Taking Stock - January 6, 2014

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Well here we are in a brave new year.

Actually it’s hardly new any more, there’s nearly a week gone already.

But that’s been time enough for 2014 to already be getting on my nerves.

It’s not 2014 as such. No, it’s all the fresh start rubbish which is peddled at the dawn of every new year.

The worst thing this year has been the constant bombardment to start the year with a dry January.

Now, I’m not saying cutting down on the booze is a bad thing.

But a dry January?

For a start think of all those poor publicans, struggling to make a living as it is without the population of the Fylde coast, one and all, giving up the demon drink for a whole month.

I suspect this column will make a few folks in the business of spreading the public health gospel a little bit nervous.

Not that I care – I’m happy to go ‘off message’, not least because I firmly believe it isn’t the job of local authorities and the NHS to tell people what they should and shouldn’t be doing.

I don’t need to be bombarded with e-mails, tweets and radio adverts advocating all this ‘dry January’ nonsense, particularly when it’s all 
being paid for out of the public purse.

It’s all a bit too Oliver Cromwell for my liking – our nation’s puritanical streak coming to the surface thinly veiled as an attempt to make us all a little bit more healthy.

I’m sorry but count me out and pass me the corkscrew.

Now I know I’m not really the target audience for all of this abstinence business.

I enjoy a nice bottle of red and an occasional glass of port at home and I do like the occasional pint of good ale –’beers with names like Witches Knickers’ as one uncouth lager swilling 
colleague recently put it.

I’ve never had a Jagerbomb, I’ve never been out past 2am and only once have I woken up not knowing where I was (it turned out to be the bathroom of a Belgian hotel).

So if you don’t mind I’ll ignore this particular public health message.

And should you see me anywhere near The Taps in the coming weeks well, mine’s a pint.