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Tuesday 14 November 2006

Can we handle cheap booze? [Shedir]

Article in press yesterday, challenging rights of UK government to tax imported booze n cigs. Internet delivered fags is a huge saving, booze...nah it's too fragile in the main (barring cans of beer). Cost of deliver is really going to erode any savings you'll make....probably.
Wider question is do you think the UK populace have the werewithall to cope with even cheaper drink? Our town centres are awash with steamers who get into almighty barneys, or are sexually assaulted, becase they can't cope with the amount the consume. You can buy cans of tennents lager for less than a bottle of volvic ffs.
In Scotland, best country on earth come visit, the smoking ban had a surprising effect. Fag sales are up. People are smoking at home more, when they were in the pub it was ok. But now it's outlawed and they have to go outside, while paying over supermarket prices for drink....they're saying fuck that I'll drink n smoke in the comfort of my own home thankyourverymuch.
As I said bevvy it's hardly an ideal thing to transport in the main, but the cigs. Cartons of fags with a huge amount off the highstreet price. Thats highly dangerous for public health, more worrying than the drink for my money.
It's always seemed farcial I can get a bottle of Famous Grouse cheaper in spain on holiday, than I can where it's made n bottled. So whats the possible outcome here......
Government lowers levvy on cigs n booze, but taxes people in other ways to keep revenue through coffers.
Government puts head in sand and employs a gazillion lawyers to maintain it's right to tax our stuff to the hilt.
God they must be worried about the levvy on petrol at this rate as well!
End of the day the market will decide, the morally outraged will squeal about kiddies getting fags n booze through the evil internet. The healthies will bemoan a nation intent on killing itself through ever cheaper methods. Man on the street, he'll just be glad to save a few quid.
I'm drinking too much at home, I know that, but am still tempted to get a proper homebrew kit and begin to make my own. Not for the quantity, just because I find I've moved from proper beers to cheap lager purely on cost. Which is fucking daft, but hey I'm half puggled ;)


  1. Good blog, beat me to it. It's hard to have a view when there's so many conflicting issues. My views, I guess, are skewed by personal circumstance. I want to be able to buy decent bottles of wine because we drink a bottle of wine between the two of us a night but that's so expensive, we have to buy cheaper stuff. The stuff we'd like to drink is 12-15 quid a bottle. I'd order that on the Internet at French prices in a heartbeat and I don't really think packaging will be a problem, we'll order it by the case load.
    You're right, the detrimental effects on our society if fags get cheap will be huge. It'll be a double whammy on the nation's economy too. Suddenly a huge wedge of cash vanishes from the treasury and then we have to pay for all these scumbags with lung cancer on the NHS, delaying their self-inflicted death through the application of a hugely expensive treatment regime. Maybe what we need is a policy. Smoke? Fine, NHS isn't paying for you.
    And there you go, it's all tied up isn't it? I want my wine to be cheaper but I really would quite like smokers to keep ploughing money into the treasury and offsetting the cost of treating their diseases. So I guess if forced, I'd basically have to say I prefer the status quo. In a month's time I'll be taking my driving test and thereafter, hopefully, be able to booze cruise it across the channel and load up our banger with as much wine as we can drink in a few months.
    Course that begs the question, then the government gets exactly none of my tax and neither does the nice British retailer get a cut either. How is it that France manages to get away without having these problems and without taxing everyone to shit.
    Well, other than not having an economy I mean.

  2. Having read the entire blog, my answer is somewhat succincter.
    Can we handle cheap booze?

  3. Cheaper than sleeping pills eh?

  4. Thing is, a smoker is fantastic for the state. See lungcancer rules since it usually waits to hit until the person is reasonably old, so you still get a person that works until retirement, and then dies without cashing the pension. The most expensive person is the one that lives far too long. You do of course know that a guy playing footie or say badminton a couple of days a week is someone that really should be banned. Not only do they live long, but they keep getting insanely expensive nonfatal injuries.Nah, before hunting smokers you should get the fat fucks and the athletes. Atleast if youre gonna use economics as an argument.EU aint DDR, biatches, cheap booze and cigs for teh win!

