By in Politics

This nanny state annoys me

We have had a very busy day today. We travelled almost two hours each way to run an archery class that ended up not being as busy as we hoped. Its been such a busy few days and I am exhausted.

We had to stop off for veg for the rabbits on the way home and there is a McDonalds next door to the supermarket so I thought we would go in there to save cooking later. Now I don't frequent McDonalds or any other fast food places, we don't have them where I am from so its just not something we are used to eating. On the rare occasion we do go my favourite thing is a mocha Frappuccino, especially in this weather! I was using the touch screen ordering thing (which is pretty cool by the way, I did not know they did table service now!) and I noticed that my drink cost extra due to the 'sugar tax' now I didn't begrudge the money per say because I really wanted the drink, but I was a little annoyed that the other half was able to get a chocolate milkshake with no sugar tax!

I then thought about earlier on when I had popped to the shop for mum on our way back from our class. she had asked me to pick her up a couple of bottles of coke, which is something she rarely drinks but fancied it with the heat. I was unable to buy 2 litre bottles, as the shop no longer sells the bigger ones of full fat coke. You can however buy 2 litre bottles of coke zero but with the same red label as the normal coke ones and just a tiny bit where it actually says zero. So its not enough for the bloody nanny state to tell me I need to pay more to drink full sugar juice (I actually don't even like full sugar but I'm still annoyed by this) but now they are going to trick me into drinking sugar free when I don't want to! Oh and don't get me and Kasman started on the Irn Bru thing!

So by the time we got to McDonalds I was pretty miffed at the nanny state and started thinking of all the things they interfere with now. They want people to stop smoking so their solution is to stop selling smaller packets of cigarettes/tobacco and instead make people buy more than they may need - I certainly buy more than I used to buy and I smoke much much less as I now vape more than I smoke, yet I still have to buy a 30g pack of tobacco because I cant legally buy anything smaller. How that makes sense to people I have no idea, get people to stop doing something by forcing them to buy more of the something you want them to stop! Yup that makes sense.

Then there is vaping. Now study after study has shown vaping to be less harmful than smoking (not that its not harmful, of course its harmful these stupid people pointing this out annoy me too!) and even the NHS are trialling getting people to switch from smoking to vaping (they are doing a huge study on the effects of such in my work) but the government has to stick its bloomin' nose in here too. Now it wont matter to people who don't vape but when I first tried vaping you could by liquid in up to 100ml bottles, with the most common size being 30mls, now you can only buy 10ml bottles (although you can buy multiples which is all the retailers have done, instead of making 30ml bottles they make three packs of 10ml ones) this works out more expensive. They also limit tank size to 2ml. This means you can only have 2ml of liquid in your vape at any one time, unless you bought it before the law changed because they can only sell ones that hold a max of 2ml now. That lasts me a couple of hours at most. so I have to fill up time and time again out of these stupid tiny bottles!

So we know smoking is bad for us, and vaping is slightly less bad for us so what does the government decide to do? well they are encouraging us all to make the switch, surely? Well no, what they are doing is making you buy more of the stuff thats bad for you and limiting the amount of the stuff thats less bad for you that you can actually buy and or use!

Minimum alcohol pricing - now this only applies in Scotland for now but the rest of the UK better watch out because it will no doubt follow when they realise the profit involved. Now as it happens I was involved in the original focus group for this idea way back in 2009 or something when they last changed the licencing laws and I had to go on a course to be allowed to do the job I had been doing for 6 years that I all of a sudden needed a licence for. The feeling was that minimum pricing was not the answer to the alcohol problems in Scotland, in fact all it would do would create more alcoholics who had to find creative means to afford their alcohol as it would price them out of being able to simply walk in and buy it at those prices. Minimum pricing does not solve Scotland's alcohol problem, it simply creates more skint alcoholics who may now need to steal their alcohol. It was at the time agreed that minimum pricing was a bad idea, yet now here we are paying it anyway - damn nanny state! Before anyone jumps on here saying 'its their own fault' blah blah blah, let me say just one thing - I have seen withdrawal and full blown DTs - it is not pretty believe me and people don't always survive it (think Amy Winehouse) if I knew that was what was going to happen to me, damn right I would keep drinking!

When will they realise that not everyone is motivated by price? Some people like to smoke, some people like to drink, some like sugar whatever it is some people just like things and will pay for them. I was offered the chance to change my drink in McDonalds to a mini version - it would have saved me 20p but do you know what? I wanted that lovely big, ice cold, sugary, terribly bad for me drink much much more than I wanted 20 pence! What right does the government even have to interfere in these things in the first place? I mean surely people have the freedom to make their own choices, and that includes the right to make bad decisions? Or should I say decisions that other people think are bad because lets face it we don't all agree on everything do we? I mean there is a tonne and a half of research out there that will tell you that diet drinks are worse for you than full sugar ones, just as an example.

