Thursday, November 23, 2006

Smokes 'n' drugs 'n' Rolling Rock

Well folks, it's all drink, smokes and drugs in the UK today, with a plethora of news stories doing the rounds as the government attempts to stop us gluggling, puffing and snorting ourselves to death.

First up, the Scottish Executive (the nice name given to Scotland's kiddy-on parliament) aims to raise the legal age of buying tobacco products from 16 to 18 within the next few months.

This announcement follows the ban on smoking in enclosed public places that was put in place in March. As a non-smoker, I have certainly seen the difference. Waking up the morning after a heavy sesh, it's much better to find that your hair and clothes don't reek of stale smoke.

But I don't know how much difference raising the legal age would make. Lots of people I went to high school with were smoking from the age of 10 or 11 - they were obviously able to get the cigarettes without too much difficulty, and I don't think the Executive's plans will change that in any great way. But hey, good luck to them.

Next, the Big Government down in London will be cheered by the news that the EU is not going to allow people to buy alcohol over the internet from other member states, thus circumventing taxation in their home country.

The UK stood to lose billions of pounds in lost revenue if the law had been changed. However nice it might have been to order a bottle of Polish vodka for a couple of quid over the worldwide interweb, or a nice Port direct from a Portuguese warehouse, at least Gordon Brown won't have to worry about making up those lost billions.

And finally, it seems that Britain's high rollers get through almost 60 million quid's worth of cocaine each week, and that we have the fastest-growing cocaine problem in the west.

So what does all this tell us about life in Little Britain? That we're a bunch of party-loving junkies? That we're so determined to have a good time that we're prepared to die in the process? Or that no matter how hard the government tries, they won't stop us drinking, smoking and taking drugs?


Lindsey said...

There's a law against smoking in most public places around here too. Doesn't bother me at all since I don't smoke. :o)

Anonymous said...

... and that is exactly why the Gov. will always tax the 'vices' and take the moral high-ground...


Razor said...

I agree there is a certain ammount of hipocrisy with the Government saying that illegal substances are evil etc when the worst behaviour by far I have ever seen by anyone under the influence of any drug is alcohol. I am not saying drugs are safe or O.K but the most dangerous drug and the one which changes the way people act and causes most trouble is alcohol in my opinion, and you can buy enough to kill you for a tenner at Tesco.

Groanin' Jock said...

Lindsey: I agree, Scotland's pubs are much nicer places to be now that no-one is smoking in them. Although what you get now are clusters of people blocking the entrance to pubs as they smoke outdoors.

Eric: And it's probably why they should legalise and clean up most drugs. If people are going to smoke cannabis and take cocaine anyway, why not legalise the 'industry', ensure that the drugs people are taking are pure and make some much-needed revenue in the process?

Razor: Alocohol is definitely the most powerful and freely-available drug in the country, but most people manage to act comparitively responsibly whilst having a few drinks.

Razor said...

I have seen 100 times more reckless behaviour from people high on drink than I have high on drugs, fair point?

Groanin' Jock said...

Yeah, alcohol is definitely at the root of a lot of this country's problems, especially crimes at the weekends. But it is a minority who are involved.