Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Hope Over Reality On Minimum Pricing

That's odd. I had assumed the Faculty of Public Health to be on holiday since they still haven't replied to my e-mail, the ignorant chimps.

Yet here's one of their world class hectors turning up to applaud Greater Manchester councils.

One of the country’s top public health advisers is supporting plans to outlaw cheap booze in Greater Manchester.

John Middleton is vice-president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, which advises the NHS and supports policy development.

He says the region’s 10 council chiefs should be commended for moves to introduce a bylaw to ban the sale of alcohol for less than 50p a unit within Greater Manchester boundaries.
It's a quite astounding facet of modern life that those paid out of our taxes are frantically running around the country attempting to inflict further costs on us. Without - as you may have noticed - any democratic mandate whatsoever.

He said: "The price of alcohol has become a major threat to us and we must commend Greater Manchester for taking this lead."
Err, a threat to whom, did you say? Minimum alcohol pricing is a construct of the bansturbatory industry. No-one asked for it, no-one apart from state-paid righteous are screaming out for it, and basic economics dictate that it's not something the public particularly desire. The very existence of inexpensive beer, wine, and spirits is incontrovertible evidence of that.

So, the 'us' who are threatened would appear to be people who are not the general public.

"Traders are understandably fearful about people going to buy where it’s cheaper and that’s ultimately why it should be a national law [...]"
Ultimately, why it shouldn't be a national law is because it's fucking illegal. If the EU are happy to protect the 'antichrists' of the tobacco industry, you really do have no hope, John. Of course, you could help campaign to get the EU out of our lives, but then EU grants to the FPH for projects such as SPHERE would dry up sharpish. Wouldn't they, John?

"Sometimes people have to be brave and take that risk."
It's very easy, you see, for John to talk about bravery on the part of others, when his own income is not remotely affected.

He said: "We believe there’s strong evidence that we need to price alcohol more realistically to reduce harm but also to help people reclaim their cities, parts of which have become violent, no go areas at night."
You and your chums can believe all you like, John. But - quite apart from the fact that it's fucking illegal - others dispute that there is any evidence at all.

The Scottish Government’s plan to control the price of alcohol will barely tackle problem drinking while costing consumers £184million a year, according to a leading consultancy.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research said the introduction of a minimum price of 40p per unit would cause heavy drinkers to cut consumption by less than a pint of beer a week.

The poorest would be hit the hardest, with 10% of the population with the lowest income paying just over 50% more per unit. Moderate drinkers would cut consumption by 4.6% due to their greater sensitivity to price.

Senior CEBR economist Benjamin Williamson said: “This report shows that the case for minimum pricing is extremely weak. It would not target problem drinkers and would have a genuine negative economic impact in terms of jobs, trade and costs to the consumer.”
So that's a stalemate, then. Two differing opinions, and no concrete proof of any potential benefit. Certainly no basis for any national law, or even local bylaw

Oh yeah, and did I mention it's fucking illegal?

It really is time these idiots accepted reality, instead of wasting their time and our money on daft ideological temperance crusades.


Anonymous said...


Concentrations of smoke in cars - try




Then explain why this study is wrong, or just do the world a favour and shut up.

Bucko said...

"He said: "We believe there’s strong evidence that we need to price alcohol more realistically to reduce harm but also to help people reclaim their cities, parts of which have become violent, no go areas at night.""

I really don't know where these people are coming from. I doubt this mushroom has ever been into a city a night. And where is this "strong eveidence"? There cant possibly be evidence that proves we need to increase the cost of booze, any more than there is evidence that the moon is made from crumbly lancashire cheese with lashings of Woucester sauce.

Curmudgeon said...

Interesting that even ASH don't support tobacco minimum pricing as they see it as effectively a producers' cartel that puts money into the pockets of tobacco manufacturers.

Both Tesco and InBev would benefit from minimum alcohol pricing, which is why they are happy to pay lip service to it in their public pronouncements.

