Eat, drink and be merry - banned
Saturday 27 October, 1.30pm until 3.00pm, Student Union Bar-room Rants

Why is New Labour so intent on spoiling our fun? Panic headlines on Britain’s’ supposed collective binge-drinking problem abound. We’ve had bans and restrictions on smoking in public places, fizzy drinks and junk food in schools, using fireworks late at night, and live entertainment, among others. We are told there is an obesity epidemic – and then that it’s dangerous for us to diet. And now New Labour seems intent on making Britain booze-free. Middle-class stay-at-home vinophiles have become as likely campaign targets as the ‘irresponsible’ alcopop-fuelled ‘binge-drinking masses’ and reports say that ‘ministers want drunkenness in public to be as socially unacceptable in ten years’ time as smoking or drink-driving is today.’

Why is New Labour so keen to regulate the minute details of our lives? Why are they so intent on trying to change the ways we think and act even when we’re out to have a good time? Is this a sensible response to irresponsible behaviour, or should we just tell the government to butt out and stop trying to spoil our fun?

 Speakers

James Delingpole
columnist, Breitbart News; Spectator
Chair:
Dr Maria Grasso
lecturer in politics and quantitative methods, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield; author: Generations, Political Participation and Social Change in Western Europe

 Produced by

Dr Maria Grasso lecturer in politics and quantitative methods, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield; author: Generations, Political Participation and Social Change in Western Europe

Eat, drink and be merry - banned, Jamie Douglass

 Recommended readings

Alcohol worse than ecstasy on shock new drug list
British scientists' call drug classification system arbitrary and 'not based on evidence'
James Randerson, Guardian, 22 March 2007

Crackdown on middle-class drinkers
The Government's offensive against excessive drinking will move beyond teenagers and the binge-drinkers to include those regularly sipping wine at home
Richard Ford, David Rose and Patrick Foster, The Times, 4 June 2007

A sad addiction to anti-smoking
It seems that if smoking did not exist today, the anti-smoking addicts would have to invent it
Mick Hume, The Times, 16 February 2007

Smoking. Yes, yes, we know it's no good for you. But is it really so bad?
Anyone who sees the smoking ban as a pure, unmitigated good, devoid of any deleterious social consequences, must be missing a part of his soul
James Delingpole, Independent, 23 June 2007

Drink up. And to hell with health bullies
Healthy lifestyle information is nothing of the sort - it is sustained harassment carried out by lobbyists who clearly believe we're too stupid to be trusted to make an informed choice
Carol Sarler, The Times, 7 October 2007

You're better safe than free - the mantra of the Whitehall Taliban
While one might diapprove of certain lifestyles, there is a massive leap from disliking something to calling for it to be banned, such is the government's predilection for disproportionate authoritarianism
Simon Jenkins, The Times, 20 October 2007

Nonsense about booze
Whether it's the dangers of passive smoking or, as now, the perils of drinking wine, we're bombarded by apocalyptic misinterpretations on a daily basis - they're ripe for a debunking
Rod Liddle, Spectator, 16 October 2007

recommended by spiked

Beer and rowdiness allowed
Duleep Allirajah, 18 April 2007

Rehab? No, no, no!
Emily Hill, 26 July 2007

A ‘fat tax’? Get stuffed
Rob Lyons, 16 July 2007

The global crusade against the 'evil weed'
spiked authors, 28 June 2007

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