back to article Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

The UK is the second least free country in the European Union, according to the latest Nanny State Index rankings from the European Policy Information Centre. This septic isle is only surpassed by Finland when it comes to bans, restrictions and taxes on everyday relaxation activities. The UK scores 37.4 out of a maximum of 100 …

  1. Dave Harvey

    How about taxing other "sins"?

    If they're going to include the taxation, availability etc. of some of the traditional sins, and in the interests of allowing comparisons with Nevada and other places known for "sin", shouldn't the legality and availability of other "leisure activities" be included on the list as well?

    1. Sykowasp

      Re: How about taxing other "sins"?

      It's not as if you can do those in public in this country either without someone complaining!

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: How about taxing other "sins"?

        Wait! Sloth is banned in public? Forget the coat, I'll need the running shoes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about taxing other "sins"?

      Taxing other sins, that's an interesting idea. Like racism, say, £5 per n-word. Or telling lies in public office - when you get caught, that's OK, there's no punishment as such (just like now), but you do incur an £80 tax liability. There is mileage in this.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about taxing other "sins"?

      Seems only fair to add ganja as well, since lots of European countries have decriminalized it.

    4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: How about taxing other "sins"?

      Are you suggesting taxing ... thingy?

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    This does not take into account the country culture

    I can only laugh when I see Italy and Bulgaria where "laws and regulations are optional" ranked higher than Germany and the Czech Republic.

    The top of the table is pretty spot on though.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: This does not take into account the country culture

      Yeah really. Get stopped on the street at night with a spot of weed on you in Italy and if the fuzz even bother doing anything, the most they'll do is throw it in the gutter and walk off.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahh, the good old Institute of Economic Affairs. The Daily Mail for those who think they can think. Now with a sexy new brand so hacks don't immediately discount their press releases!

    1. Phil.T.Tipp

      They're a venerable freemarket thinktank, me old commie boot-lick. Both individually and collectively, a good deal smarter than you, I'd care to wager. Now, enough snide sniping comrade, and get back to doing nothing much of any economic importance, before the boss notices and fires your whining over-paid and -entitled carcass.

      1. dedmonst

        Not sure...

        ... if your post was supposed to be sarcasm or not...

        but for the avoidance of doubt - the IEA is funded by British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, and Japan Tobacco International. Of course they don't like to publicise this...

        In my mind, that doesn't make them a "venerable freemarket thinktank", it makes them corporate shills.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Not sure...

          "the IEA is funded by British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, and Japan Tobacco International."
          Australian Labor Party Treasurer, Wayne Swan told us that each Australian smoker funds two hospital beds through the tobacco excise. I imagine if that the tobacco industry were to cease operation there would be even fewer hospital beds for the sick.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: I imagine if that the tobacco industry were to cease operation...

            ....there would be even fewer hospital beds for the sick.

            Does your imagination extend to imagining the reduction in lung cancer and other smoking related illnesses that would accompany the tobacco companies ceasing operation?

            1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

              Re: I imagine if that the tobacco industry were to cease operation...

              Sadly we are where we are. We know where we want to be. Betwixt these two is 50 years of damage from past smoking to deal with. I say ban it but no government will forgo the tax take, not if they want to be reelected. Then of course there is the slight problem of the efficacy and results of a ban. Prohibition worked out so well and as for the war on drugs ...

            2. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: I imagine if that the tobacco industry were to cease operation...

              "Does your imagination extend to imagining the reduction in lung cancer and other smoking related illnesses that would accompany the tobacco companies ceasing operation?"
              Does your imagination extend to a hospital system already underfunded? The anti-smoking campaign has been quite successful with the knock-on effect of reducing government income. And here's the result:

              Facebook image of 95 year old woman on hospital floor in Hobart

              The solution of additional taxation for non-smokers to compensate is wildly unpopular of course. The do gooderesses want to eliminate sources of government revenue and demand more government-funded services. It's a crazy world.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not sure...

          @dedmonst: "the IEA is funded by British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, and Japan Tobacco International."

          I've always wondered what the business model is for a "think tank." They have all these apparently eminent and highly-qualified people working for them, but surely they can't be paying all their wages just from selling copies of their "analysis." The market for such publications can't be very big.

          It's much clearer how they make money if they're really just advertising agencies.

  4. jonha
    Alert

    SOFORT VERBIETEN!

