The Telegraph in doom-mongering mood.
Nearly a million drinkers were admitted to hospital last year as new figures show that alcohol-related illnesses have risen by nearly 50 per cent since 2004.
All well and good, but there was no mention of this annotation to the figures on which their report is based.
Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity.
It's to be expected, really. Manufacturing scare stories while ignoring differences in data collection isn't a new story. The government has been whistling innocently, while looking the other way, as the MSM have been frothing about supply side increases since 2007, too.
Since 2007, the Office of National Statistics has assumed larger glasses are being used and stronger alcohol is being consumed. They now assume that a glass of wine contains 2 units, rather than 1, as it did before. With beer, what used be counted as 1 unit is now counted as 1.5, what used to be 1.5 units is now assumed to be 2 units and what used to be 2.3 units (a large can) is now counted as 3 units.
As you might expect, this has made a dramatic difference to the statistics.
It's quite easy to prove an 'epidemic' surrounding alcohol consumption if one blithely ignores changes in the way data is collected. Especially if both sides of the alcohol equation are adjusted favourably to the government's advantage at the same time.
Time to bring out this graph again, I suppose. You know, just so you can see the appalling increase in alcohol consumption by males and females since 2004 which has caused this carnage.
Terrifying, isn't it?