The worst part is that none of these things will change anything, and I am reasonably confident that in the sugar case at least, it isn't even the cause of the issue in the first place! people will still find the money to buy cigarettes if they want to smoke and people will still find the money to drink if they have to - they may just use the money they would usually have used to pay their heating bill in the dead of winter to afford it instead! Or maybe they will shoplift for the first time in their lives and ruin their lives even more than the drink already has by getting a shoplifting charge.

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MegL wrote on June 30, 2018, 4:10 PM

Those are very valid points. I am old enough to remember cigarettes being sold singly. The women used to buy one when life was just too much - a threepenny woodbine! Of course, then valium came along! I think the taxes are aimed at stopping children from starting to smoke or drink because a lot of them have been able to use pocket money to get (an older person to buy) the stuff. Mind you, a couple of years ago, a neighbour told me he saw a woman going into the local off licence and coming out with two shopping bags, handing one each to the kids in the back of her car, then telling them to hop it - she didn't want to see them back at the house until midnight!!!! Apologies to any US readers, I am not sure whether this is intelligible to you.

melody23 wrote on July 1, 2018, 11:56 AM

The kids will just chip in for bigger packs, its what we used to do anyway. I was a fat kid and I am now a fat adult, I promise you sugar was not the issue I never ate sweets as a kid, couldn't tolerate chocolate as it made me sick, hate fruit so didn't eat any fruity sweets and cant stand the texture of jelly type things so there were literally no sweets I actually liked apart from weathers originals which were far too pricey for me to eat regularly. We didn't have enough money for fizzy juice on a regular basis so we always had diluting juice at home. I have my theories as to why I am so fat and I cant prove any of them but I can guarantee the issue has never been sugar. Kids like me will always smoke and they will always drink, the more they are told not to, the more they will want to

Kasman wrote on July 1, 2018, 5:25 PM

It's all about money. Big business was responsible for people becoming hooked on things like tobacco, alcohol, sugar and fat and they made a lot of money out of us poor suckers who became addicted to them. Now that the focus is more on a healthy lifestyle they (and their complicit governments) need to keep up the flow of cash into their back pockets whilst pretending to be fully behind society's health kick. So they crow about what they are doing to help us help ourselves (even though it was their fault in the first place) and bump up prices on the pretence that this a good thing which, as you say, is unlikely to have any significant effect on the amounts of alcohol etc, consumed by you and me - and the plutocrats continue to rake in the cash. Roll on the revolution!

Last Edited: July 1, 2018, 5:26 PM

VinceSummers wrote on July 2, 2018, 7:19 AM

Ah, tax on cigarettes. Yes. Harumph! Well I don't smoke. I used to, but for religious reasons, I no longer do so. However, governments came out with the cutesy read on the side of a cigarette pack about how bad they are for you: they will kill you. But did they outlaw them? No. Why not? Because they make a killing in tax dollars. They do not want to give up all that booty!

VinceSummers wrote on July 2, 2018, 8:18 PM

Just had a canned tea with dinner. It tasted off, so I was suspicious. It brags about natural flavors. Then it lists a handful of preservatives and two artificial sweeteners. TWO. ARTIFICIAL. After saying NATURAL. "Lemon Brisk Ice Tea."

melody23 wrote on July 4, 2018, 8:29 AM

our packs are completely black now, no branding just white writing telling you the brand and these horrible pictures that show you the damage smoking COULD do to you. I with a could put a picture in comments on here and I would show you. That is exactly the issue, they need to get the tax from somewhere and the two most taxed things in the UK are tobacco products and petrol - the UK driving public have already proved they will not tolerate any more tax on petrol so they cant increase that, so they need to find the cash from somewhere. There was study done somewhere that said that the average smoker, even if they did get something like COPD or even lung cancer because of their smoking (non-smokers can also of course get lung cancer) would still have paid in more in tax on their cigs than they would cost the NHS for their treatment. now I don't know how true that is but if you take all the smokers who do get illnesses and all the smokers that don't, add their cigarette tax together and take away the cost of treating smoking related diseases I don't doubt there is a substantial sum of money left over.

melody23 wrote on July 4, 2018, 8:34 AM

it is always all about money! I cant see any of their interventions having any effect on how much people smoke or drink, or how much sugar they consume but what would I know?