    Those studies should be VERBOTEN! They seriously undermine the hard-won image of Germans in the wider world... imagine Germany w/o Verbote... like France w/o strikes:-)

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: SOFORT VERBIETEN!

      I seriously LOVE verbieten! And orders. Orders are good.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: SOFORT VERBIETEN!

        Es ist verboten zu verbieten!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is how it starts.

    When government starts to think you can't think for yourself they start to legislate so you don't have to or don't have a choice.

    It's a long slippery slope to the complete nanny state or as I fondly call it "The Totalitarian Regime"

    Lets see how long it is before we hit 100.

    1. Grunchy

      Ha ha that's funny

      Especially since the government & advertisers know for a fact that people pretty much cannot think for themselves.

      This is the whole advertising game, you don't waste time & effort trying to convince people to buy smokes/drinks, you merely show images of people enjoying whatever poison you peddle (literally: poison) and let "freely thinking" people do the work for you.

      Next thing you know, the addicts are doing the recruiting. For free!

      Two nasty things about big tobacco, from top-of-head:

      1. You can sue them for damages, and you can win billion$ or hundreds of million$ in damages, but they will never pay you. They will appeal and appeal and appeal until the day you die.

      2. They advertise the hell out of the third world. They advertise the hell out of third world children. They go wherever the regulations are not - they have to, in order to survive.

      Just because it's legalized, doesn't mean it isn't pure evil in its heart, and that's not bombast, that's a sober true fact (ha ha, "sober").

      Elbow's up, lads! That's an order :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ha ha that's funny

        Nice post btw and I do agree but what you are saying is that we don't have free will because we are at the mercy of people that will manipulate us to do what they want and that the government needs to come to our rescue.

        I think the problem is being looked at from the wrong end, maybe if people were educated to understand how advertising manipulation works then that would be more useful than banning tobacco advertising unless of course the same manipulation needs to be used for other things like election campaigns.

        1. Marshalltown

          Re: Ha ha that's funny

          Fredrick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth discuss the concept of "free will" in a civilization run by ad companies in Space Merchants. A true classic.

    2. PhilipN Silver badge

      That thinking feeling

      I don't need to think. My watch tells me everything I need to know. Like how much I can eat. And when I hit the sweet spot with physical activity. Then when I am well rested. Otherwise when I should stand up and - oops typing just got more difficult and I am bumping into things - walk around. And ..ohh hang on... I have to stop looking at the screen, like, now ...

  6. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge
    Coat

    "it does not include the food reformulation scheme which has led to chocolate bars shrinking"

    True, it's Brexit wot dunnit.

    1. breakfast

      Re: "it does not include the food reformulation scheme which has led to chocolate bars shrinking"

      The interesting question is what will happen once they can't just blame the big bad EU for everything that is unpopular?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: "it does not include the food reformulation scheme which has led to chocolate bars shrinking"

        @ breakfast

        "The interesting question is what will happen once they can't just blame the big bad EU for everything that is unpopular?"

        Probably look to our government to lead and vote for better governments than we keep getting. Although probably laughing at the stupid things the EU does and saying 'good job we got out when we had the chance'.

  7. Christopher Slater-Walker

    Go to Bulgaria. Cheap beer & fags, great summer weather. Cold in winter though.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      They also have very good air bags, I was told.

    2. Phil.T.Tipp

      Sure, but the women are warm.

  8. J I
    Thumb Down

    Really?

    "Advertising bans restrict competition and stifle innovation" - oh yes, I clearly remember the days when blanket fag ads did so much to encourage the tobacco companies to develop innovative products that didn't give you cancer.

    "Smoking bans damage pubs and clubs" - yep, making them pleasant places to breathe has totally ruined them for me.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      I dread if those times when every piece of clothing worn on a night out had to go to the laundry basket due to unbearable cig-stink were to make a come back...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      "Really?"

      The authors of the report are paid-for lobbyists for tobacco and booze firms, dressed up as a bastion of hyper-liberal academia.

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        I'm not sure you can measure the nanny state nature of a country by the amount it taxes cigarettes and alcohol when you'd then need to take into account whether or not said country has free healthcare that gets smashed by the use/abuse of said items. I believe the UK is high on the nanny state index but I don't think taxation on "bad for your health shit that affects others and loads up the NHS" (alcohol through violence and smokes through passive factors) is a good metric.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Advertising falls most heavily on the poor

    Ban alcohol and gambling adverts for a better society.

