Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gut Rot

I’m mystified by the Government’s / Industry’s sudden decision to put health warning labels onto bottles and cans of alcohol. I mean, it’s not as if people aren’t aware of how dangerous alcohol can be when it’s abused. For most people that’s part of the attraction.

Alcohol when abused is a poison. As is nicotine. As is heroin, cocaine, paracetymol, chip fat, petrol, Lego, dog turds, windmills, Victoria Beckham and a great many other things... I just can’t be bothered to compile the complete list.

If people already know all this and still go out binge drinking – still go out on the razz with the full intention of vomiting up both kidneys, their liver and their sphincter muscles in a hot sorbet of assorted lagers, beers and spirits – what good are warning labels going to do? Aside from being a point of comic interest somewhere along the lines of approaching inebriation?

Let’s face it if we’re going to start putting health warnings onto things to warn people of their potentially dangerous properties I can think of a hundred and one other items that warrant health warnings far more urgently that a bottle of Drambuie.

What about cars? What about carving knives. What about salt?

What about humanity per se?

4 comments:

greenfingers said...

To say nothing of the ridiculous and parentalist recent government decision to put a blanket 'prohibition' on alcohol in pregnancy - to act as a strong warning for us women who can obviously not be trusted to work out what 1-2 units a week means.....not that I am for drinking in pregnancy, because actually I don't feel too comfortable with it, but it's more the symbolism of this move - you're women, you can't be trusted, we own you anyway, and let's try and control you even more than we already do...

and this decision is based upon 'no new research'....

see Zoe Williams' excellent discussion of this issue in the Guardian...

I nearly went mad in pregnancy thanks to the list of banned foodstuffs and constant threat hanging over me of the potentially horrendous consequences of eating a bit of goat's cheese.

arrrggghhhh
I imagine Karen is under the same dictats!

MOTHER OF MANY said...

As a nurse I have seen a number of deaths related to alcoholism and it is not a pretty site.If the government wants to do something then educate our young people (or scare the sh*t out of them)early. Before we went to work on casualty as nursing students we were shown some pretty horrendous pictures of accidents to prepare us.I would be quite happy for my children to be shown the results of binge drinking and alcohol abuse.
Putting warnings on things does no good, perhaps it is done so the powers that be can say WELL WE DID WARN YOU.The government wants the taxes from cigarettes and alcohol but not the ill health and anti-social behaviour that comes with it.

Steve said...

Excellent points well made.

Greenfingers, yes, Karen was equally insulted by the warnings about drinking during pregnancy and as you say there was nothing new or fresh about them. Obviously taking in the wrong kind of food and drink during pregnancy can be dangerous but to assume that all mother's are so stupid as to not realize that is deeply insulting. Maybe the Government should spend money warning men not to put their todgers into a blender when they get erections because, like, it's bad for you and will cause quite a bit of personal damage...? I'm sure all men will appreciate the advice and consider all of our tax money well spent stating the obvious.

Ally, damn right the Government want the taxes! If they were genuinely worried about the nation's health there'd be a blanket ban on all tobacco and alcohol without question - none of this fannying about with warnings. These warnings are there merely to absolve the Government of responsibility as they cash in their voluminous pay rises...

Rol Hirst said...

If the 'Danger Of Death!' skull & crossbone warnings on cigarette packets doesn't deter smokers, I doubt this will have any effect on drinkers... but wait, what if we followed through on the imminent smoking ban and banned people from drinking in pubs and clubs? Yes, I know, it's not the same - there's no risk of "passive drinking"... apart from the risk of getting lamped by some overly-aggressive pissed-up lout.

Ah, but I speak as a reformed drinker - teetotal many a year. Not through choice, but necessity. The only thing that stopped me drinking was when it started affecting my health - I doubt warnings would have worked, because like most young people I thought I was indestructible.

I've enjoyed reading your blog, Steve - I'll be back for more!