Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Alcohol Concern's Christmas Money-Making Scam

Hey, we knew Alcohol Concern were short of money now they've been dragged kicking and screaming off the taxpayer teat, but how about this for a scam! (click to enlarge and see highlighted text)

Y'see, the problem this miserable bunch have is that when their funding went, so did their full-time fundraiser, meaning that they have to now live up to their charitable status by doing what we expect charities to do (and many expect they used to do even when being bankrolled from taxation). Beg for money. So that image is front and centre on their latest wheeze.

Now, an ideal way to promote this money-making exercise would be getting lots of column inches in newspapers, but it's a tricky thing to pull off. Of course, if there was a week in the run-up to Christmas - say,  'Alcohol Awareness Week', or something - it would be a great excuse to bombard the media with just about any old tripe, wouldn't it?

For those who may not have noticed, this week is - indeed - being called Alcohol Awareness Week. And, yes, the collective miseries are bombarding the media with an articulated lorry load of tripe. Alcohol Concern most prominently of all.

Highly-respected beer blogger Pete Brown sets the scene very well.
If I were going to be very naive, I'd say that Alcohol Awareness Week would be the perfect occasion to draw attention to the fact that, while there is still undoubtedly a problem with alcohol abuse in the UK (there always will be, so long as it is on sale, and if it were not on sale that problem would manifest itself elsewhere, in more dangerous substances) the scale of that problem is abating - at a dramatic rate. 
This is great news for the country as a whole. It's great news for health professionals and the burden on the NHS, and it's great news for groups who are potentially at risk, such as young people who may drink more than they want to thanks to peer pressure. 
But it's bad news for groups like Alcohol Concern, because it undermines their case for even greater restrictions on the sale and availability of alcohol, particularly their poorly though-out and ill-substantiated argument for a 50p per unit minimum price.  That's why they have now begun to ignore the statistical data gathered by the government and the NHS, and create their own.
Ring a bell with anyone? Well, if that doesn't, how about this?
They do this, and they dare, they have the gall, to say that it is the alcohol industry that is behaving irresponsibly.
Do I need to paint a picture here? I'm sure we've seen it all before - it's simply following the template (something Brown has noticed himself, by the way). Please do go read Pete describe what Alcohol Concern did next, as it's a prime example of prohibitionist distortion of the truth. And, in light of the aforementioned begging for handouts, a self-enriching scheme which is arguably rooted in fraudulent activity.

For further reading, I'd urge you to then pop over to Phil Mellows as he walks you through how Alcohol Concern cherry-pick eight year old statistics as if they're current, and couple them with other utter rot to construct a cost of hangovers to the press which bears no resemblance to reality or official statistics.

And this is the quite astonishing garbage you are going to be reading in the MSM for the rest of this week. All cobbled together from shoddy or cleverly-selected studies, and all designed for one purpose and one purpose only ... to fill the pockets of those whose job is to lie from the moment they wake till the second they sink into their beds to dream up even more crap to spout the next day.

Pete Brown's denouement couldn't have been better worded.
Alcohol Concern is getting increasingly desperate in its attempts to convince us of the existence of an entirely fictitious moral panic. 
Shame on them.

But then, why should they care about the truth when their prosperous new year depends on trotting out fake statistics, eh?


Legiron said...

31 days boozeless? It's been quite some time since I managed 31 hours, so I'm afraid I won't be able to help them scam money from suckers.

Mark.S said...

Really they should change their name to something more fitting...Alcohol Hysteria
sounds about right.

Lysistrata Eleftheria said...

This is hilarious and delicious. You, Jay and many others have already trashed their abuse of statistics.
I do look forward to the two ASHs' having to beg in the streets for money. And all the Smokefree Coalitions as the public money runs out...and watching their houses of cards come tumbling down...

Alan Bates said...

"Can you stay off the booze for 31 days?"
Yes. But why the **** should I?
**** Choose whichever expletive you prefer.