    1. Marshalltown

      Re: Advertising falls most heavily on the poor

      Ban adverts. Or at least get rid of the bandwidth gobbling s**** that make so many web pages so very, very ugly and noisy.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you want puritianism then

    go to the good old USofA

    Need to be 21 to drink

    Some states will put you on the sex offenders registed if you are a man and have a jimmy riddle in public

    Need to show ID to but booze even if you are clearly over 60 (Wallyworld, CA)

    Have to go to separate stores to buy beer and wine in some states.

    Some states spirits are only available from state shops

    Illegal even to have a closed but opened bottle (i.e. a bit has been drunk) in a car even if it is in the trunk.

    Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

    There are still some 'dry' counties.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: If you want puritianism then

      NASCAR and moonshine are still strong on this side of the pond. NASCAR has its origins in moonshiners trying to out run the cops on the back roads.

    2. Bandikoto

      Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

      I've never had to fill out a federal form (required for all retail firearm purchases in all states) to buy hooch.

      1. A. Coatsworth
        Headmaster

        Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

        No, no, you got it wrong: he is saying that, if you get the Scotch first, it may be harder to fill up the paperwork to get the guns later.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

        Retail firearms? Who pays those prices? You can get the exact same product on the used market for under half price, in most cases. Esoterics excepted, of course (my Barrett, for example).

        And trust me, the folks producing the booze fill out more than enough federal paperwork to cover all the purchasers of same. Excise tax paperwork is a bitch.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

          Seriously? You're going to bring up excise tax paperwork by producers. You are aware that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also applies excise taxes on firearms and ammunition (PDF).

          Besides, if you want to get into a paperwork pile proportions pissing contest I don't see booze makers being bothered by things like ITAR which among other things determines who they can hire. Literally anyone who can reach can pitch yeast but that's not quite true of the person who cuts a chamber on a tube with spiral grooves on the inside. When it comes to the U.S. Government, I think we can all agree that there is more than enough paperwork to go around and the odds of it increasing are much greater than those of it decreasing any time soon.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

            AC, I was being sarcastic. I've been making & selling beer & wine for quite a while, and am now trying to get into the distillation business. The paperwork is pretty bad, thus my comment.

            I'm not exporting booze or firearms, so things like ITAR are meaningless to me.

            I have, however, manufactured a couple firearms. They are personal use only. The feds haven't bothered me over them, less so than actually purchasing one at a retail level.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

              jake, I get that but as a former barrel maker I found that such a simple task as cutting the chamber made the difference between going through the entire ITAR B.S. regardless of whether you import or export and making blanks, which isn't regulated by ITAR, to be not worth the hassle of cutting the chamber. Don't get me wrong, I can sell the cutter with the barrel but there's a whole pile of paperwork that makes the difference between spinning one hunk of metal against another which allows some miscellaneous brass cartridge to fit into the newly formed breech. While I don't do revolver cylinders, I have to imagine that a reasonably precise drill bit would make all the difference. Oh, note that black powder arms don't need a "chamber" so no worries and it's not a firearm. Go figure, it's bizarre, I tell you. :P

              Meanwhile, you can make a shotgun from parts you buy at Home Depot and ITAR doesn't apply but certain bits of software code the State Dep't determines qualifies as munitions? Oops! It's all nuts, cheers.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

                It is, indeed, all nuts. I don't make the rules, I just work within them.

                I've never had to do anything with ITAR. I am not manufacturing firearms for sale or distribution and as I understand it, I am not required to be a licensed manufacturer, so no ITAR.

                Note that the only thing the feds care about is the receiver. And in my case, it seems they don't even care about that. I did register the receivers I made with the feds; they seemed surprised that I bothered, given the circumstances. As always when it comes to such things, consult a local attorney familiar with the rules in your neck of the woods before starting the manufacturing process.

                I don't make guns anymore. It was a "can I do it?" phase I went through. The only pieces I still use regularly are one based on a Winchester 1894 carbine in .357 Herritt (a varminter, coyote mostly), and a 10 gauge flintlock that I use for duck and turkey on the rare occasion that I hunt. This last one is a replica of the one made by my Great-Great-Grandfather.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

                  Well there's a difference between ATF and State and it's clear one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. It's tripped up a number of gunsmiths I know who thought that they only had to comply with ATF rules. The worst part is the State Department makes the ITAR rules and is free to change them on a whim. If you're interested I believe this PDF is the latest word but it is nearly a year old so who knows how or if the wind will change under Trump.

