Tobacco, control and alcohol

I heard on BBC news yesterday (yes, TV exists out here in the backwoods but reception can be crap) that there is a new NHS lunacy. It seems the ‘alcohol problem’ can now be solved by further restricting the times when people can buy it.

This is, of course, nonsense. Currently you can only buy booze between 10 am and 10 pm and that doesn’t stop alcoholics drinking because they stock up before the shops close. Close the shops at 9 and they’ll stock up an hour earlier. Nothing else will change.

The 10 pm time didn’t really have to be a law anyway. All the small offlicences were long since closed. The supermarkets always stopped selling booze at 10 pm because they didn’t want the place filling with drunks when the pubs closed. It was a farce of a law because it was already happening anyway.

The 10 am start time was a bit pointless. Real alkies aren’t even up at that time. The only ones who want to buy any booze are the ones who might want to get a bottle of wine on the way to work because they won’t have time after. It had no effect on ‘problem drinkers’, it just inconvenienced everyone else.

Now they want to limit the times further. Will that satisfy them? No. It won’t work and they know it. They will narrow it down to a 10 minute slot where you can buy booze in the middle of the afternoon when everyone who isn’t an utter pisshead is at work or looking for work. The alkies will not be affected. Everyone else will.

Small offlicences will get the worst of this. Supermarkets sell lots of other things, restrictions on booze selling times might irritate them but won’t have much effect on sales. Small offlicences don’t sell anything else – effectively their business will be so restricted that they will just give up. But then, these are the booze equivalent of tobacconists and vape shops, so they are the most likely real target of this new hate.

There was a voice of reason in the report. I forget his name, unfortunately. A doctor who pointed out that if the NHS keeps bombarding people with ludicrous ideas like this, eventually they stop listening to the medical profession altogether. He’s right. It’s already well under way.

I have a grapevine. Apple trees. I can grow other fruit and veg. I live on a farm that grows barley and the grain store is opposite my door. I could buy a bag of barley at farm price.

Other people can do similar things. Start wine from fruit and it doesn’t matter if they’ve banned sugar. You don’t need any. You can even use bread yeast, it’s not as good but it’ll do it. Keep the yeast and use it again and it’ll get better – you’ll gradually select for alcohol tolerant yeast. It’s the same species. Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Here’s what a well tended grape vine looks like –


Those are professionally tended vines in a mega greenhouse. Mine, unfortunately, is in a small greenhouse and has been ignored for years, so it looks like this –


And this –


This is after several butchery sessions. You couldn’t get through the greenhouse before. It was everywhere. There were stems growing behind the upright supports and they had pushed down panes and grown outside. It took about a week before I found I have two vines, one black grapes and one (younger) green. The grapes are either mouldy or taste bitter. I might have to dump the lot for this year. It needs a lot of work but when it’s done… I have raw wine.

If you don’t have a grapevine… just go to the supermarket and buy some grapes. Or any other fruit. Except tomatoes. Tomato wine just doesn’t work. Tea wine does but it tastes appalling. Citrus fruit wine… I’ve never seen it done but you’d have to neutralise the acidity and probably add some sugar. I’ll add it to my list of mad schemes to try out.

I’ve grown tobacco in Scotland too. Outside, not in a greenhouse. It suffers with mould in a greenhouse, I found. It needs that air movement around it. You don’t need a fancy plot, although it’s great if you have one. I managed to get 6 foot plants grown in general purpose compost in pound shop buckets. You could do it on a balcony. Just watch for the slugs. They love it.

Of course, Scottish summers are variable. Some years you get a good crop, others you get stunted feeble plants. Either way, you get some free baccy to go with the free booze.

So all this control is pointless really. Yet still they persist. They are herding cats among their sheep and they’ll never see it. They’ll control their sheep harder and harder but they’ll never control the ones they really want to control because we are uncontrollable. Ban it, we’ll find a way around it.

Smoky-drinky pub sheds are all over the place now. The commercial pub is dying but the smoky-drinky keeps the spirit going. The pubs will return when the current Puritan age is over. We’re ready.

If it has to be homebrew and homegrown baccy, we can do it. We learned how because the Puritans forced us to.

Will the Puritan time end? Yes. It’s already cracking at the base and will tumble. Just like every other time. It will fall suddenly and unexpectedly and the whole lot will collapse at once. They know it’s coming. That’s why they are so secretive now.

In New Delhi, a city so beset with smog you have to wear a filter mask to go outside, the WHO (the control freak organisation, not the band) are having a meeting to discuss how much they can hate smokers more than they already do. You see, you think you have a life but the WHO think your life is theirs to control and most of the sheep have handed theirs over so why won’t you?

That’s a real part of the mindset we are dealing with here, you know.

As is the fearful secrecy of this latest meeting. As documented by Dick Puddlecote and VGIF, the puritans are so scared of letting the masses know what they are up to, they have banned all reporters from their meeting. Unanimously. Kim Jong Jinglyjangly would be so proud.

Why would they be so secretive if they thought their proposed control measures would be popular? Wouldn’t they be shouting them from the rooftops? Calling every news reporter to spread their good cheer?

Instead they allow no reporting. No scrutiny. Nobody is allowed to know what they discuss and no possible dissent is allowed. Does that sound like the formulation of something that will have popular appeal?

Or does it sound rather like Kim Jong Control?

It’s not going to work.


16 thoughts on “Tobacco, control and alcohol

  1. Once the leaves have dropped prune the vines back to just a few main branches and they’ll do a lot better next year – I get enough grapes for about 3 gallons of wine from 2 young vines in my garden (at least I did this year)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here in New Zealand they are not quite as bad. Last Saturday I went into a Supermarket to get a bottle of wine to take to a friends house for our regular film evening. Even though I am 78 years old (and look it) my purchase had to be supervised to make sure I was being responsible. I enjoyed making sure the checkout girl knew how stupid the policy is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One question that you can never get the zealots to answer is how many people died from drink last year as a percentage of drinkers compared with how many people died of drug overdoses as a percentage of the estimated number of users. Apparently this is “getting of the subject”.

    Liked by 1 person

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