a barmaid for three hours. In one home, the beer busted in and drowned a mother and her three-year-old son. A total of eight people were killed, seven due to drowning and one due to alcohol poisoning.

People quickly waded into the flooded areas and tried to save all the free beer they could. Some scooped it up in pots while others lapped it up in their hands. Chaos ensued at the local hospital when the smell of the beer-soaked survivors quickly filled the building. Other patients, convinced there was a party and that beer was being served, rose from their beds and demanded pints of their own.

Most of the victims were poor people who lost their lives or lost everything they owned. Relatives of some of the people who drowned had their corpses displayed in their homes and exhibited to crowds for a fee. In one house, too many people crowded into a room and the floor gave out. Everyone was plunged into a cellar still half-filled with beer.

For weeks afterwards the neighborhood stank of beer and the primitive pumps of the day could not get rid of all of it. The brewery was brought to court but the judge and jury blamed no one. They found that the flood was an ‘Act of God’ and the brewing company was not liable.

From here.

So alcohol fuelled chaos on the streets of Britain is a new thing? The Righteous and their moral panics would appear to be imbibing their history from a cracked teapot (ref to Dickens and Hogarth). Can you even begin to imagine the outcry from the professionally meddlesome that such an incident would create these days?

PS This post is also partly in response to me being piggy-rotten sick of the media (almost all of it) invoking the “Dunkirk Spirit” over the “plight” of Brits being abandoned in France. Being over-charged for a hotel room in Calais in 2010 and being hunkered down in a blitzed farm house on the outskirts of Dunkirk in 1940 with several hundred thousand very heavily armed Germans trying to kill you is not the same thing at all. It’s the profoundly qualitative difference between being inconvenienced and thinking yourself very likely to die horribly in the likely knowledge that everything you have fought for will shortly be destroyed. This volcanic farce is at every level very far away from our finest hour.

The Nail On The Head

The statist is not motivated purely or even mainly by results. Statism is not a philosophy rooted in discovery of pragmatic solutions to social problems. At the root of this kind of legislation is the belief in Society (ie the state apparatus) as a source of moral authority. The state needs to express its moral disapproval of vice and wickedness. Legislation as an expression of that disapproval is a moral and just end in and of itself, regardless of any practical impact it may or may not have.

Passing such laws is a symbolic act. Government must ‘send a message’ to the flock. If it doesnt legislate (uselessly or not) it forsakes its moral authority.

-Commenter Jay Thomas over at Samizdata, discussing the latest surge towards Temperance legislation. Jay blogs for himself as The Thoughtful Ape.

I think Jay has succinctly summed up the nature of anglospheric “progressive” statism, which I think we all need to recognise is a moralist movement, as opposed to marxism-communism, which is an economics/class struggle ideology.

The Temperance Movement Piles On The Pressure

The BMA- now entirely a temperance organisation- has called for a total ban on alchohol advertising. My, it seems like only yesterday I was saying to drinkers, if you support this smoking ban you’re next, and they were saying, LOLZ, no, drink doesn’t waft around, anyway everybody loves drink, they wouldn’t dare…

Note how the authors of the report are identified in the headline as “doctors” rather than a specific organisation, thus creating the illusion that all doctors everywhere want a ban, not just a committee at their trade organisation. The report gets a quote from one of the authors, named as Professor Gerard Hastings, a quick google of which reveals he’s the head and founder of the “Institute of Social Marketing”. What’s that? Well, it’s an anti-advertising lobby group, that’s what, basically pushing the message that advertising is evil and teaches us bad things, whereas a bunch of fucking cunts like Gerard Bastard Hastings pumping out propaganda day and night isn’t, presumably. Oh, and he’s director of “the Cancer Research UK Centre for Tobacco Control Research”, so I think that’s a pretty clear indicator of what him and his gurning cohorts are planning to do to drinkers.

The report pumps out the usual rubbish- that we’re all suddenly drinking far more for instance, which simply is not true (I can’t be arsed to look up the stats, but we’re not) and bear in mind this quote from his ISM website-

“Tobacco, which kills half its long term users, provides an extreme example of this, but other industries like alcohol and food are also coming under scrutiny.”

Where tobacco leads, drinks and food will follow. You have been warned.

Also, not surprising to see odious rentaquote wanker Don Shenker of fake charity Alcohol Concern with more grist for the mill.

Remember people, this is Britain. You’re not here to enjoy yourself.

***
Update

The ever reliable Dick Puddlecote has the stats on consumption (not rising as I said above) and a more thorough discussion.

More Temperance: Scotland Leads The Way

Scotland’s presbyterian moral compass has caused it to lurch further down the temperance road towards the Californian model of forcing bar staff onto courses run by corporate state temperance organisations which teach them to actively try to destroy the businesses that employ them with requirements that, if one had predicted them a few years ago, would have been met with utter disbelief; such as a requirement to offer customers a glass of water instead of another beer(!).

As usual Dick Puddlecote discusses the whole sorry mess far more succinctly than I would have done- please pop across to Dick’s excellent blog and read all about it there. Feel free to weep a little.

The Age Of Plastic

Sp!ked Online warns us of the Temperance Movement’s latest wheeze to destroy the pubgoing experience- plastic beakers instead of glasses. We’re not safe with glasses, you see. They have to be banned. And if a few more people give up on going to the pub, and some more pubs close… great, that gets us closer to the utopian DrinkFree state!

This reminds me of an argument I had with a woman in Northampton town centre a couple of years ago. She was campaigning to have glasses banned from nightclubs, because her son had been glassed in a fight, and she had lots of home-made leaflets, and pictures of her son’s injury, which was like Nick’s self-inflicted one, but less interesting. So normally I’m a reserved chap who would have passed by on the other side, but this time I thought I’d engage her in a debate. And we went back and forth with me with all my clever philosophy about the argument from harm and Mill and what’s wrong with it, and so on, and she obviously wasn’t going to budge.

And there were people toddling up and signing her petition, and it was quite noticable that none of them seemed to be of the nightclubbing demographic. So this one middle aged chap with the look of a beer drinker about him came up to sign the petition, and out came a slogan he must have picked up from somewhere- “It’s the innocents that get hurt, isn’t it?”. He said it with a self-satisfied expression that seemed to be saying “Having signed this petition, I have done a good deed today. I think I’ll celebrate with a nice pint”.

So I said to him, “you know that if they ban them in nightclubs, they’ll make you drink out of a plastic beaker in your local pub next?”

And a look of horror came over his face, and he turned to the lady and said, “It’s just nightclubs isn’t it? Not pubs?!”

And she confirmed that indeed it was just nightclubs, and he toddled away happy, because he’d done the good deed of helping ensure that other people would be forced to drink out of plastic beakers, and it wouldn’t affect him.

Which is pretty much how the prohibitionists’ baby steps strategy works so well. They get people to vote for the precedent to be imposed on somebody else, and really, there’s no slippery slope, that’s a fallacy…

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