Have you been drinking, Auntie?

BBC Editors must be on the sauce. Read their 'radical' solutions to Britain's drinking problems.

The BBC's solutions are enough to give anyone a headache...
On 23 February 2012 16:03

If you’re new to this site, you may not yet be aware that we’re quite uh… ‘sceptical’ of the state-enforced news and entertainment monolith that is the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Paid for, forcibly, by anyone that owns a television, the BBC has been subject to more and more scrutiny in recent years as claims of bias circulate and pay-scale scandals rock the corporation’s foundations. 

Paying well over the odds for sub-par products and distorting the market is an inherent trait of any state-subsidised business, but these things tend to stick in the mouth even more when the corporation masquerades as some kind of anti-establishment think-tank, new on the scene with fresh ideas.

The BBC is the very embodiment of the creaking, nanny-ish, welfare state. Cue the proof:

For a few months, the UK government has been sticking its oar in over Britain’s ‘binge drinking crisis’. “How do we get people to stop drinking more?” they cry. How can the government intervene even more in this part of people’s lives?

Never fear! The cutting-edge BBC has some RADICAL solutions for you. At last! Some solutions that perhaps won’t involve government intervention! Right?

1. Subtly make drinks weaker – Yes this will work, won’t it? It’s not like punters will notice or anything and just drink more to compensate. Oh wait – I see the plan is supported by the British Medical Association (a union, by the way) and relies on ‘government pressure’ as with the salt and saturated fat reductions.  Reality: People will just drink more, and therefore be taxed more. State intervention. 

2. Enforce a minimum price for alcohol  - Yes! Wait… what? No! Government mandated pricing on alcohol? This doesn’t sound right from the fresh-thinking BBC? State intervention.

3. Get people back into pubs – Sounds okay to me as a keen social drinker… until you realise what they mean by this is, “that shop-bought drink should be made more expensive” – ah.. tax again. State intervention.

4. Raise the legal drinking age – Yup, you can be old enough to drive, vote and serve in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces but according to the BBC, you’re just not ready for that lager tops. State intervention.

5. Nationalise off-licences – Okay, is someone having a laugh now? State intervention.

6. Discourage rounds – But I thought we were ‘all in this together’? That’s my motto until it’s my round, anyway. Apparently one of the Prime Minister’s ‘nudge’ advisors thinks this is a good idea. You remember, ‘nudge’, right? From the Prime Minister’s Behavioural Insight Team. BEHAVIOURAL INSIGHT?! Put it in the memory hole.  Anyway the bottom line is they want to spend government money (your money, actually) on advertising campaigns to dissuade you from having friends buying rounds. State Intervention.

7. Ban alcohol marketing – See reaction to number 5. State intervention.

8. Target middle-class professionals – The BBC’s own copy on this section ends with, ‘I really can’t see how the government can effectively control what we drink in our own homes’. As if it were an ideal, but simply unworkable. Something tells me these aren’t turning out to be the ‘radical’ solutions we thought they might be. State intervention.

9. Not in front of the children – This one’s all about the ‘government issuing advice to parents about drinking in front of their children’. This is literally nanny-statism. It’s not a terrible idea to not get plastered in front of your three year old. Why does it take the government to make that point? State intervention.

10. Stop exaggerating the problem – What the... oh. This one I can get on board with. If politicians and quangos stopped over-egging just how much we’re over-doing it (and stopped driving us to drink, quite frankly) then perhaps  you and I wouldn’t have had to pay for this cack-handed hack job by the BBC. Got it?

So there you have it. Ten ‘radical’ solutions presented to you by the BBC, to teach you how to stop drinking so much,  you disgusting oaf. You need more state intervention in your life, obviously! Here I was thinking that was the problem all along. Silly me. Off to drown my sorrows…

Raheem Kassam is the Executive Editor of The Commentator. He tweets @RaheemJKassam

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