Image courtesy of Abac0777

Booze

Image courtesy of Abac0777

I am not a popular man. Despite this, my funeral will be well attended. People will come for miles just to make sure I’m dead. Open coffin. Prodding sticks provided. I’ve got it all planned out. And at the wake, there’ll be case after case of booze.

Booze. You’ll be toasting my demise and telling funny stories. Then, half a bottle in, you’ll find yourself saying: you know, he really wasn’t that bad. Of course, you’ll be drunk. And that’s the point of drinking. It makes bad things seem really not that bad.

The government’s attempt to slap a minimum price on drink is a slap in the face to anyone who’s ever wanted to escape, for just one minute, and think: life really isn’t all that bad.

Of course it won’t matter to folks who already pay a tenner a bottle for their bottle of wine, although simple economics states that prices will go up across the board, not just for bargain booze, as price parity remains. But if you’re paying ten quid you probably don’t care if you’re paying twelve.

If you were paying three quid and now you’re paying five, you just might.

I’m not talking about tramps and alkies. Like all other addicts, they’ll pay whatever, do whatever it takes, to get their fix.

I’m talking minimum wage.

Have you ever worked a dead end job? Let’s say you work a 38 hour week with stacking shelves, packing envelopes, or answering phones. Your take home pay will be £868 a month. You can’t even rent a room in London for less than £600, so let’s assume you’re either sharing half a room in London or half a flat anywhere else. You’re paying £300 a month for your share of your hovel.
Subtract bills and council tax. There goes another hundred. Getting to and from work. Another fifty. A hundred, if you live in London. Food – a fiver a day.

I’ve done it. I’ve been that poor.

You’ve now spent about seven hundred of your £868 a month. I’ve not counted the cost of clothes. The cost of owning a TV, computer, mobile phone. A haircut. Deodorant. Toothpaste.

The point is by the time all these things have come out of your “salary”, your entertainment budget is looking pretty thin.
The difference between a £3 bottle of wine and a £5 bottle of wine is everything. The simple fact is the government’s “minimum price on alcohol” hits the poorest and it hits them hard. It hits them where it hurts: in the wallet. Then it hits them again, in the balls, just for good measure.

Fuck you. That’s what David Cameron is saying to you. Well fuck you back, Dave. David Cameron thinks if you’re poor, you don’t have the right to drink. David Cameron thinks if you’re poor, the drinks cabinet should be up there on the top shelf with the porno mags — out of your reach.

David Cameron is saying if you are poor, we have the right to fuck you.

And for what? In the name of health? My body, my right. When I was on minimum wage a gallon of cheap cider at the end of the week was all I could afford. And I can assure you, at the end of the working week, it was bliss. Now I’m earning more I can afford a ten quid cinema ticket. I can afford to take the girlfriend for a weekend in France. But these are the privileges of the rich.

I am not a popular person. Yet somehow I still get invited to dinner parties. Middle class ones, where people start out talking and somehow after the third or fourth bottle is opened, start forcing their trendy opinions on you in a high pitched trill. Usually I keep my mouth shut. But I like a drink as much as the next person and sometimes I have to say my piece. It was about eleven PM. The party was winding down. The whole table, having covered everything from education to the NHS, was in agreement. “Even if you did vote Conservative,” they said, “you would never admit it.”

I finished my wine. It was a nice Fleurie from the Beaujolais region, about twelve quid a bottle. Strong stuff, and good.

“I voted Conservative,” I said, shattering the party’s cosy illusions with a hammer. Then I told them why. I voted Conservative because I wanted an end to the nanny state. I voted Conservative because I believed in freedom, and the rights of the individual, and people’s right to choose. I voted for an economy with lower taxes, a country where people had the right to spend the money they earned on whatever they chose, free from interference from a busybody state.

Suffice it to say I will not be voting Conservative again.

Fuck you, David Cameron. Fuck you for being more of the same.

 

by Alastaire Allday

This post was featured on the Drinkuary campaign website in December 2012.
Check them out.

 

17 Comments

  1. JoJo says:

    Nicely elucidated. I thought I was depressed before. Without booze, my life is over. F*ck you, David Cameron, indeed.

  2. Yvy says:

    You may not care at all, but I’ll still give it a shot: I suggest you look up The Art of Living and join.

  3. Katabasis says:

    Absolutely spot on, outstanding piece!

    One of those pieces of prose I see and say wistfully ‘I wish I had written that!’

  4. FrankFisher says:

    Fuck you Dave, indeed.

  5. sykobee says:

    Beer Duty Escalators, minimum alcohol pricing, when will it end?