And, re Bucko's point, surely all the late-night disorder (the scale of which is much exaggerated anyway) results from people drinking in the on-trade at prices well above any proposed minimum alcohol price.

Witterings From Witney said...

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are the legislators." -- P.J. O'Rourke

Anonymous said...

As I live within 5 minutes of HIgh Peak and West Yorkshire GM can put it up to £10 a pint if they want,
anything which helps close down
the remaining cringing coward sheds the better.

Oh just a minute
Anon @10.57
Now look here ,cock,I dont know what,your personal problems are,
but be be a nice chappy and buzz off elsewhere or see an exorcist.
And if you drive a car check the grm/km rating before chirping.

Sink Estate Solicitor

naturalnoble said...

Anon 10:57 - your first article is 404 and your second one is shit.

The sentence ''In other words, being in the car with a smoker under these conditions gives such a huge amount of particulates that you'll exceed what would be considered a safe level of exposure,'' seems weird. "Considered" by whom? The US Government? Good point, when have those guys ever been wrong? But no matter who is considering it, if the concentration is "huge" then how come it is only "considered" dangerous? Wouldn't a "huge" level of particulates be "proven" or "known" to be dangerous?

When they change the conditions to have a window open, it is implied, but not stated that the concentration drops. Assuming their study happened in real life, it's fair to assume that it dropped. If it drops from something that is considered dangerous, is the new lower level still considered dangerous, or is it considered safe? This is quite important information since it is the only condition that actually applies to non-cunts, but the author of the press release obfuscates it by adding the completely irrelevant information that the concentration is still higher than in a bar. He does not see fit to mention how long it stays at this irrelevant level on which the EPA has not bothered to formulate an opinion. Hey, it's probably not important since as any lobotomite will tell you the effect of carcinogens has absolutely nothing to do with exposure time, but as an aspiring scientist I'd still be quite interested in the information anyway.

This passage is ambiguous: "...a passenger would be exposed to such a high particle concentration that his or her exposure averaged over 24 hours would be 21 µg/m^3 per cigarette."
Please tell me the conclusions of the press release weren't predicated on the idea that someone spend 24 hours exposed to the condition 1 concentration (which somehow remained constant). Please tell me that. Lie if you have to. Just fucking tell me that wasn't the case.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous (13.21)

Congratulations on your highly intelligent and well informed refutation of this scientific study. Well up to the usual standards of this blog.

To quote george Hrab (of whom you have of course never heard) moron, moron, moron, moron, duh.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Anon @ 10:57: Sorry for the late reply, I have to earn my money in the day ... unlike some I could mention who just get it lobbed their way for talking shite to the media.

Considering this article was about minimum alcohol pricing, it's odd that you choose to talk about smoking in cars. Was it the chimp reference? ;)

Your study employs a very similar methodology to Offerman et al, with the same predetermined outcome in mind.

Interestingly, it highlights that with a window open (which is the most common occurrence), smoke levels in cars only reach 2.2ng/m3 [their calculation, page 8] which is hugely below the EPA's 24 limit of 35ng/m3.

Hooray! Perfectly safe, then.

What's that? cherry-picking statistics, you say? Well, yes, but then that's exactly what the authors have done by highlighting to the media only the figures which relate to cars with the windows closed (which is far less common than windows open). It's scaremongery.

In fact, all this study seems to prove is that it's advisable to open the window when smoking in a car ... which is what most people do anyway. And even that only works if one believes that second hand smoke is highly toxic in the first place, which I don't. Because it isn't.

What this study certainly isn't is proof positive that smoking should be banned in all cars, in all circumstances, as promoted by the cretins at the RCP.

With this in mind, while I'm not sure the world is going to be too concerned either way (though I'm flattered you believe so) I'll keep posting for a while yet ... especially as it would seem to irritate righteous gobshites like you, OK?

Thanks for dropping by. :)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Bucko: Yes, it's just more emotive bullshit to pass an illiberal measure which they know is unpopular and not wanted. They feel if they can link it with danger and disorder, that will tip the balance.

