Monday 18 October 2010

Today's Avalanche Of Alcohol Scaremongery

Did you notice that today's news stories were littered with articles on drinking and children? Well, the reason the finger-waggers have been so busy is that today was the start of Alcohol Awareness Week 2010, so get ready for a lot more hectoring on alcohol in the coming days.

Oh yeah, and lots more invoking of the chiiildren, because - as if it is something unusual for a fake charity - Alcohol Concern have themed it so.

Alcohol Awareness Week 2010
18-24 October: Alcohol and Childhood

The theme for Alcohol Awareness Week (AAW) 2010 is 'Alcohol and Childhood' in which we ask the question 'is alcohol damaging childhood?
Read that link, it's a free guide to upcoming events. How exciting, eh?

It doesn't cover all of them, though, since other healthist bodies have been encouraged to time their own 'research' to coincide with Alcohol Concern's initiative. For example, the Mail carried this screeching bullshit today.

Youngsters can get drunk for half the price of a bar of chocolate, a worrying new study has found.

Strong cider is available in city centre supermarkets and off-licences for as little as 10p a unit, while lager can be bought for just 26p a pint, researchers found.

The pricing means a woman could drink more than her daily recommended allowance for just 30p - half the price of a standard bar of chocolate.
A 'standard' bar of chocolate, eh? You can't get much more standard than a Mars Bar, which has occasionally even been held up as a benchmark for inflation itself, let alone confectionery pricing. I bought one today for 45p so that's a bit massaged already.

But then, so is the assertion that kids can 'get drunk' on three units of alcohol, the equivalent of about one and a half cans of Carlsberg.

Yes, it's bollocks. A scare story brought to you thanks to quite ridiculously low 'recommended' limits on daily intake which, in turn, are a load of bollocks.

Sleight of hand, laid on top of misdirection, wrapped in a healthy coating of bullshit.

The same method as used by Alcohol Concern in their offering today. The Guardian and - natch - the BBC lapped it up, but let's go with the former.

Parents' drinking is damaging millions of children, say charities

Around 2.6m children in the UK live in a household where at least one parent's drinking puts them at serious risk of neglect
Yep, it is definitely damaging children, according to the - cough - thinking person's rag.

So, unlike the Graun hack, let's read the report [PDF], shall we?

Recent research estimates that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with parents who are drinking hazardously and 705,000 are living with dependent drinkers.3
The '3' points us to the 'recent research', that being this year old study, which puts it slightly differently (emphases mine).

The UK Government definition of binge drinking was calculated for the sample, i.e. 6 or more units in a single drinking occasion for women and 8 or more units for men. This is above (twice) the maximum recommended daily benchmark, stating that 'regular consumption of 2-3 units a day for women and 3-4 units a day for men does not lead to significant health risk'. We adopted the governments' definition of binge drinking as an accepted UK convention - this is not to imply that there is parental risk for all drinkers meeting these criteria
Putting it all together, we find that the true message today is that 2.6m children live in a household where the mother drinks more than two-thirds of a bottle of wine on one night of the week, or the father drinks three pints of Stella on one night of the week.

Yes, it's just more staggering hyperbolic cockwaffle. I mean, who can be stupid enough as to believe this shit?

Anne Milton, the public health minister, said the study "paints a shocking picture [...]"
Yep. Silly question, wasn't it?


Curmudgeon said...

Yes, and the lager bought for 26p a pint is so piss-weak it would have been legal under US Prohibition.

Anonymous said...

There are plus points for guzzling
cheap plonk at home ,no rip off
taxis,smoke your head off and best
of all ,no hand wafters,semi dead
non smokers,mind melting Tv football,yellow striped landlords
and the real pits,froth sniffing
CAMRA nesbits.
Admitted a can of French Economy
may not compare with a mug of local best but to be free of the
current crop of stale mutants who now frequent pubs is joy in itself.

Cant wait to get back to normal
Real pubs with real men and women

Kulmbacher Dreamer

manwiddicombe said...

So when I go to the pub on ONE night per week and have 3 pints of ale before going home to bed I'm putting my kids at risk am I?

Erm .. .. .. .. why the fuck hasn't Cleggeron announced that Don Shenker is unemployed? Would save us nearly £1 million per year and stop me wanting to scream with rage.

The witch from Essex said...

'They' are coming for you now !!
Where were you when 'they' came for the smokers ?
Nowhere to be seen.
You will be the next group to be systematically 'denormalised'

Watch out you 'chubby' folk....You are most definitely next !!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Man Widdicombe: "So when I go to the pub on ONE night per week and have 3 pints of ale before going home to bed I'm putting my kids at risk am I?"