        2. tedleaf

          Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

          Out of inetest what did you barrett cost approximately ?

          And what do you use it for ?

          You must have some enormous vermin to need that young cannon..

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

            Ted, I got the Barrett in partial trade for services rendered. The guy said he paid $15,000 for it. It was a M82A1 in .50BMG, fired 50 times before he decided he had no use for it. I put another 350 rounds through it, and then traded it for the exact same unit, but in .416 Barrett, This was back when California decided that the .50 was too scary for mere civilians to own. The .416 was new at the time, the coming ban on .50s made the "exchange rate" quite favorable for me. You can purchase the exact same configuration I have for yourself, brand new from the factory, for about $14,000.

            I use it for long distance target shooting. It's a meditation thing for me.

            1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

              Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

              Amen. There's not much like the near dead silent pause between the instant BOOM and the distant CLANG some time later. I imagine my ancient .38-55 has nowhere near the range nor recoil of a .416 but at not quite a half mile the anticipation is most cathartic on the stresses of the week.

            2. tedleaf

              Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

              Ahh.hadn't heard the .50. calibre was banned in california..

              Yep,ldt shooting can be relaxing..

              Hard to explain to folk why though,folk here in uk thought me a looney when trying to explain it's just using and keeping a natural talent I have/had honed..

              Only "little" 7.62 NATO,but far cheaper and hard work to find a range for a Barrett over here as well as impossible to licence a .50 as a civvy in uk..

              .308/7.62 more than enough for deer culls..

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Easier to get guns in some states then Scotch.

            "You must have some enormous vermin to need that young cannon.."

            Well, now that fox hunting is coming back, it makes things easier, y'know? No matter what you think of the priorities when fox-hunting a nice distraction from destroying civil liberties and curtailing rights in whole swathes of other areas .,...

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: If you want puritianism then

      Illegal even to have a closed but opened bottle (i.e. a bit has been drunk) in a car even if it is in the trunk

      Most states specifically allow an opened bottle in the trunk or space other than the passenger compartment. It's only a few of the more authoritarian states that word it ambiguously which would ensnare folks.

      Cali is one of the worst since it allows "any person who has purchased and partially consumed a bottle of wine to remove the partially consumed bottle from the premises upon departure" yet also says no driver or passenger "shall have in his or her possession... any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed." Typically items in the trunk are deemed to be in the possession of the driver so while they're ok with you taking what's left of the wine bottle from the restaurant you have to have someone walk it home.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: If you want puritianism then

        Eddy Ito, I have never seen or heard of anybody in California busted for having an open container in the trunk (boot) of a passenger vehicle. In fact, I have never seen or heard of anybody in the state of California busted for having an open bottle of <whatever> in the fridge or cupboard of their RV. I can't remember the last time I didn't have a flask under the seat of my motorcycle, and I almost always have an open bottle of my wine (or three) in the cooler in the buckboard to foist on unsuspecting tourists. Yes, the local cops know about it.

        I HAVE seen drivers who are obviously intoxicated get their vehicles searched, and open containers "confiscated" (read: emptied by the side of the road). But even then, unless the open container is in the immediate reach of the driver (anywhere in the passenger compartment of a car, with an RV it's somewhat ambiguous and up to the arresting officer[0]), the driver does not get cited for that in addition to the intoxication charges.

        [0] I was designated driver on a bachelor party trip from Palo Alto to Reno. The RV's kitchen was at the back of the vehicle, with the table all the way at the back, and a picture window facing the rear. Four of the guys were playing cards & drinking beer at the table. A CHP motorcycle cop, seeing them through the window, pulled us over in Sacramento. After giving me a cursory look-over, he let us go on our way with a cheery "good luck with the wedding, drive safe!", and no mention of the beer after the initial "I suppose you know why I pulled you over ...".

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: If you want puritianism then

          While what you say may be true, anecdote doesn't really clarify law. The way the law is worded it is sufficiently ambiguous as to allow the Chipper or any other LEO in the state to harshly treat any driver or passenger, who may not even be aware of what is in the trunk, simply because said LEO got a pube caught in their zipper. The fact is, your bachelor party trip points it out nicely as it comes down to the personal discretion of the LEO as to whether you have a nice day. In general, I agree as it is also my experience that law enforcement in Cali are loath to do paperwork. It also seems you're better off as the size of the department grows with, in my experience, CHP being the most lenient and city/town cops the least.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: If you want puritianism then

            Eddy, I'll ask the local cops to clarify this tomorrow (here in itty-bitty Sonoma, we have a one-stop-shop for CHP, County Sheriff and city police; I'll be driving right past it tomorrow anyway).