    The duty on alcohol should be enough to cover the social and health costs of alcohol, nothing less, nothing more. Once these are paid for, then give people the freedom

    There’s home brewing though. And home distilling (however illegal it is). Just like Finland, a country with massive alcohol taxes and hence prices, and massive alcohol problems despite this. Expensive alcohol does not stop alcoholics. They will find a way. Deal with the causes of their alcoholism, don’t punish everyone in this country who wants to have a drink to wind down at the end of the day and week, be it a can of 8% super-strength lager, a 3L bottle of cider, a couple of bottles of ale, cheap vodka or expensive whisky.

    As the smokers said a decade ago – once the government’s dealt with them, they’ll go after the drinkers. And indeed they are.

  6. nisakiman says:

    Excellent post. Couldn’t agree more. Cameron and his cronies haven’t got a fucking clue. Reality has passed them by; they are now deep in the rabbit hole.

  7. Fantastic article, going to be sharing this lots – with anyone I meet who says “it’s not that bad it won’t affect my booze”

  8. Ethan says:

    You voted for David Cameron and this is the result – continuity Brownism.

    Lets be frank here, a blind man could have seen this coming. If David Davies had have become leader then maybe I would still vote Tory. As it is after much soul searching I UKIP’d.
    I had voted tory all my adult life …over 30 years. so you might say I’m representative of the
    tory core vote. Which is deserting the party in droves. To be replaced by the usal dross, chancers and spivs

    Never liked Cam I think he’s a flim flam man ..just like Bliar.

    It’s not too late though, just remember Conservative is spelt UKIP these days.

  9. Dan H. says:

    Continuity Brownism pretty much sums it up. Right now, the government seems to think that “being nice to the electorate” equates to “not shitting on them from such a great height”. So, we have swingingly high alcohol taxes, insane fuel taxes, income tax, capital gains tax (For gods’ sake why? Oh look, you’ve just made some money, we’re going to help ourselves to some of that!) and even when you’re dead, bloody inheritance tax.

    Tax, tax and more tax!

    Right now I’m starting to think that the gypsies have it right; deal in cash and let someone else pay for everything and the hell with the bloody government except when it comes for health and so on. Their viewpoint is overwhelmingly selfish and parasitic, but faced with an idiot kleptocracy like the one we have now, I am starting to see the point of it all and more to the point, so is everyone else.

    All that alcohol taxes will do is drive a thriving home brewing culture, just like the one in Finland. People will be home brewing and home distilling; neither is exactly difficult when you come down to the basics, although just a smidgeon of chemical knowledge is a good idea when home distilling; that and the common sense to discard the methanol and fusil alcohols fractions of a distillation run (it makes pretty decent car de-icer and screenwash anti-freeze, actually). The stupider, greedier ones will be home-distilling and selling on the products as legitimate alcohol, and likely poisoning hundreds as they do so; something that wouldn’t be happening if the government had just kept their bloody interfering selves out of the matter and left well alone.

  10. David Davis says:

    What will in the end happen (but there’s a deal of destruction and general decomposition, first, of what was once a functionling liberal civilisation – but the GramscoFabiaNazis decided that it displeased them) is revenge. But before that, I’m predicting that the Political EnemyClass will experience its children being caught in snares and gintraps, killed, butchered, barbecued and eaten, should the poor things stray out of the mineproofed, walled and searchlit compounds their parents in the EnemyClass will ultimately have to inhabit. Perhaps their parents want to live like that – like the ones at that dinner-party…perhaps that’s what this ever-increasing bullying and control is all about, in the end.

    But perhaps it’s more subtle. Perhaps the EnemyClass knows what will happen, which is more whitevan-men will get bigger vans, this time – in addition to tobacco – selling unknown alcohol in unlabelled bottles, even to children (as Legiron says, they won’t ask for age or ID.) Perhaps the EnemyClass sees this as a way of “mitigating the population-push-factors of immigration”.

    Meanwhile, chaps can always make their own. They can even distil it, although I am advised that this is illegal, so I’m not advocating it on a watched site like this. The point where we’ll know my hypothesis is right is when it becomes a criminal offence to own or purchase scientific glassware, except for “university departments”.

    It’s rather sad that we all now live in such interesting and exciting times. I didn’t want to look forward to this sort of crap in the afternoon of my life, I really didn’t.

  11. David Davis says:

    ARMED POLICE. ARMED POLICE!!!

    DROP THAT FLASK…and…THAT CONDENSER….

    …and WALK VERY, VERY SLOWLY BACKWARDS WITH YOUR HANDS…UP.

  12. Well said. I’ll raise a glass to that. (Or ten)

  13. tinks says:

    Excellent blog post, sums up the unfairness of minimum pricing which is nothing more than an attack on the poor by the pompous and arrogant, and those unaffected by minimum pricing.

    The last big paragraph is particularly telling, I share your pain.

    What is certain none of them can be trusted, they are so removed from reality now, in it for themselves and their own little game..

  14. Mo says:

    Very nice post that.

    Keep up the good work