The BMA demand a resort to force:

A total ban on alcohol advertising must be introduced by the Government to halt an epidemic of problem drinking, doctors’ leaders said today.

A report from the British Medical Association (BMA) has called for a sea change in the approach to alcohol regulation to halt promotions including happy hours and sponsorship of music and sports events.

The move is necessary to stem the invidious ways it is promoted, particularly to young people, it said.

via Doctors demand ban on all alcohol advertising – Times Online.

There are who knows how many possible bad decisions in life; are we to resort to force to avert each one? Would anyone disagree with the assertion that over-consumption of alcohol is not only harmful in itself but leads to behaviour with harmful consequences? Of course people should drink in moderation — but where does the path of all-round compulsion lead? What else shall we protect people from?

What matters if we are to have a good society — a free and open society — is what lies within us: our values and beliefs, our thoughts and ideas, our emotions. This constant resort to compulsion will not deliver a healthy, happy society. It will create a destructive cycle of resentment, harmful actions and exhortation. Enough.

It is time for a change of heart. It is time for personal responsibility and freely-made good choices. That means letting people carry the consequences of their actions and punishing them when they trespass on the liberties of others.  It means the government getting out of the education system permanently so that teachers can get on with delivering a good education to the satisfaction of parents. Maybe where parents and teachers do not know what good choices look like, special action will be unavoidable, but that is possible without resorting to the total state.

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