Another good spot by the Pub Curmudgeon, and accompanied, as always, by his customary common sense.
The latest intrusion of the government into people’s private lives is the plan to quiz jobseekers as to how much they drink. Surely this is entirely people’s own business, and as long as they are able to function in a job should be of no concern to the State. And, if people are unable to work due to alcohol problems, they can claim invalidity benefit anyway. The authorities may claim to be only targeting “problem drinkers”, but how long will it be before people are refused benefits because they exceed the official alcohol guidelines of two thimblefuls every Preston Guild? And who will be next – smokers, the overweight, those who don’t eat their “five a day”?
That last bit made me smile. Smokers being next. For the past couple of years, I've been attempting to wake people up to the fact that the punishment meted out to smokers is just the start, and that drinkers and those who enjoy 'unapproved' food would be next. If you have any sort of vice, you should be worried about the treatment of smokers, no matter your like or dislike of the smoking ban.
It's happening more swiftly than even I imagined.
With the righteous hitting a bit of a stumbling block with regard the hiding of tobacco displays, they have simply moved onto a fresh target using, as predicted, the same template.
In this instance, they can't possibly argue that smoking can be an obstacle to capacity for work, but they can certainly misdirect a sheep-like public into believing the notion that alcohol consumption invariably has that effect. It's an easier target, so they will hit that first. Smokers actually take a back-seat for this particular righteous offensive. Quite a novelty.
The Curmudgeon is absolutely correct that if they get this one through the gullible public, other lifestyle choices will surely follow. (false) Figures will be trotted out about how successful this initiative was and that replication will only be good for the country.
Stopping benefits for those who are taking the piss and are unemployable by their own volition makes perfect sense, but this is nothing of the sort. It is behaviour management, pure and simple, with a large splash of blackmail thrown in.