by Blad Tolstoy
"Two mothers were refused alcoholic drinks in a pub because the barman said it would be inappropriate for them to drink in front of their children."
A line from a Californian or a New York newspaper? No, it's in The Sunday Telegraph for 21st August, and it happened in the Britannia pub in London.
Indeed, the creeping alcohol prohibition is moving up notches as it was predicted it would, and unless the drinks industry wakes up fully to what is about to happen to it, then it will end up facing the same restrictions as the tobacco industry. In fact, at the moment, many representatives of that industry have their heads wedged firmly up their arses, preferring, instead to try and hide behind a hypocritical position which says that one cannot equate alcohol use with tobacco use. One can. Alcohol is truly the most problematic drug, in that, its misuse causes more social problems that all the other drugs put together and many times over. Similarly, its misuse is also responsible for an extensive catalogue of illnesses.
In response to this, no doubt, alcohol industry representatives will hasten to highlight the fact that I have used the word "misuse" when it comes to the negative effects of drinking, but that all smoking is a misuse of tobacco. Bullshit! In fact, the same argument applies. There is nothing, I repeat NOTHING wrong with a bit of tobacco consumption. In fact, an awful lot of people I can think of would be far nicer and probably have a greater sense of well-being for the consumption of a few good cigars or finely tobaccoed cigarettes or, for smoking a pipe.
The problem is the issue of moderation. We all agree with the principle of moderation, but few of us can maintain it successfully. Why this is so, I can never quite fathom and the answer is not easily applied by claiming that it's because alcohol and tobacco are addictive. There are many reasons why people smoke and drink but why significant numbers do it to excess is probably due to the fact that we are never taught to consume them in a measured manner in the first place. Instead, we live in a culture of repression: "you mustn't do that, it's naughty," as opposed to: "well, if you want to do that, let's learn how to do it properly."
However, we still do not need a legion of do-gooders and self appointed tin gods to control our behaviour, As an adult, I'll live with my mistakes thanks (if I make any), and if I need any help I'll ask for it. Now fuck off nanny!