The Neo-Prohibitionist Mind

by Andrew Stuttaford
There is a line in this article by a doctor for the London Evening Standard that is a useful reminder of the state of the neo-prohibitionist mind. The piece itself is about the difficulties faced by Britain’s supposedly sort-of-conservative government in its efforts to push through some anti-alcohol legislation. Needless to say the legislation in question does not (in the good doctor’s view) go far enough, and needless to say his article comes complete with the usual people-are-too-stupid-to-work-out-stuff-for-themselves that is standard for this type of screed.
This, however, really stood out:
I rather think we irreparably screwed up when we first legalised and promoted alcohol.
The idea that there was some time when alcohol was first ‘legalized’ (in the UK, I presume) flies in the face of history. Booze has always been legal in Blighty, at least for adults. Nevertheless, to the prohibitionist (neo or otherwise) there is a presumption that any permitted but occasionally perilous pleasure is a derogation from a natural order in which such treats would never be allowed. And, if these people get their way, in the end they won’t be.

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