Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Maybe it's because the modern world is increasingly secular that health freaks have most of us in thrall. No one believes that there is anything beyond this world so they cling on to this one and if All Bran is the way to do it, then that's the route to take!!

The trouble with this is that people are living much longer and this has four major consequences: first, there are whole communities of very old people, who struggle joylessly on; secondly, the actuarial assessments made to frame the pension scheme contributions and consequential provision for these people, thirty to fifty years ago, have resulted in hopelessly deficient provision and so pension schemes are in trouble. The result of this (the third consequence), is that pensionable ages are being increased, so that people will have to work for more years and retire later; but this flies in the face of the notorious fact that many employers want youngsters in their teams and olduns are not very welcome. The fourth consequence is that, despite the Puritans' cries that smokers (despite the hefty tobacco taxes that they pay), should pay extra contributions to the National Health Service for the care that they will need, in fact, if lung cancer gets you, it's "lights out" quite soon, whereas if you are just a bed-ridden arthritic, you could need care for years and years.

The answer to all this is very simple: Government health warnings on tobacco packaging should be changed to "Do You Really Think That You Are Smoking Enough?" and alcohol advertising should be accompanied by the question: "Have You Really Not Yet Exceeded The General Medical Council Recommended Number of Alcohol Units This Week?"

No one would have the nerve to do it of course: but pension schemes and the NHS would end up more soundly funded; employers would not have to put up with old buffers in the workplace; at least the manufacture of something (tobacco products and alcohol) in the UK would be given a boost and most people would die before they got too old and tired to enjoy life.

As Del Trotter might say to Rodders: "You know it makes sense!"

In the picture (courtesy of www.oxygenee.com) is a bottle of Absinthe, pre-dating the 1915 French ban on the stuff. Absinthe is available again and (as RWS on The London Lounge said), makes both the heart and the head grow fonder.

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