Wednesday 7 August 2013

What Ian Gilmore Didn't Tell Northern Ireland Yesterday

Like a fraudulent salesman caught flogging snake oil and run out of town with six-shooters peppering his heels, the alcohol prohibitionist movement's biggest hope decided yesterday to scoot off to Northern Ireland and see if he has better luck with the wide-eyed provincials.
Prof Gilmore, a specialist in liver disease and chair of the European Alcohol and Health Forum Science Group, said: "Given the failure of the Westminster government to follow through on its earlier commitment to a minimum unit price for alcohol, there is a real opportunity for government in Northern Ireland to show the way in adopting this evidence-based public health policy."
Evidence-based? He's surely pulling our chain. You see, we can judge how good the evidence for minimum pricing is from the competency of those paid with your money to produce it.

Step forward Sheffield University whose policy-led report has been the basis for all of the public sector waste of taxpayer funds in this area for the past few years.

They've already been caught providing fantasy stats to the Guardian and to Panorama - for which the BBC had to apologise - and their assertions have been described by their own side as "not scientifically credible".

Sadly for Gilmore, it just gets worse for his 'evidence'.

The junk scientists at Sheffield University recently changed all their previous sure and certain predictions of how great minimum pricing was going to be, making absolutely sure that they erased all online copies of the original. There's a hint to why they did so in this exchange with John Holmes, one of Sheffield's propaganda research team.

I think the point being made is that they are just cocking around with fake figures on a shonky pound shop calculator, as always.

And that's just the half of it. Although the original has been quietly removed, some, ahem, clever jewel robbers saved it as a copy pdf. Here are a few more highlights of the difference between what they insisted was fact in 2009 to con Cameron into action, and what their revised report now claims.
2009: 45p minimum price would cut consumption by 4.3%
2013: 45p minimum price would cut consumption by 1.6% 
2009: It would save 344 lives in year 1 and 2,040 lives a year by year 10
2013: It would save 123 lives in year 1 and 624 lives a year by year 10 
2009: Alcohol admissions would be down by 66,200
2013: Alcohol admissions would be down by 23,700 
2009: Year one direct health savings of £58.6m and cumulative ten year saving of £1,074m
2013: Year one direct health savings of £25.3m and cumulative ten year saving of £417.2m 
2009: Total societal value of harm reduction £6.6bn
2013: Total societal value of harm reduction £3.4bn
Hmm, to any impartial observer, that would appear to be enough to hold fire on heavy-handed legislation, right? The obvious reaction from a political point of view is that the evidence is so weak and flakey that not even idiot politicians could place any faith in it.

Now, I've scoured Twitter - and other places where the normally loud-mouthed anti-fun brigade tend to accumulate - but they are incredibly quiet about this massive downgrading of these, err, cast-iron 2009 promises. In fact, I've never, ever, seen such startling silence accompanying a major new revelation of current health 'evidence'.

This is the principal plank on which alcohol prohibitionists have built the case for minimum pricing over the past four years, and it's all over the place. No wonder Sheffield are desperately trying to hide it and the likes of Prof Gilmore are slithering off to NornIron and keeping schtum about Sheffield altogether.

Of course, for the prohibitionist, this merely means that there should be a minimum price of 50p, 60p or even more. In fact, seeing as John Holmes reckons that inflation ruins the whole idea, why not an ever-moving feast index-linked to whatever fiscal measurement punishes the less well off the most, eh? Exactly as we who are opposed to minimum pricing have been correctly insisting would be the case all along.

It was probably wise, then, that Gilmore didn't think Sheffield's 'ground-breaking' research worth mentioning in his press released jolly to Northern Ireland. It's not good form in temperance circles to tell the truth admit that every statistic quoted by his whey-faced cheerleaders since 2009 has been 100% incorrect, now is it?

H/T Steve W


harleyrider1989 said...

evidence-based public health policy................err ROFLMAO

harleyrider1989 said...

Its the beginning of the end! Rep. Johnson who states,

”Rep. Johnson accuses the GOP of causing “irreparable harm to our Committee and our country”

Knows full well that once the ” JUNK SCIENCE” is exposed all of EPA’s
so called reputation is GONE and with it its regulatory powers!

We all remember the EPA study on environmental tobacco smoke!

Theres no better source to show the ability of EPA to be a political
science den of shame! Junk Science doesnt even begin to describe this
and many other agencies have done to smokers and others worldwide
because of their collective abuse and powers to regulate.

harleyrider1989 said...

House Dems fight subpoena seeking to liberate EPA’s secret science’

Posted on August 7, 2013 by Steve Milloy | 2 Comments

Here’s why House Science Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice
Johnson opposes the Committee’s recent vote to subpoena EPA’s secret

Summarized from her August 6 letter. [Our comments in bold brackets.]:

The subpoena was issued on a party-line vote. [Anyone remember Obamacare?]

The GOP refused to identify who would get the data. [Maybe the data will just be made freely available to the public that is burdened by the costly, good-for-nothing EPA rules.]

Dr. Stan Young asked for the data as an individual, not on
behalf of his employer the National Institute of Statistical Sciences
(NISS). [Why can't Stan with his PhD in statistics see the data?]

Medical privacy of study subjects would be violated. [False.
The data at issue involve no personal medical records. The data were
gathered by 70,000 American Cancer Society volunteers who asked their
friends, neighbors and relatives personal health questions like how much
they smoked, drank, ate, etc. There is no recognizable expectation of
privacy in these data.]

Data requester Jim Enstrom was terminated by UCLA. [While there is an ongoing lawsuit about Entrom's termination, UCLA terminated him because of his politically incorrect views on air pollution.]

Some of Jim Enstrom’s work on secondhand smoke was funded by
the tobacco industry and so giving him the American Cancer Society
health data is just giving it to the tobacco industry. [What?]

As a nurse, Rep. Johnson saw people die from heart disease and cancer, which she knows was caused by air pollution. [Show us a body, Eddie!]

There’s more in this letter before Rep. Johnson accuses the GOP of
causing “irreparable harm to our Committee and our country,” but instead
of fertilizing my garden next year, I thinking of having Rep. Johnson
come over and read this letter to it.

nisakiman said...

A couple of days ago I finished a job at a client's house, and sat and had a beer with him before I left. It was a can of imported beer (German, I think), and on the side of the can was one of those red circles with a red line through it, and in the circle was a silhouette of a pregnant woman. WTF? How much further down this road to perdition must we go?

Mark.S said...

But Sir Ian can always fall back on soundbites pocket money prices and cheaper than water....