            1. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: If you want puritianism then

              I just got back from the police station. All three branches told me unequivocally that here in California, you will not get a citation for an open bottle of beer, wine, booze or whatever in a moving vehicle that is out of reach of the driver ...with the caveat that the entire passenger cabin is considered "in reach" when it comes to cars/trucks/SUVs, so keep it in the trunk/bed/storage in the back. In the case of an RV, it's up to the officer, however if said officer doesn't smell alcohol on the breath of the driver, the driver will be allowed to continue. The flask under the seat of my motorcycle is legal, because in theory I can't get at it to take a nip while traveling. The open bottles in my buckboard are illegal if in an unlocked cooler while I'm driving.

              Note that this is California. Other states/jurisdictions may vary. Consult your local law enforcement, don't take the word of some anonymous idiot online ;-)

              Hopefully this is useful to somebody, somewhere. This round's on me.

      2. Marshalltown

        Re: If you want puritianism then

        "...Typically items in the trunk are deemed to be in the possession of the driver so while they're ok with you taking what's left of the wine bottle from the restaurant you have to have someone walk it home."

        Not really. Just drive sanely, signal turns and lane changes, actually stop at stop signs and stoplights. A cop won't pull you over unless there's something resembling a cause that can justify the stop. The commonest reason for a stop is a "rolling stop" at an intersection. They also love catching people talking on their cell phone or better, texting. The fines are steep and contesting the ticket requires actual proof you were not using your cell phone.

        1. ZippedyDooDah

          Re: If you want puritianism then

          When that cop does pull you over, just be careful to not have anything of value in the car.

          Civil Forfeiture, is legalised robbery in the US. No charges necessary, the cops can just take what they want. This to the tune of $billions every year.

    4. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: If you want puritianism then

      Sex offenders register for a public P can also occur in UK

      AFAIK no more dry villages as alcohol was sold in Bournville a few years ago after a legal protest by a newsagent

      Though may still be a few wee free (or similar joyless denomination) dominated areas in parts of Scotland where awkward to get alcohol at various times (especially on Sundays) -

  11. Norman Nescio Silver badge

    Good job Norway is not in the EU

    It would be the top of the table.

    The Norwegian customs authority have kindly translated into English some worked examples for personal import of alcoholic drinks (i.e. not carried with you as part of a duty-free allowance)

    http://www.toll.no/en/goods/alcohol-and-tobacco/private-import/

    Assuming (roughly) 10 Norwegian Kroner (NOK) to a Pound Sterling

    Import a 24-pack of beer (£30 freight) - initial price of beer: £12 - extra taxes: roughly £95

    Import a case of wine (12 bottles) (£30 freight) - initial price of wine: £60 - extra taxes: roughly £190

    Import 12 bottles of spirits (£30 freight) - initial price of spirits: £160 - extra taxes: roughly £560

    Oddly enough, there is a fair amount of smuggling.

  12. adnim Silver badge

    ? Do what the fsck u like.

    Don't get caught.

    I do not recognise any abuse of my freedom to live life how I see fit.

    It is a pain to duck and dive in order to avoid detection of my disobedience of the rules set by people with no right to tell me how to behave.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ? Do what the fsck u like.

      J.S.Mill summed it up as "Do no harm". The devil was still in the detail of who determines "harm"..

      1. adnim Silver badge

        Re: ? Do what the fsck u like.

        Especially when one considers "that which is offensive".

        Offensive to whom? I am offended by the bullshit, insincerity and lies spewed by the media and marketeers everyday.... I consider it my problem for letting the bullshit they spew effect my emotions.

        And why should I pretend to be that which I am not in order to not offend? If you find me offensive.... That is your problem.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: ? Do what the fsck u like.

          I prefer "An' it harm none, do what ye will." In other words, don't be an asshole just for the sake of being an asshole. Because that IS your problem, or will be when I have to defend myself from your assault.

          No, I don't identify as Wiccan (or any other superstitious clap-trap), I just like the rede.

