Friday 18 December 2009

Liam Donaldson's Christmas Fantasy

The Mail's highly-paid professional ranter today weighed in with a customarily contemptuous polemic on everyone's favourite lard-arse.

Right on cue for the festive season, the Government's Scaremonger-in-Chief launches yet another tiresome tirade against middle-class drinkers.

This time, we are accused of turning our children into hopeless alcoholics. Our crime is pouring them a watered-down glass of wine with dinner to help them become accustomed to social drinking.

Sir Liam said the idea that 'if you somehow wean children on to alcohol at an early age they won't have any problems' was not supported by the evidence.

'The more likely they get a taste for it, the more likely they are to be heavy-drinking adults or binge-drinkers later in childhood.'

Needless to say, he didn't actually produce any hard evidence, just his usual patronising procession of fatuous generalisations and scare stories.

It's interesting that Littlejohn should mention a lack of evidence, seeing as Lardy Liam was yesterday asserting that the new government guidelines were "rooted in science".

In reality, that is a bit of a push. A lie, if you will (yes, I realise that's nothing new for the fat troll).

Firstly, previous studies have been of the market research variety, not science; and secondly, they showed no link between the 'continental approach' of introducing children to alcohol in the home, and the likelihood of children becoming heavy or binge-drinkers in adulthood.

The research, from last year, to which the rotund one is most likely referring did point out, however, that alcohol abuse was something that happened in continental Europe as well.

Continental Europe is perceived by the vast majority of the sample to have no problems related to alcohol damage, alcoholism, drink driving and so on. Thus, the argument is made that European drinking must be the right way to manage alcohol.

Of course, the misperceptions are firmly based on opinion (perhaps from holidays abroad) rather than from health statistics about mainland Europe.

Well, blow me eskimo-style! Other countries have alkies too? Who knew?

All the report pointed out was the bleeding obvious. That gentle introduction of alcohol to kids, in the home, isn't an infallible means of preventing potential problems in later life. It said nothing about any link between giving a child a watered down Chardonnay and their future of living in a cardboard box and chugging Tennents Super.

But it was never going to say that anyway. Its remit was purely to look at childrens' attitudes to drinking, how they are affected by parental behaviour, and how this is obstructing the government's drive to make us all dreadfully afraid of this heinous drug. Because it's not a normal product, apparently.

Alcohol enjoys a confident place at the table (metaphorically and literally). Drinking alcohol is part and parcel of normal household behaviour for some of the families that were interviewed. For some of the respondents, wine had become just another item, like bread and meat.

The implication being, presumably, that wine is somehow not an item at all. Perhaps it is anti-matter, or a construct of the capitalist machine, or something Doctor Who would use psychic paper to make you imagine, perhaps.

Still, it didn't stop the National Centre for Social Research, in a subsequent report on behalf of the NHS, to make the leap of logic, referencing the study above, that buying beer with your ham and eggs, or letting your kids have a spritzer on Sundays, will lead to them becoming hopeless alcoholics.

Recent qualitative findings, however, have suggested that parents – through the example of their own drinking, by encouraging children to drink in the family setting, or as providers of alcohol – can actually exacerbate the problem of teenage drinking.

Which is not what the study said, nor was such a causation hinted at. The NCSR report didn't establish Liam's link, either. Merely an observation that teens will more likely have had experience of drink - not get drunk, note, just have had a drink - if their parents allow them.

Whether pupils had drunk alcohol in the last week was strongly related to how they felt their parents would view them drinking. Compared with pupils who believed that their parents didn’t like them drinking at all, pupils who felt that their parents ‘don’t mind as long as I don’t drink too much’ were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the past week (odds ratio=3.59), as were pupils who felt that their parents ‘would let me drink as much as I like’ (odds ratio=7.93).

Another statement which could be stashed away in the bleeding obvious file.

And all this to tackle a problem which has, contrary to Donaldson's hysterical ravings, been decreasing in recent years.

Littlejohn may not have looked into the subject very deeply, but you can't fault his assumption about the scientific basis for Lardy Liam's latest temperance rant. Quite simply, there is not a scrap of evidence to back up yesterday's media blitz.

It is also impeccably timed, as Littlejohn mentions. After all, isn't Christmas a time for fantasy?


timbone said...

I wonder what kind of social life SLD has? Has he ever had fun? Does he know any good jokes. or is he just a bad one? What kind of childhod did he have? Has he ever had a blow job?

Unknown said...

"that buying beer with your ham and eggs"

That'll no doubt pave the way for new laws to be brought in forcing shopkeepers to have seperate queues for alcohol (and fags,) makeing customers go home and back again to do their normal shopping for the ham and eggs etc.

You can just see where all this shit is leading, can't you.

Frank Davis said...

Couple of relevant articles in today's Telegraph, listed among most popular:

A drop of claret never hurt my little darlings

Why I will let my children drink alcohol

Unknown said...

Oh chitty, chitty, chit chit, (that's northern for shit, by the way!) I've just descovered that Sir Liar Donaldson comes from fookin' Middlesbrough, where I reside! Now, let me see, which other lying hoon comes from these parts...well there's Vera...and...

And here was me thinking that it was those southern bastewards that painted me as a dirty, smoking, working class piece of shite...go figure.

Junican said...

You see............what Sir Liam D and fellow zealots do not realise is that we ordinary human beings would rather have a little pleasure in the form of alcohol, tobacco and food than simply working all hours to pay the taxes which provide him with his vast salary.

It is a critical understanding that we would rather have pleasure than longevity.

Somehow or other, and I do not know what the way is, this principle of pleasure over longevity has to be brought to the fore.