Monday, October 20, 2008

Odd Bins

I'm looking out for cases of soft paternalism: "a political philosophy that believes the state can help you make the choices you would make for yourself — if only you had the strength of will and the sharpness of mind" according to the boffins at Wikipedia. The soft paternalism king is Richard Thaler, guru to Barack Obama and David Cameron.

Today I saw the Drinkaware Trust's new advert at the station.

"I see you like to recycle...(wow you drink a lot)". Cue a recycling bin full of booze bottles.

Ever since we've started leaving our bottles out to be recycled, I've checked out other people's bins on the way to work. I wrongly associate a few empty spirits bottles with an alcoholic household. Wrongly, as I know from my dad's drinking that the experienced alcoholic isn't going to broadcast to the world what he or she gets up to in private.

Our bin is collected once a week and to the casual observer we are just about drinking within the government guidelines for the weekly consumption of alcohol for two adults who just drink at home.

But who honestly spreads the quantity of drink they consume equally over a week? Not us, that's for certain. What you see there, my friend, is a merry old time for two or a lost weekend for one.

I'm not sure this campaign is going to have the desired effect. I couldn't care less if my neighbours think I overdo it on the old sauce. Or in fact if they think I don't drink enough. Or even if they think I drink just the right amount. And I'm not going to walk out my front door and look in my recycling bin and think "blow me, I must have enjoyed myself last week."

Besides, the bins for our cans have lids on. So what do your Stella drinkers do? How on earth are they going to control their drinking?


  1. Anonymous7:17 PM

    Say you see a bottle of vodka in someone's recycling.

    They could have drunk it all in one go or they could have had in 6 months.

    If you see a bottle of vodka every week however...

  2. *begins spreading out empty bottles ... a few in my own bin, a few in neighbour to the right's bin... a few in neighbour to the left's bin*

    This could take some time.

  3. Billy - If I wasn't in such a rush for my train I'd keep tabs and post some suggestions through some letter boxes.

    MJ - That's the spirit!

  4. Anonymous9:31 PM

    This government incentive is to remind the "forgotten drinkers" like myself that I'm going to be on dialysis in 20 years. I don't feel forgotten, to be honest. Every time I go out to buy a bottle of wine to share with the missus - I kid you not - I seem to bump into a vicar. He looks at me most sternly. What he's doing loitering in the off-license I have yet to ascertain.


  5. Now they have the smokers corralled they have to start on the drinkers.

    They'll be rationing it next.

  6. You'd think that they'd leave drinkers alone because we pay a lot of taxes.

    We have bottle people come around the night before and yoink all of our aluminum and glass so no f*ckin worries mate

  7. Statistics prove conclusively that 98% of people lie about their alcohol consumption. The other 2% are teetotal Ministers who hang around Wyndham's Bottom's Up for vicarious pleasure.

    Whatever happened to "Hard Maternalism"? Oh yes, she lost her marbles.

  8. That's why Kev drives a van ... to cut out the recycle bin which never stood a chance.

  9. Wyndham - We should all have a vicar as our conscience. I can now see our ASDA full of them, hanging around the drinks shelves.

    Malc - The Trust is made up of drinks manufacturers and retailers so I think they're quite happy if we overindulge in private. As long as we don't show the world.

    Donn - Cheers! We get nothing taken the night before now the foxes can't get into our rubbish bins.

    Murph - I wonder how many units doctors add to a patient's estimation? David Cameron will soon be the softy father to our nation. God help us.

    Kaz - I always wondered why the bottle banks are always full to bursting. "Under cover of darkness they come in their vans."

  10. Doctor multiply the units confessed to by 4. Most people say 1 unit under the current recommendations but they're not fooling us.

  11. My doctor's leaving the practice this month. We've never discussed my drinking though he did extol the wonders of omeprazole before a party.

    If I liked parties I'd be well prepared.