          1. Rattus Rattus

            Re: ? Do what the fsck u like.

            @jake - "An' it harm none, do what ye will."

            This may not apply to you, but most people who quote that think the second part means "do what you want". That is in fact not the case, it actually means you should identify your "will", that is the goals you wish to achieve in life, and act in accordance with that.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Much as I like C. Snowden

    Not sure how Latvia ranks so high, they must have the cheapest fags and booze in Northern Europe, €0.47 for a 500ml can of German larger that retails for about €2 in Finland. And 20 Marlboro Red for €2.10

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Much as I like C. Snowden

      If you look at the country profile for Latvia you'll see they've taken into account draft legislation (i.e. laws that don't exist yet), and also advertising restrictions are used as a measure of freedom? Maybe restricting the advertising of something is the same as restricting the thing itself when it comes to scoring? (Any advertisers, tobacco / alcohol / sugary drinks companies involved in sponsoring the epic member organisations, perhaps?)

  14. Lars Silver badge
    Coat

    Fucking stupid stuff

    About the EPICENTER.

    "EPICENTERNTER, the European Policy Information Center, is an independent initiative of six leading think tanks from across the European Union".

    It does not represent the EU in anyway, a "leading think tanks" what ever that means.

    I feel I will vividly defend both the UK and Finland on this.

    How the hell will excessive use of salt and sugar pushed by food manufacturers increase anybodies freedom.

    Too much salt is not good for you and I wonder why it has been so difficult to persuade manufacturers to use less. Is it all about preserving food for longer. Salt was successfully used in wooden ships to keep them sound.

    Sugar, if adding sugar to milk, like in the USA, is about freedom then keep it and the obesity.

    How the hell does this relate to "everyday relaxation activities".

    Tobacco, oh well, look at a "much alike" me in that age here at: 32:50

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpijOSSlZCI

    Those were the days, If we managed to find some old ladies expressing their informed views then the moment was perfect.

    I am happy my kids and grand kids don't smoke. As a kid walking to school we used to stop by a shop and buy one, and on good days even several fags for the day, that was allowed then.

    If my nanny state tries to make it more difficult then I am all for it.

    Alcohol, well here I come again.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2XeVs4wqdE

    The Nordic countries joined the USA in greatly increasing the use of everyday relaxation activities by laws meant not to. Very nice times I have been told.

    Finland has still not fully recovered. It's like one Finnish president said - "it's not the speed, it's the direction that matters".

    I have, at times, found that thought reassuring searching for home under the influence.

    Anyway if you are looking for the best no-nanny vacation, try say Mogadishu.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Fucking stupid stuff

      "Too much salt is not good for you"
      Another bloody salt policeman! Back in the early 1970s I swallowed the bullshit and gave up salt. Then I began suffering from dizzy spells, cramps and headaches; fortunately not seizures and coma. After a blood test, my GP recommended salt tablets because I was suffering from Hyponatremia. I still have the bottle of salt tablets. It occurred to me I was ruining the flavour of the food I cook and paying well over the odds for the salt I still needed to ingest in order to survive.

      In the early noughties I was diagnosed with hypertension and the doctor advised me to eliminate salt from my diet. I asked why and he gave me the usual claptrap. I asked him if he'd looked at my blood test results and he said he had. I suggested he look again and tell me what the sodium level in my blood was. "Oh, you are on the low side of normal". Needless to say I went looking for another GP.

      NB I don't do sugar unless it's fermented ;-)

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Fucking stupid stuff

        Hello Pompous Git.

        Too much or not enough, that is the question. Your case might not prove that much in some other population or even in your village. But it's indeed fine when people take an active interest of their internal "engine oils". The next question is, of course, who to trust.

        As for salt, it's certainly easier to add it to your hearts delight than trying to delete it. Be your own policeman.

        Here up in the north we tend to have a lack of D-vitamin (not that it's a vitamin) but I would oppose any attempts to add a lot to food. I am more for information and regular tests, and I take my test and my pill.

        PS. Pompous Git, the scissors are good too. Take care.

        PPS. For sure nobody claimed no salt was the way to go.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Fucking stupid stuff

          Hello Lars, the question is: "who determines how much is too much salt?"

          "As for salt, it's certainly easier to add it to your hearts delight than trying to delete it."
          Keeping salt out of your diet is easy peasy. Just eat real food instead of food-like substances.