I expect they're referring to 'pre-loading' which is another common aspect of press releases about this. They gemmy the phrase in everywhere they can. Of course, seeing as the point of 'pre-loading' is to alleviate the huge prices charged in city centres, a few pence on a can isn't going to scare them one little bit. Especially since the 18-25 age group we are talking about are generally targeted by bars precisely because they have a high level of disposable income (many at work but living with parents etc).

They'll resort to any old guff to try to convince the public that the rise is not going to affect them, but that it will somehow magically only target problem cases, when exactly the opposite is true.

Anonymous said...

Well if - head firmly uck up your ideology - you know the answer before asking the question, why are you boring public health professionals with stupid emails? Duh. DUH.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Err, because in an extensively-referenced report they failed to give a reference for the "27 times" figure they quote ... which is not to be found in any paper on the subject.

The clue was in this bit:

"I'd much appreciate it if you could give me a source for this interesting factoid"

And they still haven't (yours doesn't say anything like it either). Until they do so, we can only assume it is a fabrication. D'you see?

ArtCo said...

"We believe there’s strong evidence that we need to price dog food more realistically to reduce mess but also to help people reclaim their cities, parts of which have become covered in shit, at night."

Same principle is it not. lol


naturalnoble said...

I wrote a long reply to Anon 10:57 earlier today but Blogger seemed to lose it so here is my second attempt:

A few things stood out.

''In other words, being in the car with a smoker under these conditions gives such a huge amount of particulates that you'll exceed what would be considered a safe level of exposure,''

If the amount of particulates is "huge", then how come they it is only "considered" dangerous? "Considered" means it is someone's opinion (albeit in this case the barely fallible US Government's opinion). Surely a "huge" concentration of particulates would be "known" or "proven" to be dangerous. Wouldn't it? Or would it?

It is interesting that the above opinion was only formed/declared for the windows closed AC on condition. This is strange because only the windows open condition really applies to non-cunts. One would think that whether the particulate concentration in this condition was dangerous or not would be a relevant thing to think about. One would be mistaken. This: "even with a car's windows open, smoke particle concentrations were higher than the levels he measured in California bars during studies in the mid-1990s before the state banned smoking in taverns.", is much more relevant, as even the most inexperienced lobotomite will tell you.

We can actually get a crude estimate as to what the opinion would have been from the data given in the SD release - a peak smoke concentration of 1394 ug/m3 elicited a 24 hr average of 35 ug/m3. Opening the windows reduced the peak concentration to 608 ug/m3, 43% of the windows shut, high AC condition. It's only a rough estimate, but it seems reasonable that the 24 hr average would reduce to about 43% too. This gives about 15 ug/m3 - well within the safe limit. Our host has blogged extensively about his new, revolutionary and patent pending "open the window" method of reducing particulate concentration, and this release vindicates him.

It follows from this that the smoke concentration in California bars was probably at a level considered safe by the EPA, since it was at a level lower than smoking in a car with the windows open. And then smoking was banned. I alluded to the non-cunt community earlier - supporters of this ban need not apply.

FWIW, I don't smoke, but a smoker was kind enough to give me a lift in his smoky car today. It probably killed most of my brain cells, but not enough of them to turn me into an anti-smoker.

Anonymous said...

(Anon 10.57 Duh Duh ??)
Dear Anon DuhDuh
As a non car driver I could not give a monkeys nuts about your
facts and figures re smoke in a car.However if you would be so kind as to post here your car ,model and engine size I could
enlighten you in the ethos of the real world. Oh , old boy the "moron"caper ,like it ,like it,
sure sign of one losing the plot.
Now run along and waffle round
the other admin and clerical tootsies.Try a week in an iron foundry and then we can talk about
smoky interiors.

PS Dont forget the engine details.

Open cast gasper

Dick Puddlecote said...

Naturalnoble: "revolutionary and patent pending "open the window" method of reducing particulate concentration"

Good point about the patent, I'll apply now. It could be an earner seeing as no-one in tobacco control has spotted it. :)