Alcohol. Beer, whisky, mulled wine, pink gin, special brew, Ice Dragon extra-strong
cider, a nice glass of sherry, blackcurrant Reef, vanilla liqueur, melon daiquiris.... The
list is endless, and not a little terrifying. Overdoing it on the lash contributes to 22,000
deaths every year and costs the UK twenty BILLION pounds. Not to mention being
responsible for 100% of all instances when someone decides to piss on the live rail.
No wonder we get taxed like bitches for every half of Scrumpton's Old Peculiar, that money pays doctors to stop dad's liver disintegrating or pumps the stomach of our teenage daughter who's overdone it on the tart fuel. Shocking.
With Brits leading the rest of Europe in not knowing when to stop, our government has finally made the connection between their dwindling support and people being too hungover to vote, ordering an investigation into UK drinking habits. The stated goal is to reduce national intake, eventually erasing binge drinking altogether. But with a binge currently classified as anything more than eight units (four pints) it could be a difficult prospect. As Home Defence's resident Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms expert Clint Panzerdivision, comments:
"Eight units? That's not a binge. That's not even a session! Hell, I have to drink more than that just to get to work at the button factory every morning."
The official recommendations aren't due to be published until 2004, but Home Defence have exclusively nicked a government white paper containing the following initiatives which, once implemented, should destroy our national desire to get permanently shitfaced. Here are the first seven edicts which will be brought in....
1. Legalise Drugs
Surveys have found that when the alcohol is taken away there's a need for effective recreational alternatives among the under 40s. Even Blair recognises you can't just remove the peoples' lager and expect them to turn to cookery or Bargain Hunt instead. Single folk need to let off steam once the working week is done, and to that end controls on illicit substances are to be relaxed. Measures include erecting little kiosks where the children of underprivileged minorities will sell reasonably-priced skunk, ecstacy and acid. Unlike drink, research shows that these drugs do not cause people to vandalise cars, steal policemens' helmets or wander into posts. Adjoining these booths will be a series of specially prepared rooms featuring beanbags, severely monged music and spacehoppers. With coke and speed next up on the Home Secretary's list, if everything goes well there will never be a better time to get off one's tits.
2. Stop Drunkards Getting Medical Attention
Following the success of this year's pioneering campaign entitled: 'Keep Fat People Out Of Our Hospital Beds - It's Probably Their Own Fault', the NHS plans to expand the scheme to include the intoxicated. As a matter of routine nurses will now breathalyse everyone who arrives for treatment. If the injured or dying are found to be over the eight-unit limit, they will be unceremoniously thrown out by porters and left to fend for themselves.
3. The 'Just Say Lager Top' Movement
S Club Juniors have consented to represent a new campaign aimed at getting the under-15s to contain their alcohol intake within moderate boundaries. Harvey, Trevor, Spanky, L'il Pecker and the rest of the tykes have scheduled hundreds of personal appearances around the country during 2004, performing their dismal songs to hyperactive schoolchildren and handing out free cans of Top Deck. The performances will be complemented by a horrifying print campaign in the pages of Smash Hits and Bunty, featuring statistics on cirrhosis of the liver and kids who fall off balconies at parties, accompanied by horrifying photographs of boyband members pissed out of their heads. Meanwhile S Club's tour will culminate in the release of a single entitled 'Mummy, Why Does Daddy Smell Of Guinness?' which, it is hoped, will instill a terror of stout into the very young.
Following this hike beer becomes five pounds a pint in some parts of the country, meaning alcohol could soon become a preserve of the landed gentry and nouveau riche, like caviare or cigarettes. Since these poshos invariably have private health insurance and can afford to pay off anyone they molest, the cost to society of the upper classes overdoing the single malt is negligible. Few will mourn their hideous deaths while decent, normal people live to be a hundred, and sober with it. Great.
5. Spot Checks
Employers lose hundreds of man-hours every year thanks to the after-effects of getting stinko. In response there comes an increased police presence around pubs and clubs every night. Officers will be ordered to ask the extremely drunk for personal details, then turn up at their homes the next morning to make sure they go to work, however apocalyptic the hangover. At weekends the cops will think up interesting alternatives to the office, such as forcing the sick to attend church services or go to IKEA with their girlfriends.
6. Locking Up Alcoholics
Traditionally only criminals, drug addicts, and the occasional wayward celebrity have been thrown into prison, but with the government already part-way into a privately-funded prison building programme, there is a desperate need to find people to fill the new cells. To that end men and women who find themselves addicted to drink are to be reclassified as lawbreakers under the next legal shake up. They will then be sentenced to an appropriate jail term by a jury of recovering pissheads and, once inside, they'll be unable to gain access to their poison, at least in theory. This scheme also has the benefit of tidying up the streets for nice teetotallers and teaching Paul Gascoigne a profound lesson about the privileges of liberty.
7. A Blanket Ban On Alcohol Purchasing By The Fairer Sex
Binge drinking has always been with us. Indeed, the male body is uniquely suited to getting smashed
because of its higher water content. But the truly horrific thing about recent changes in popular culture
is how many young women have boarded the binge bus. These chicks think they can match the male
gender drink for drink. What's up with that? Don't girls know they've got careers to lead and children to
bring up? Why on earth do they waste their time downing Bacardi Breezers and hooting like jackanapes
when my typing needs doing? Daphne?
Thankfully a group of grey-haired men in Whitehall, scared out of their wits by the 'ladette' movement
founded by Sara Cox and Germaine Greer, have decided to put a stop to all this. From next summer all
women will be banned from purchasing alcohol. This may seem harsh, but it's for their own good. Nor will
husbands escape prosecution. Particularly those who think they can get away with buying a bottle of Mad
Dog 20/20 for 'her indoors'. As one Senior MP puts it: "Moderation and rehabilitation are irrelevant in these
cases. Some girls are simply too far gone. Better just to cut the supply off, what what? A nice cup of tea
should be enough for her. It always was for my mother, God rest her soul."
When asked about the predicted loss of profit for the alcohol industry the MP replied: "Better that than Cheryl Tweedy staggering around Guildford and vomiting on my car."
Will these plans work? Can the UK at last be brought in line with the civilized world (i.e. France)? Are seasoned drinkers capable of limiting themselves to the occasional snifter, and perhaps a brandy at Christmas if the wife's not looking? At Home Defence we say yes! In fact, Bert Infiltration has already begun to distil moonshine in his cellar for the official homedefenceuk.com speakeasy, grand opening early next year. Everyone will be welcome, but flappers get their first portion free. Bottoms up!