Because I choose not to drink alcohol I won’t be imbibing a large gin and tonic before trying to rationalise the ‘Big Society’. I suspect that its founders had certainly consumed some vin blanc. Their efforts strike me as an adolescent’s drunken second year university paper on how to create a utopian society. The fact that it is collapsing around the Prime Minister’s neck as Coalition cuts devastate our communities is worrying. Perhaps its cunning hidden Agenda is to drive us all to drink.
For centuries alcohol has been used to bend the truth of reality or attempt to avoid it altogether. Personal debt has long been linked to alcohol abuse, but across the Atlantic there is evidence that it is growing into a National issue.
It is reported that the U.S. National debt of $13 Trillion will overtake the county’s GDP within two years. That translates to each and every U.S citizen owing $45,000 and yet the government is determined to avoid austerity measures because of the predicted catastrophic effect to an already badly damaged economy.
Our own government seems determined to push ahead, despite the failed experience of a close neighbour and a number of leading financial experts warning that we are headed for disaster.
Statistics show that Alcohol is the number one drug problem in America, there are more than 12 million alcoholics in the U.S. and a person is killed in an alcohol related car accident every 30 minutes. Three quarters of the U.S. population now regularly drink alcohol.
A recent ITV news segment asked some of the UK’s ‘middle class’ how they viewed the current austerity measures. The reactions were mixed, but all of them expressed concern about job security, the rising cost of living and a lack of direction from our leadership. It is interesting to note that the report was recorded in a wine bar, and even the supporting statistics were listed with a glass of red wine as a visual background. The implied message was clear.
It may be a nice fantasy but I fear that we won’t be able to drink our way out of this one.