Err, yes. I read it in the MSM so it must be true.

Leg-iron said...

Wahey! Alcohol awareness week! Must stock up.

I appear to have only managed 10 units tonight which means I'm letting the side down a bit. The Scottish average will be lower in next week's figures. Sorry guys, I'll boost them back up next week.

Did you know that the American woman who wants to whip the danglies off druggies is also offering £100 a nut to alkies? Next, smokers, chubbies, disabled, and anyone generally not approved of.

Since I'm old enough not to care, I'm thinking about taking the money for the disarmament op.

That's nearly ten bottles of pretty good malt, after all. After which I won't even remember what it's for, anyway. Then again, these days I only have to remember to dust it.

Excuse me, I've just become aware of a bottle of Bombay Sapphire at the back of the drinks cupboard...

I can go with this alcohol awareness thing, in my own way.

Anonymous said...

if it is not the alcohol damaging the kids. Then what is making them the way they are?

Timdog said...

Ahhh, Alcohol Awareness Week. Reminds me of when a uni buddy and I had a crack at a 100-unit week. Not easy, even as a student, but we nailed it with a day to spare and pushed on to 115 or so. We were immensely aware of how awesome we were, and how much fun we were having.

All these articles are so Brass Eye, except it's not satire of course. I think Chris Morris could do a lot worse than a one-off "Boozageddon" Brass Eye Special, frankly the "Youngsters can get drunk for half the price of a bar of chocolate" can go straight in there.

I can see Bernard Manning now. ""One kiddy on booze cried all the water out of his body. Just imagine how his mother felt. It's a fucking disgrace."

Anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about should go here ( then onto Amazon and buy them.

I am Stan said...

Grrrrrr......I need a drink!

Anonymous said...

Sterilising alchies ????
Sterilising druggies ????
Why not ? they might as well join
the smokers ,drinkers and landlords
not a pair of bollocks between them
As a devout Christian I would
normally have little truck with
sterilising,however in the case of
publicans,zealots and CAMRA freaks
I could make an exception, oh and
of course,Bolshy untermenschen

Dick Puddlecote said...

Timdog: Top comment. You're right that, in these times of life imitating satire, Brass Eye wouldn't look anything out of the ordinary. It would be just another current affairs programme.

Paul said...

This reet boils my pish, so it does.

Really, these sorts of people just hate anyone having any fun, ever. Doesn't really matter to them whether it's sex, drugs, alcohol, reading, the Internet, food or anything. They have miserable lives and the only enjoyment they get is making other people's lives miserable.

I always think to myself whenever I frequent swinging or BDSM forums (I'm neither but I have an interest in the subject - human sexuality is a fascinating thing) and some of the people there call for a prohibitionist stance on alcohol, I just think - you'll be next, you devious, perverted swine. Loads of people hate the idea of people enjoying their sexuality, just as people hate boozers. Want to be next?

The freedom to go to hell in our own sweet way is paramount. No. Compromise.

And breathe.

Mark Wadsworth said...

YAY! Three cheers for 'Alcohol Awareness Week'!

I've been celebrating by gathering first hand evidence on the effects of alcohol consumption.

So far, what puzzles me, is the more you drink, the thirstier you feel when you wake up. I'll look into this a bit further this evening and maybe I'll be able to update you all tomorrow.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Hang about here, what's a "100 unit week"?

Isn't that equivalent to about 50 pints, i.e. seven pints per day? That's pretty impressive stuff, but not out of the ordinary, surely?

Timdog said...

Mark, it sounds easy when you put it like that, but it does bcome quite tough by day 4 'cos 7 pints certainly leaves a mark, at least on me. My pal's quite a big chap and he cruised through it, but we were quite proud.
Probably wouldn't make it now though tbf!

Curmudgeon said...

100 units is actually only 35 pints of Stella or Abbot, so you could do it by having 5 pints a day, or maybe even 4 pints and a chaser of a double 35ml whisky.

Or say 2 pints at lunchtime, and two plus the whisky in the evening.

Not saying I've ever gone for it myself, but put that way it doesn't sound too daunting.

Some people could probably do that without anyone ever thinking they were remotely heavy drinkers.

Leg-iron said...

100 units is less than four bottles of whisky.

Ah. I'll shut up now, before they send the van round for me.

Timdog said...

Alright, alright, I'll just put a skirt on and prance around! I am impressed with the reaction, most people I tell are horrified, I'm clearly amongst the right people here!