Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Nanny state in motion...

Less whining, more wining

Will these busybodies who seem determined to control even what we drink at home please leave us alone to enjoy a glass or two?

Matthew Fort

Alcohol seems to occupy a very special place in the consciousness of the nation. It seems that one half can't get enough of the stuff and the other half worry that the first half are having too much of it. To this end, the second half (actually, more like a tiny minority) are endlessly calculating how much damage alcohol abuse costs the nation in terms of medical treatment, social damage and personal distress.


While there may be an argument in favour of trying to [curb, my edit] alcoholic exhibitionism, violence and vomiting in the streets (although, as we have been doing this for at least 800 years, I can't quite see why we're going to stop now), to suggest extending the control order to the privacy of our homes would be risible if the people making the suggestion weren't so preposterously earnest about it. It does not seem to occur to these sanctimonious busybodies that one of the reasons why the rest of us are hitting the bottle so hard is that they are driving us to it with their tedious sermonising and painful finger-wagging admonitions. Most of us now feel that we have so little control over our lives, that about the only true freedom left is what we choose to put into our mouths.

It has always struck me as very rum that when doctors, dietary specialists, health professionals of every hue and health-conscious food writers extol the virtues of the Mediterranean diet, they always leave out two critical ingredients - pig fat (or mutton fat in North Africa), which goes into virtually every baked product in southern Italy, Sicily and Mediterranean Spain and Portugal; and alcohol, the not inconsiderable litres of wine that still gush down the throats of most sun-loving Mediterranean folk on a daily basis. Cheers.


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