Friday Focus: Thoughts on the annual resolutions

PUBLISHED: 11:53 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 13:21 28 May 2010

Well, it s all over once again — the annual jamboree in which we spend too much, eat too much and drink too much. But the memory of Christmas is constantly rekindled for many of us as we try to pay off our credit card debts, a scenario which pushes our th

Well, it's all over once again - the annual jamboree in which we spend too much, eat too much and drink too much.

But the memory of Christmas is constantly rekindled for many of us as we try to pay off our credit card debts, a scenario which pushes our thoughts towards new year resolutions.

Most of us, myself included, make new year resolutions knowing full well they will be broken within days. But documentation from an insurance company, which arrived on my desk a few days ago, re-focused my attention on the need for resolutions, and the need to stick to them.

The documents demonstrate quite dramatically how alcohol and smoking can can kill you.

For example, a 45-year-old woman, 5ft 4in tall and weighing seven stones,, takes 11 years off her life by smoking 10 cigarettes and drinking three large gin and tonics every day.

A 30-year-old man, 5ft 10in tall and weighing 17 stones who smokes 15 cigarettes and drinks five pints of beer and two large whiskies a day, reduces his life by 15 years.

Frightening? Certainly. Will many of us take notice? Doubtfull.

I haven't smoked for many years, but I reckon on the evidence of the above I ought to cut my alcohol intake.

Bu there's far too much alcohol left at home after Christmas. Perhaps I'll start to cut back around the end of February.

So the police reckon that lists of the nation's wealthiest people, published regularly in our newspapers, offer a database for criminals, thus helping them plan robberies and burglaries.

This bizarre logic, published in the aftermath of the murder of Chelsea banker John Monckton, came just a few days after Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice, declared that drug addicts who commit non-violent offences should not be jailed but receive treatment in the community instead.

Lord Phillips' reasoning is that 'trivial offences', such as shoplifting, should not result in jail in cases in which the criminal has been seduced into the crime by "tempting displays" in a self-service store.

Why do so many of our major institutions try to excuse the criminal while being permanently on the look-out for other people and organisations to blame for this country's wickedness?

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