Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Of all of the idiotic policies (including and especially the government's newfound authoritarianism showing that it is just continuity Labour and not even giving us two years before pulling the curtain back...), given all the other factors involved I'd struggle to think of a more lethally stupid policy for this government. And one that it is set on forcing upon the rest of us. Yes - force - there is no mandate for this policy (there is however yet another meaningless "consultation" (i.e. give us a fig leaf of validation for what we were going to do anyway) - and one, I note that has not been reported by the media despite the press interest in this story. But then the media never do let us know about these "consultations", do they?).
And ah - yes - "policy based evidence making" as a Very British Dude put it. With computer models.
Ah - good old computer models.
I must have fallen asleep during the period when the scientific method was inverted and hollowed out to the point that computer models became acceptable as primary evidence instead of just useful tools for modelling and refining hypotheses. They're supposed to test your assumptions, not provide evidence for them. Though I'm not surprised that the government, or even a Russell Group institution like the University of Sheffield, has deemed it acceptable. It is after all good enough for climastrology catastrophism, and it seems part of the fashion is to exaggerate as much as possible in order to support policy goals (c.f. for example the absolutely appalling activist "research" detailed here).
In any case, the UoS "research" is taken fully to task here. Continuing this postnormal kind of madness is the fact that a frightening number of people seem to just fall over like surprised goats at the sight of an argument from authority. I'm sure doctors know a great deal about alcohol. How does that authority extend to being able to define policies that are based on economics? Answers on a postcard please...
....Anyway back to the title of the post. This is a policy not only without a mandate, it is without credible evidence of its efficacy and even lacks support within the cabinet itself. Worse, in a time of deep and seemingly endless recession where the cuts all keep coming (including many in the blatantly wrong places - under 25s housing benefit rather than international aid or the EU for example), the one primary tonic of the nation - affordable alcohol - is under attack. And by a deeply unpopular government that only survived the election in coalition. Not to mention the fact that only a year ago it had a severe criminal wave to deal with across the nation. And then there's the fact that it is likely to be ruled illegal under EU law (and despite this, the Prone Minister has promised to "fight" the EU on such a ruling!) In spite of all this the Boy Cameron is going to force extra costs on people, on something that is one of the few pleasures most of our countrymen and women can afford to indulge in. Costs that are completely unnecessary and driven by an authoritarian nannying agenda; restricting one of the few things that keeps many of us from suddenly rampaging through parliament (and its subsidised bars...). What could possibly go wrong?
So I do hope you join Anonymong, myself and others for Drinkuary (facebook event HERE) to stick two fingers up at the neo-puritans and their authoritarian handmaidens in government. Please do join in and spread the word. Also if you have any spare change, 1000 beermats linking to the Drinkuary site have already been ordered - we'd like to order more to spread the word at pubs across the land. There's a huge amount of anger riding on this one and its an issue that's good to get people talking about politics and their relationship with the horror that is our state again. Remember the great and the good don't like us gathering together in relaxed environments to talk serendipitously with one another. We might get ideas....
ADDENDUM: Simply the best rant I've seen yet on this topic at 'The Thing Is'. Do read the whole thing. It's worth it.