Friday, 28 January 2011

It's A Crisis Now, Is It?

Middle-class workers mostly to blame for UK alcohol crisis
Woah! Easy there. Let's just work through that headline forensically, shall we?

Crisis? I thought it was only an 'epidemic' after no longer being a 'problem', when did it become a 'crisis'? Especially since ALL evidence points to the exact opposite - that the percentage of regular drinkers is falling; total consumption is falling; and drink-related arrests are down. As crises go, it's not a very scary one.

Still, some people admittedly do have concerns, but I'm not convinced that it's the 'middle-class' mentioned in the title who are clogging up A&E wards at weekends, or running around town centres puking with their knickers round their ankles, for example.

They are 'workers', we are told, so presumably pay tax and national insurance contributions towards the NHS, as well as heavy sin taxes on their chosen tipple. They've therefore paid handsomely for their treatment should they become ill as a result. Of course, if others object anyway, we could always just scrap the NHS and have a system based on personal insurance contributions**. Want that, righteous? Nah, didn't think so.

How, then, does this hack come to such a ridiculous headline?

Government guidelines state men should drink no more than three to four units a day. The limit for women is two to three units - the equivalent of one to two glasses of a medium strength wine.

Among the middle classes, 41 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women exceeded the recommended guidelines.
Aha! Now I understand.

So what the article should have said is that it's mostly the middle-class who ignore the state's arse-wibbling and live their lives how they see fit, not to satisfy some miserable finger-wagging Westminster prodnose.

Or did the Standard's editor really ask for 200 words of shallow gullibility to fill a quarter of page 11?

Good grief.

** But even then the middle-class would still not be 'mostly' causing any problem whatsoever.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

"the percentage of regular drinkers is falling; total consumption is falling"

I do so love "bucking the trend"!

Bill Sticker said...

It's only a 'crisis' if it gives those useless dipsticks something to act like a bunch of drama queens over.

Private Widdle said...

That's because "journalism" is now done by 24-year-old girlies with clean hair and a Harvey Nicks account, with a bit of a background in PR. They can come up with 150, 500 or 1000 words of dross like this easily, with just an iPad so they can speed-read fake charidee press releases and keep up with Twitter. No research, no depth, no real grounding in everyday life; it's just a load of metrosexuals tweeting and twittering like some exotic birds in a gilded aviary whilst the remaining sentient humans in what is remaining of the country I grew up in look on from the outside going "What the fuck is all that about?"

Anonymous said...

The more they go on about this, the more likely people will make their own beer and wine rather than just think and talk about it. I'm almost at the cusp.

Anonymous said...

Heh, been having an argument about the subject of binge drinking and drinks industry advertising with some fella on Prof. David Nutts blog.

The only real epidemic is one of hand waving as far as I can see.

Bald headed John.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Private Widdle! You have just committed the crime of making "sexist" remarks against a group of hardworking people who I am sure must be all highly qualified to hold down such a difficult career as journalism. Perhaps you should be investigated by the thought police. But now a serious question. Will we ever be able to get rid of the righteous who dream up such b****cks?

subrosa said...

They are 'workers'. Great. Us pensioners can drink away then without being part of their statistics.

Just to keep the record straight, I -along with millions of others - have paid my insurance for nearly 45 years.

I had a glass of ginger wine whilst cooking tonight (have run out of anything else I fancied). It wasn't a full glass so in order to comply with instructions I had to finish the bottle to reach the allocated 2 glasses.

There's supposed to be a hidden message in the above paragraph. I'm not too sure if it's worded accurately enough to convey that. :)