Will they ever learn?

It’s common knowledge, if you make something too expensive that the public wants or desires, then they’ll look for an alternative source. It happened with cigarettes, it’s happening (again) with booze. Back in the times of the Napoleonic war (and indeed well before that) the government put a high duty on various products, most notably tea and brandy. As a result, smuggling reached almost epidemic proportions particularly on the southern coast of England and it’s estimated that few people were actually enjoying legal brandy duty paid other than the odd few customs agents, even then it’s likely that they were involved to some degree in the racket. The rise in gin consumption also comes from this time when it became as cheap to make your own (highly toxic in some cases) product and sell it on to whoever would pay. Again although there were attempts to clamp down on it, the entire distribution network was run from top to bottom by those in authority so those who opposed it were never going to stop it. It’s noticeable that it never occurred to any in the government (who weren’t financing the operation) to reduce the duty and increase their take, though I suspect that those who were making a fortune off the trade would have prevented it, so lucrative was the trade.

Not that any lessons seem to have been learned yet…

Fake vodka discovered in York has been found to contain chloroform.
The product, called Drop Vodka, had been found on sale by officers from the City of York Council’s Food and Safety Unit.
Trading Standards is trying to track down the supplier of the vodka, which is diluted with water and has a lower alcohol volume than many legal brands.
Chloroform has long been used for its anaesthetic properties and prolonged used can heighten the risk of cancer.

Usual scare tactics, though I reckon most people have twigged that just about anything can give you cancer these days, particularly if the government wants you to stop using it. That said, the reason fake vodka is on sale is obvious, the government have priced it via various fake charities and pseudo health awareness groups into an area where organised crime see an opportunity to make a profit and without having to take a van into France. If the duty on vodka was lower and the price lower, then you wouldn’t get fake vodka, seems obvious to me, obvious to everyone else, though the government response is as it was back in the 1800’s, doomed attempts to shut it down or stop it. Prohibition simply does not work, it drives the law abiding into the hands of the criminal elements in our society and quality control goes out of the window.

Seems all the ad campaigns and the attempts to make us live “healthier” lifestyles founder against the rock of public needs and desires. We want to enjoy a drink, some of us want to enjoy tobacco products, others various mind/mood altering chemicals and all that prohibition does is drive more people away into the hands of those who will supply what they want and the government lose money because of it.

If they left it alone, left us alone and only took a small cut in taxation and duty, they’d make a fortune, but no, as ever the new puritans seek to control us and they find willing accomplices in our idiot politicians.


8 comments for “Will they ever learn?

  1. Andrew Duffin
    December 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    “…which is diluted with water…”

    omg! How awful!

    Water? Whatever will they think of next, the bastards…

    • Jeremy Poynton
      December 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      Vodka means “little water”.

  2. nisakiman
    December 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Will they ever learn?

    In a word, no.

    Bellies full of righteous zeal, they convince themselves that this time it will be different, that this time the lumpen proletariat will see the errors of their ways. And the people will fall at the feet of the righteous in gratitude, thanking them for saving them from their own baser instincts; and the righteous saviours will bask in the eternal beatific light reserved for the great and the good.

    Or so they dream. šŸ˜Æ

    The fact that prohibition has never been anything but an unmitigated disaster doesn’t seem to enter their addled brains, sadly for everyone else, who have to suffer the consequences of their puritanical idiocy.

  3. December 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    It would be useful to know how much chloroform was found. Although now banned, in the past chloroform was used in cough syrups and for pain relief. Queen Victoria was given it during the birth of two of her children.

    Although chloroform shouldn’t be present in vodka, we aren’t told how dangerous the concentration is. Maybe it is seen as a useful way to scare people off cheap spirits.

  4. Edgar
    December 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Even with the high rate of duty, vodka is not unaffordable if you drink very moderately. It’s only the people who drink a substantial fraction of a bottle each day that find the price high. It’s these people that the puritans are targeting, not, as they ludicrously claim, for health reasons or even economic ones, but because they want the wastrels to stop boozing their miserable lives away and to ‘contribute’ to ‘society’. Now, I know that most people who come to this blog are very well aware of the kind of ‘society’ that these crippled miseries want to inflict on us and, indeed, want to force us to ‘contribute’ to, so suffice it to say that, in the face of such censure, it becomes more than a duty to disobey, it becomes a pleasure (apologies to Oscar Wilde).

  5. Dave G
    December 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    What fcuks me off is that the percentage of do-gooders versus the general populace is so insignificant that their self-righteousness seems to have some form of legalised ‘moral multiplier’ attached.
    The only multiplier they should have is the option to ‘go forth and….’

  6. elaine
    December 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Chloroform? well, we were told in Russia not to buy vodka from kiosks as there could be anything in it,(meths) and of course the most lethal stuff was the homemade version – the police had a certain ‘quota’ to make every month & the rest they drunk themselves!

  7. Able
    December 18, 2011 at 1:30 am

    I second Dave G, but what really gets my goat is that the self same members of this ‘morally superior’ group are sitting there consuming more, of the substances they think we should be prevented from enjoying, than the rest of us (witness the happenings at the party conferences). And all, of course, paid for by us via the substantial monies they pay themselves to moralise at us.

    Have a couple of beers a on a weekend (you’re a binge drinker), smoke the odd cigarette (you’re giving cancer to all the children in a ten mile radius) and eat a occasional burger (you’re morbidly obese) we’re obviously unhealthy imbeciles who need to be taught how to tie our shoelaces by our betters. When they overindulge on champagne, cuban cigars and pate de foie gras – it’s a little light refreshment, relaxation and the reward for some hard work keeping the peons confused.

    Furking hypocrites all.

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