There’s some ridiculous new bill prancing about the polished floors of Parliament trying to see it can raise as many votes as it does eyebrows and middle fingers. It’s the new Alcohol Bill that I will hereforth refer to as “The Pint Plan”.
Why am I giving it a silly name? Well, because it seems that the authors of this particular legislation were hellbent on making everything as ridiculous as possible. However, they got so engrossed in making the actual details of the bill outlandish, that they forgot to give it a catchy, silly name.
You’re welcome, by the way.
Now, as a disclaimer – before readers get angsty and pissy about anything written below – getting information – concrete facts, that is – about this bill is like trying trying to get an intelligent statement out of George Bush Jr., very difficult. Anyway, as is my understanding, this is essentially what the bill means.
1. Illegal brews are now…legal?
Let me get this straight, these brews that kill half their consumers and then blind the rest are now government approved? Yeah, pretty much.
The glorious part about all this is the justification for this change. Apparently, illegal breweries are making too much money….oh, and too many people are drinking their unregulated stuff so the authorities want to regulate it’s production in order to cut down the risks. That’s cool on the surface, but beyond it, that’s preposterous. That’s the equivalent of the American government legalizing crack in hopes of cutting down crack related deaths and increasing revenue streams from smoking.
It seems that if we petition hard enough and got high enough, we could probably get our government to legalize cocaine and marijuana as well. Since nobody really talks about prostitution, we might as well add it to the “Coke and Weed bill” – which would now make it the “Blow, Dro, Hoes Bill” – and table that for debate. After that passes we can then push these guys to rename Nairobi to Sodomorrah and work on legalizing petty theft provided one leaves a note.
Why the note you ask?
2. Alcohol will now have a warning sticker.
Yeah, look what good that did for cigarettes. Seriously, as a former chainsmoker extraordinaire, I feel I have earned the right to authoritatively state that those warnings do not mean squat to 99% of smokers. The other 1/% don’t even know there’s a sign there.
I’m fully literate – further, I’m well versed with anatomy and basic medical concepts – so I understand what the risks are. Heck, I didn’t even have to read that erroneous Surgeon General’s warning to know that cigs will turn my lungs into tree bark. Yet I still smoked. Why? Because I was a smoker and that’s what we do. Plus, regardless what you vegetarians said, I was allowed to.
The only reason Chang’aa is not killing more people is because it’s illegal. To make it legal is to basically open the flood gates of Hell’s rivers and hope that we stay afloat on our moral life boats. Not happening. Regardless of whatever other ridiculous “restrictions” you put on it’s sale.
3. Alcohol can only be sold at bars.
Oh, hooorah! NOT!
Possibly the worst idea in this whole bill. This particular gem was clearly American inspired. You know, the whole “liquor license” mentality. Those don’t work either.
They would’ve in the 1600’s where people did not have refrigerators and big screen TV’s, but today this is just fuel in the flames. First thing that will happen – if this bill passes, that is – is the creation of liquor stores. But unlike their American counterparts, ours will be selling illicit brews next to that unaffordable bottle of Green Label. And when the potential buyer approaches to gander at the warning sticker, he will realize he gets more bang for his buck with the cheaper alternative. Normally he’d have this info beforehand, but there’s something in this law that prevents that
4. Thou shalt not advertise the boozes.
So this bit, when considered separately from the rest of the bill, was actually pretty sensible. There shall be no promotions where “If you drink more, you win a trip to the World Cup, a brand new TV, 50 Gazillion Dollars and a NEW WIFE!!!!”. Gone are those days. Gone are also those Guiness billboards & TV ads that make you thirsty for Coke instead; so to with…everything. They can no longer pander alcohol to the masses.
They also can’t sponsor sporting events and such. So all in all, pretty well thought through. You know what’s lacking though? The Nameless Jitolee banners need to be illegal. His giant face makes me nervous as I drive down Ngong’ Road. Anyway, once you get past this part of the legislation, then you get to the real stupidity of the whole thing.
5. You can’t buy booze
before 6pm after 11pm at certain times
I’ve heard a variety of spins on this one and would appreciate some clarity if any is available.
Now, if there’s a limit on when you can start drinking, that’s a horrible proposal. Essentially, the idea is to let these guys recover from their hangover, do a little work, eat and then sit around ravenously salivating as they congregate at the door of their local pubs and wait for drinking time. No bueno. No work will ever get done due to hangovers and anticipation.
If there’s a limit on what time people have to stop drinking, then that’s also retarded. For one it means more people will be trying to consume as much as they can before curfew (and die because of this) or they’ll make it home, very very drunk and proceed to do what drunk people do to their families.
Correct me if I’m wrong but, so far, does this not sound like it’ll make people drink MORE and cause MORE trouble?
The whole bill seems to ignore the cautionary tale of The Gremlins. For those who haven’t watched it, it’s essentially about a furry alien teddy bear – a mogwai, pictured above – that you can’t get wet, shine light on or feed after a certain time. The last rule is the most important(and the only relevant one). “Don’t feed your Mogwai after 12AM.” The results of doing this are catastrophe; it turns into a Gremlin and multiplies.
Or something like that.
So to with this bill, Kenyans will become drinking MONSTERS! They will guzzle oceans, crime will go up, deaths will multiply, etc etc. All because the government wants to make some pocket change in the guise of making some social changes.
I don’t drink alcohol.
I stopped nursing my Whiskeys after a rugby accident had me on remarkably delicious painkillers. Haven’t looked back since; minus an incident or two. Every time someone asks me why, I either pull the “responsible” card or the “religion” card. I either cite health and social defects caused by the booze, or if I’m not dealing with complete idiots and bigots, I say “I’m Muslim.”, shrug my shoulders and talk about the weather instead.
The real reason I don’t drink however is simple. I have better things to do with my money, time and effort.
But again, it’s a personal decision. To drink or not to drink. Once that decision is made, nothing anyone can do or say will change it. It’ll either exacerbate it or have no effect at all.
My story about not drinking will have no effect. This bill will however, undoubtedly, have an effect.
It’ll just make people drink more. Except this time, the brew is twice as potent, sold at half the price, and consumed in half the time frame in limited locations.
At least that’s what it sounds like.