          Warning: Campbell's Pea & Ham Soup may contain traces of ham! The Pompous Git's pea and ham soup contains lotsa ham so it doesn't need added salt :-)

          Low calciferol levels are a problem even here in sunny Australia. The nanny do-gooders determined that sunlight was bad for you so there was a concerted government-funded campaign to get as many people as possible wearing hats and sunscreen.

          "Around one third of Tasmanian adolescents and adults are vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/L) in summer and up to two thirds are deficient in winter and spring (van der Mei et al., 2012). "

          Oddly enough, The Git is calciferol-deficient even though he's a very keen vegetable gardeners. So he supplements with 1,000 IU per day in summer and twice that in winter. The idea of adding any cod liver oil to food alarms me! Yeeeuchh!

          PS. Scissors? That went right over my head I'm afraid.

          PPS. Anchovies, fish sauce, oyster sauce, fermented black beans... Way to go...

          1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            Re: Fucking stupid stuff

            Just to throw a mild incendiary into this discussion: There is no sound scientific basis for the belief that excess salt consumption raises blood pressure. It's one of those things that became "common knowledge" without passing through rigorous scientific examination (similarly to the idea that "fat makes you fat" - it doesn't; simple starches are much more effective - just ask any Sumo)

            It seems that salt is one factor in blood pressure at the personal level, but not a consistent one across a population of people. Even at the individual level, responses to sodium vary: for some it increases BP; for others it decreases it, and some show no effect. This difference of response means that across every broad population study, no significant link between sodium intake and hypertension has been found.

            Here's a summary from Scientific American

            It remains true that excessive salt consumption can cause other medical issues, but hypertension is not one of them... in general. If you, specifically, react to salt with elevated blood pressure, then you, specifically, should cut down your salt intake.

            And if you're moved to change your diet as a result of this post, for goodness sake go to a doctor first. Taking medical advice from a software developer like me is a good course to misery and early death.

          2. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Fucking stupid stuff

            @Pompous Git, Just something you said about Fiskars, a year ago?.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Fucking stupid stuff

              @ Lars, you'll have to remind me. My 66 yo brains aren't up to it. I can recall being inordinately pleased with my then new Fiskars axe and some mention that a pair of scissors I purchased in 1974 or 5 were also Fiskars.

  15. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "If you want to use the Nanny State Index as a travel guide, there are separate league tables for food, alcohol, tobacco and vaping, so you can pick your holiday according to your preferences."

    Looks like I should holiday at home this year.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a complete crock of shit....

    The entire report is fucking bollocks. Never mind that countries more free from us, are the same countries where the local copper will kick the shit out of you / take a cash bribe.

    This comment sank the whole thing for me:

    " food products becoming less tasty"

    Less tasty? What kind of comment is that to have in an analytical report? This is just fucking nonsense and is a clear political PR play from the EU to influence perception at home of the country as a whole. Fucking idiots.

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: What a complete crock of shit....

      Never mind that countries more free from us, are the same countries where the local copper will kick the shit out of you / take a cash bribe.

      Have you ever been to Germany or the Czech Republic? Offering a bribe in Germany will get you a trip to the local cop-shop without question; in Czech Republic you'll do a little better, but only because you won't be instantly arrested, but attempting to bribe a cop is an easy way to convince them to not let you on your way with an informal warning...

      (I once lived in Germany, and am a regular visitor to CZ)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a complete crock of shit....

      "This is just fucking nonsense and is a clear political PR play from the EU to influence perception at home of the country as a whole. Fucking idiots."

      Dear fellow AC, this study is nothing to do with the EU? Where did you get that Idea? Or does that second sentence apply?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a complete crock of shit....

      " food products becoming less tasty"

      Salt and sugar seem to become tolerated tastes. After a while of regular consumption then you need higher levels to maintain the same sensation. Our palates probably adjust to any regularly consumed taste.

      I have not added salt or sugar to anything for years - and I once loved lots of both. I am amazed by how salty and/or sweet some processed foods now taste. I eat 99% cocoa chocolate - and I have never found it as bitter as most people do. Even the packet advises people to start off slowly as it is "an acquired taste".

  17. HAL-9000

    What is happening

    Nanny state: http://nannystateindex.org/index-2017/

    It's official you not here to relax and have a bit of fun. You are here to be born, learn, work, pay your way, and die as soon as you cease to be productive ;)

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