Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Temperance censorship

I'm late to this because I've only just come across it, but print workers in Lithuania are having to cover up alcohol ads in imported magazines to protect people from the sight of booze. A small country of less than three million souls, it imports a lot of foreign magazines, but it's either that or ripping the pages out completely, as Reuters reports...

Print distributors in Lithuania are being forced to tear pages out from magazines such as Vogue and National Geographic after the country introduced an alcohol advertising ban on Jan. 1.

The situation is an unintended consequence of an alcohol control bill signed into law in June by President Dalia Grybauskaite, who herself likened the outcome to medieval times and said it brought shame on the country.

It certainly looks a bit totalitarian when you see the photos of them at work...

Banning advertising is censorship, plain and simple. Needless to say, the Alcohol Health Alliance wants to follow in Lithuania's footsteps with a total ban on alcohol advertising and sponsorship.

Bartasevicius said the country’s largest retail chain had refused to stock the altered magazines, deeming them “damaged goods”.

However, he said the publishers of National Geographic had told him they could not create an edition of a magazine free from alcohol ads for a country which only sells up to 500 copies of a title per month.

Politicians do not yet have any solution to a problem they have created.

Sounds familiar.

“It is reminiscent of medieval times and it brings international shame on Lithuania,” Grybauskaite told reporters on Wednesday. “We must have laws without such flaws.”

This is what happens when you let the ignorant zealots of the 'public health' lobby make laws. They neither know nor care about the unintended consequences. To quote H.L. Mencken, their solutions are clear, simple and wrong.

We're going to see this kind of unravelling in the UK where the government has taken naive ideas from fanatics and imported them wholesale into its ludicrous obesity strategy policy.

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