  5. I'd go for the army of lawyers option personally. Smoking and Drinking cost governments absolutely ridiculous amounts of cash from the healthcare and policing problems they cause. They should be taxed heavily to offset this cost.
    As a non-drinker and non-smoker myself there's no way I'd want to start paying more 'stealth' taxes as a result of them lowering the duty.
    Alfa, I don't buy that argument.. If a smoker/drinker is on the way out their health bills are insane, it's not like they just drop dead nice and cheaply like. Plus these days governments are trying to cut back on pensions and make people retire later to try and keep our economies going. That isn't going to work if people are in hospital slowly dying of a coronary. :)

  6. You'd be singing a different song if the government decided to tax the colour beige though wouldn't you?

  7. heh, i didnt say anything about (heavy) drinkers though now did i.
    smokers on the other hand are a major fucking cashcow for the state. the retire later thing has come up because people live too long. retirement was never meant so people should have some golden years at the end of their lives. it was invented cause at the time that age (around65) was when people couldnt continue working anymore. of course now with better heathcare suddenly we got far too many people living far too long, costing the state far too much.
    and you say you dont drink... well, you are gonna cost way, way more in healthcare than say a guy like lurks who drinks half a bottle a day. alcohol in moderate (and the moderate quantity is surprisingly high) quantities is fantastic for preventing heart problems. and thats just the alcohol bit, before we enter the bizarre quasiscience bits of red wine, green tea bits :)
    so you better start drinking before you start whining commieboy

  8. Adam, of the Ants, said it best. "Don't drink, don't smoke. What do you do?"

  9. I assure you I'm not going to have health problems due to a lack of red wine in my diet. :) I actually quite like green tea and drink it every day.
    At any rate, people can live long lives without incurring massive health bills if they look after themselves, as opposed to drinking and smoking the whole time. The very idea that a healthy old-age person costs more in terms of healthcare than an unhealthy one is just silly imo.

  10. yes, because heavy drinkers and smokers are known to live extremely long lives. way, way, waaaaaaaay beyond the retirement age. now, you assume you live a healthy life, i really dont think you are. i base this on your statement that smokers and drinkers costs more than they put back with the tax on the products and savings from the retirement funds. this is wrong, and so i can only assume you got your healthtips from sources who use the words like "chock" alot. now, green tea, as good as it might be, doesnt have any tested health benfits. its highly probable that it has, but we dont know. alcohol on the other hand, and im not talking red wine here, i say *Alcohol*, may it be beer, vodka or wine, has tested, proven healthbenfits. if you dont drink it, you *will* cost more than someone who actually use it.
    and you seem to fail the concept that a person who dies doesnt cash in their pension, they dont cost the healthcare systems shit and they dont use anything. this means the real leeches are the fuckers who claim they live healthy long lives and still manage to whine about the other ones that pays for their miserable wrinkled up viagra lives.

  11. I've never read anything that suggested that pure alcohol on its own (as opposed to red wine which contains lots of healthy stuff in addition to alcohol) has any beneficial effect.
    Anyway, my point is that people who die as a result of their smoking/drinking *do* cost the heath service huge amounts of money. These people die after very costly treatments for their cancer or heart disease. If doctors said to a patient like this "It's your own fault, go home and die cheaply plx" you might have a point, but instead these people demand and are given the very best medical care possible. It's because of this that they should pay for this treatment in advance through the tax on drink/smokes. I sure as fuck don't want to pay for it.
    Someone who dies in their 60s from stroke/heart disease/cancer ends up costing the government more than someone who passes away of natural causes in their 80s. The medical bills of the healthy old person are significantly lower, the state pension is fuck-all nowadays, and in addition healthy elderly people provide a great benefit to the economy from things like unpaid child-care for grandchildren etc.

  12. Heh, you really should read up on heart problems, alcohol effects and shit like that... But even more amusing, you claim that someone who dies from lungcancer actually costs more than someone who not only spends 20 years of worth of pension but additionally the standard healthcare, which in the ages between 60 and 80 aint exactly small... See, cancer which you cant treat is quite a fast and efficient killer.
    I am curious though, should people who sunbath (or just spends skincancertime outside in the garden) be excluded from healthcare as well? And people who do any form of athletic things on their sparetime? Or perhaps guys that sit at their computer all day should be excluded aswell, you know those back/shoulder problems are expensive as fuck after you hit 50...

  13. Wouldn't it be easier to maintain a large blender to tip anyone who complains about healthcare into?