On examining the latest ONS lifestyle statistics [pdf], as Big Brother Watch have been doing with regard to smoking prevalence, it's interesting to compare officially up to date conclusions on alcohol consumption with those produced last year.
2008 (published 2010):
Following an increase between 1998 and 2000, there has been a decline since 2002 in the proportion of men drinking more than 21 units a week, on average, and in the proportion of women drinking more than 14 units.2009 (published 2011):
This trend seems to be continuing under the new methodology; between 2006 and 2009 the proportion of men drinking more than 21 units a week fell from 31 per cent to 26 per cent and the proportion of women drinking more than 14 units a week fell from 20 per cent to 18 per cent.You will have noticed the reference to 'new methodology' and '2006'. The reason for this is articulately explained by The Filthy Smoker in number one of his five myths about alcohol.
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.Indeed. So, to portray the situation accurately and with honesty - something anti-alcohol campaigners refuse to do - two graphs are required. This was the state of play up to 2006.
As you might expect, this has made a dramatic difference to the statistics.
And now, thanks to the latest survey, we can see what has happened since.
Yep, still going down. In fact, the same result is seen with every single criterion measured.
Total consumption is still declining ...
... as is the number of people who drank at all, or on more than 5 days prior to the study, as well as the amount drunk on any one day in the previous week, along with the largest intake consumed on those days and, consequentially, alcohol-related deaths.
Considering this consistently downward trend in all areas, the mind boggles as to what parallel world dreary Don must be living in.
Don Shenker, of Alcohol Concern said that the economic situation was part of the explanation.One must wonder what part of 'decline since 2002' Don doesn't understand.
"The slight fall in 2009 in alcohol related deaths mirrors a slight drop in alcohol consumption, and while this is positive, is wholly due to a drop in consumer spending as a result of the recession.
"It is very likely that alcohol consumption will rise again once the economy picks up."
There is, however, one significant increase detailed in the ONS report.
Perhaps it's about time our lazy dull-witted media, and furrow-browed Westminster fucktards, began describing what is really happening in 'booze Britain'.
It's not so much a binge-drinking epidemic as an escalating non-drinking epidemic.