Monday 21 October 2019

The use of children in the sockpuppet state

It's our old friend, the slippery slope again.

Call to hide alcohol from view in shops, just like cigarettes

Shops should be required to screen alcohol from public view just like cigarettes, Edinburgh’s deputy council leader Cammy Day has said.

This can't be true, can it? After all, 'the “domino theory” i.e. that once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products is patently false'.

So why is it happening?

His call follows a report by the Children’s Parliament in which children as young as nine voiced concern about the high visibility of alcohol in everyday life.

I wrote about this cynical PR exercise last month:

So the Scottish government has a public consultation on alcohol on the way. The government funds its own anti-alcohol lobby groups, of which Alcohol Focus Scotland is one. It convenes a group of children who are, aparently, too young to be exposed to the sight of beer in shops but are old enough to make detailed policy proposals. And their policy proposals are going to be fed into the consultation as not only the views of the public but of the chiiiiiildren.

If this was happening in some benighted dictatorship overseas, we would not hesitate to mock it as the brazzen parody of democracy it is.

Regardless of what you think about this particular issue, this is not the way to make policy.

The Children’s Parliament report published last month called for alcohol to be made less visible in shops and on TV and the removal of adverts from billboards and an end to alcohol firms sponsoring events where children are present.

Wow, the young children have exactly the same view as the adults (from Alcohol Focus Scotland) who primed them. What are the chances?

Councillor Day said he had been shocked by the youngsters’ report. “This was young people aged 9-11 who have fears at that age about the impact of alcohol on their life.
“I’ve written to Ash Denham asking her to work with local government to review alcohol licensing and how we can make it safer for young people. If cigarettes are bad for you and we have them hidden behind a screens, why are we not doing the same for alcohol?”

Well, Councillor Day, the traditional answer from anti-smoking groups is that cigarettes are a unique product, the only consumer product that kills when used as directed by the manufacturer, etc. But that bit of rhetoric tends to be forgotten once the door has been wedged open and it becomes open season on any product that displeases the nanny statists.

The Scottish Government published an Alcohol Framework document last year which promised a consultation on potential measures, including mandatory restrictions on alcohol marketing, to protect children and young people.

And that is exactly why the Scottish Government funded the Children's Parliament to look at the issue, with a temperance group brought in to ensure the children said the right thing. They could hardly have been any more blatant about it.

A government spokeswoman said: “We are all too aware of the impact of alcohol advertising and agree that there is more we can do to protect children and young people from alcohol harm. A key part of this is restricting alcohol marketing which is why we will be consulting on options for mandatory restrictions in Scotland in Spring 2020.”

Thus, the circle is complete. Government decides on the policy. Government funds pressure group to lobby for the policy. Government convenes a bunch of kids to support the policy. Government tells the media that it is under pressure from concerned children to introduce the policy. The media play along with the charade.

Pretending to cave in to state-funded lobby groups has been the defining feature of the sockpuppet state for years, but exploiting children in this way is a new and sinister development.

1 comment:

Chris Oakley said...

As someone of partly Celtic descent it pains me to admit it but there is a dreadful culture of depressing anti fun, anti-everything, "if it saves one life" stupidity and unpleasantness that pervades Celtic political culture making it really dull and obnoxious.

Why do the Scots Welsh and Irish consistently vote vote for authoritarian arseholes? Is it some sort of self esteem issue? I really wish they could get over it. Be proud, be Celtic and stop your moronic politicians wasting your money on dishonest misanthropy. Now would be a good time.