Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Quote of the day

“ Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Yet more ‘calls’ for increased UK stealth taxation on alcohol

The BBC Reports that an ‘Alliance’ has been formed by ‘medical organisations’ and ‘charities’ to increase pressure on the government to curb excessive drinking and provide more ‘resources’ for alcohol-related health problems and increasing tax.

An ‘alliance’ coincidentally makes it difficult to follow the money, but normally when an individual pressure group/charity sticks it’s head above the parapet individually, they have a strong vested interest in talking up funding for themselves, and/or they are directly, or indirectly, funded by the state - so have a strong vested interest in promoting more taxation for their paymasters. Alcohol Concern for instance is largely funded by UK Department of Health.

It is interesting to note that many groups that regularly call on the Government to raise taxation levels for various reasons are part of a set of Russian dolls, that if you follow the money, through various sources eventually turn out to be State funded.

These groups justify their claims by inflating the statistics on their particular bĂȘte noire to include not only examples of their particular ‘problem behaviour’ but by stretching the goal mouth a significant proportion of the general population. Alcohol being a particular case in point.

'Hazardous' drinking for instance - The way that is classified would effectively make the entire French nation, who are held up both as both healthy and as sensible continental drinkers, hazardous drinkers, according to the state-funded NWPHO. I am sure the French will be pleased to hear that.

The BBC report contains uncritically reported claims about under age drinking yet their own recent reporting points out that fewer underage teenagers are drinking regularly, due, according to a Trading Standards survey, at least in part, to more effective enforcement of the perfectly adequate existing sales regulations.

Is it not time the public stood up to these people and told them where to stick their dubious reports, authoritarian ways and continuous demands for higher stealth taxes?