As one who has consistently criticised the Guardian newspaper in Britain for its left-wing collectivist argument, I must bring to your attention yet another bizarre article, not from a Guardian commentator but from its news section.

The Guardian would never have missed this one – in keeping with its tradition of reporting left-leaning stories with all the enthusiasm of a six-year-old on Christmas morning in a manner which often creates more smoke than there ever was fire – the article is called “Use of sex to sell alcohol is criticised”.

“Lord Condon, who chairs the independent panel that assesses complaints about the marketing of alcoholic drinks, said the ‘sexualisation’ of prepackaged drinks [is that even a word?] such as Quickie cocktails and Stiffy’s Shots had been ‘the theme of the year’ in 2004.”

So what?, you may find yourself ask.

Complaints upheld by Lord Condom’s – I mean – Condon’s – panel included “Krush frozen alcoholic cocktails called Pink Pussy, Screaming Orgasm and Shag; phallic shaped shots named Foreplay and Sex on the Beach; and ‘vodka tube’ drinks called Love Juice and Wet ‘n’ Wild.”

Hmm. So it really was the theme of the year. Ok. So, get to the point.

“Experts fear the sexual packaging is particularly desiged to encourage young women to drink.” [Why?- young guys don’t have sex anymore?] “Britain and Ireland are the only countries among 33 European nations surveyed where binge-drinking girls outnumber boys, with 29% of girls aged 15 to 16 admitting to binge drinking three times or more over the previous month.”

So we finally hear the purpose of the article – to imply the claim that alcoholic beverage companies are responsible for binge drinking. Of course it isn’t a surprise that the Left will choose to find solutions to the problems of society in the ‘evils’ of capitalism and business, but it remains freshly incredible each time they make these breath-taking jumps in logic. These sorts of ideas abound in the Liberal Establishment, where ‘reality’ is something they believe to have cropped up in recent voyeuristic television shows and they think ‘reason’ is a herb. I couldn’t even justify spending the time giving counter arguments – its the same tired old debate over the responsibility of the individual and I really don’t think they care much for reasonable discussion anyway.

Suffice to say the article ends with a quote from a spokeswoman for ‘Alcohol Concern’ (never heard of them) who said, “We would like to see an independent regulatory body responsible for all aspects of alcohol marketing.” Indeed. They want yet another bunch of bureaucrats to sit and pontificate over what the hell they can do to stop these evil people selling these evil potions to poor young people who helplessly pour them down their throats in submission to their overwhelming power.

Bottom line: The Guardian (and its readers) are all over any story which somehow places corporations in the place of individual responsibility. Benson & Hedges should be held responsible for the health problems of a heavy smoker; McDonalds should be liable for the fat increases and related health issues of a binge burger-eater; Cadbury’s, etc. etc. ….the Left have gotten so predictable on these issues that it is entirely possible to make their arguments on upcoming issues in advance for them, like this: A) for an effect there are two causes – Cause X (by an individual making a bad choice), and Cause Y (by someone else, usually a group of people, somehow being the indirect cause). B) well, people are being influenced and swayed somehow…. therefore C) we should blame Cause Y.

That makes Cause X the wrong place to look for ANY answers – that an individual is responsible for themselves and may make bad choices, such as binge drinking. That the buck stops with them. That the ultimate control is in their hands. That they could stop if they wanted to. That they see advertisements, make a choice to try out the advertiser’s product, exchange money for the product, open the bottle and swallow what is inside, entirely voluntarily, and could stop anytime they wanted.

What a NOVEL thought.

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John Wright

johnwright@softhome.net