Ministers have told Britain’s drinks industry that they are ready to introduce tough new laws if it does not do more to stop its customers from buying its products.
“The evidence clearly makes this the right time to consult on a far tougher approach to the drinks industry,” said health minister Dawn Primarolo. “Obviously individuals have to take responsibility for their drinking, but we’re afraid of being seen to criticise the great drunken British public – so instead we’ve decided to blame everything on the industry.”
Alcohol manufacturers and retailers began introducing a voluntary code of conduct as long ago as 1998. However, the government claims not nearly enough is being done to display the amount of units in drinks or to encourage sensible drinking.
“When will the evil retailers print a useful guide on every bottle or glass?” demanded Ms Primarolo. “I envisage some kind of line going from top to bottom, with the degrees of intoxication clearly marked.”
She then unveiled a graphic depicting the sort of markings that she had in mind, beginning with:
- Pleasant feeling of good-natured disposition toward world;
- Sudden discovery of exact nature of all defects inherent in modern society, accompanied by philanthropic desire to communicate findings to anyone within reach;
- Heartfelt need to repeat precise nature and degree of friendship to nearest drinking-companion, licensee or bystander;
- Irresistible urge to kindly offer sexual favours sequentially to all members of opposite sex in line of sight;
- Strong desire to demonstrate personal diet regime to bystanders by interactive display of contents of digestive system;
- Complete reversal of previous feelings towards drinking companions, licensees and bystanders, followed by exciting demonstrations of newly-invented martial arts technique culminating in assault of pavement with face;
- Overriding wish to be reunited with violent, recently-jailed thug Blake Fielder-Civil.