If you thought that the EU health police were content with ‘passive smoking’ as an authoritarian tool to stop us doing bad things to ourselves, then get ready for the great new concept ready to burst out of the corridors of power in Brussels.
A new term is about to enter the Euro-political lexicon: ‘passive drinking’. The idea was first mooted at the First Meeting of Alcohol Policy Network, Warsaw, June 15-16 2004.
Journalist Bruno Waterfield writes that:
"I have seen a leaked draft report for the European Commission, which is due to be published some time in June. It makes claims about the high environmental or social toll of alcohol, the ‘harm done by someone else’s drinking’. The report is likely to inform proposals for a European Union alcohol strategy later this year."
According to the draft report:
“The total tangible cost of alcohol to EU society in 2003 was estimated to be €125bn (€79bn-€220bn), equivalent to 1.3 per cent GDP, and which is roughly the same value as that found recently for tobacco…The intangible costs show the value people place on pain, suffering and lost life that occurs due to the criminal, social and health harms caused by alcohol. In 2003 these were estimated to be €270bn, with other ways of valuing the same harms producing estimates between €150bn and €760bn.”
So what has the EU got up its sleeve to counter this new ‘danger’? Well, they plan shorter drinking hours in pubs, higher taxes on alcohol, etc, to force us to change our naughty ways.
The isolated EU elite– desperate to appear relevant after the French and Dutch stuck two fingers up at them in last year’s constitution referenda - is now moving further in on people’s personal behaviour in its attempt to connect with us.
It seems to think we appreciate being treated like children.
Is the time that far off when we don’t just have smoke-free pubs but alcohol-free pubs as well?