Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Minimum price of alcohol again: Nutts gone nuts?

His 20 point plan, which includes raising the price of alcohol, might be draconian - but it certainly isn't insane as some people seem to be suggesting.

I would stress I find the case for minimum-pricing not proven - largely motivated by the fact that I really wouldn't appreciate paying more for my regular dose of bottled anesthesia for the soul than is absolutely necessary. But some people nominally in my corner aren't exactly helping me keep the faith. There's a fair amount to agree with in this post by the Heresiarch but really...
"Of course alcohol can be abused by solitary addicts, but it is the most social of all intoxicants. The cultivation and enjoyment of alcoholic drink is a golden thread running through history - indeed, has been fundamental to human existence. Euripides, in a passage that inspired St Paul's description of the Last Supper (quoted at every celebration of the eucharist), wrote this:


"The blessing that Dionysus, Semele's son, procured
and gave to man is counterpart to that of bread:
the clear juice of the grape. When mortals drink their fill
of wine, the sufferings of our unhappy race
are banished, each day's troubles lost in sleep.
There is no other cure for sorrow. Dionysus,
himself a god, is thus poured out in offering
to the gods, so that through him come blessings on mankind."



That's why David Nutt is wrong."
Yeah - but if Euripides had ever stood in taxi rank outside Central Station in Glasgow on a Friday night, I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that he may have come to a slightly different view.

Anyway, is it really right to say that alcohol is the 'most social of all the intoxicants'? Who goes home after a hard day's work and takes ecstasy on their tod?
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