Wednesday 14 May 2014

Official: There Really Is No Booze Britain 'Epidemic'

It's a tough job being an anti-alcohol trougher these days.

You see, they have to try to sell the idea that Britain is in the grip of a booze epidemic despite the incontrovertible fact that alcohol consumption has been declining here for a decade now. It's a regular theme of this blog that - very inconveniently - official statistics show our booze intake is reducing at the same rate as the hysterical shrieking from alcohol prohibitionists is increasing. So it must come as a knife in the back to this miserable, beleaguered group that even their fellow health obsessives - the unelected WHO - have now weakened their hand further.

On Monday, the WHO launched their latest report on global alcohol use and, you guessed it, they confirmed that there is no 'booze Britain' epidemic worth its salt. Not only does it show once again that alcohol consumption has been falling in recent times, it also proves that - far from there being a catastrophic rise in alcohol abuse - there has been no real change in our habits for at least 40 years.

File that in the drawer marked things you won't read in the mainstream media.

What is worse for alcohol controllers, though, is that their usual excuse for declining consumption has also been blitzed by the WHO. 

Sadly, the BBC don't keep radio recordings for more than a week, but if you'd tuned in to Radio 5 in November last year you would have heard regular anti-alcohol mouthpiece Nick Sheron dismissing the fact that consumption is going down by saying that much of the reduction is due to the greater proportion of ethnic minorities - many of whom shun alcohol - in our society.

It's a trick often used by those in the temperance movement, as illustrated by the Institute of Alcohol Studies when trying to explain why youngsters are increasingly not drinking according to ONS figures.
The report does not analyse the findings in relation to religion or ethnicity and so it is impossible to gauge the impact of the growth in the numbers of schoolchildren from non-British indigenous backgrounds, some of which proscribe the use of alcohol. In 2011 the Department for Education announced that in England around 25% of children in state schools were from ethnic minorities, and the proportion is growing rapidly.
However, the Economist has produced a very interesting graphic which blows this hypothesis out of the water. Using WHO data, instead of focussing on just per capita consumption it also illustrates the amount consumed per drinker ... and the UK is way down in 95th position.

As Snowdon notes at the IEA, this is a bit of a problem for Alcohol Concern. 
Per capita consumption in Britain is the 25th highest in the world - which is still considerably lower than the Daily Mail would have you believe - but it is only 95th when you look at it per drinker. This interesting statistic was entirely ignored by the spokeswoman for Alcohol Concern when she was asked to comment....
Emily Robinson, Deputy Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern told Huffington Post UK via email: “It’s a tragedy for every one of us that the UK is wallowing amongst the worst 25 countries in the world for alcohol intake. 
“Because of this lives are being needlessly lost and even more ruined by ill health. Sadder still is that the Government knows what needs to be done to turn this bleak picture around...
She then called for minimum pricing and advertising bans, as her job requires, but it is odd to complain that the UK is "wallowing amongst the worst 25 countries in the world" just because it has more (moderate) drinkers. Groups like Alcohol Concern claim that they are against excessive drinking, not drinking per se. If so, the 'consumption per drinker' figure is much more relevant to their cause. As the blue dots on the left side of the chart show, per capita consumption figures are as much a measure of the number of teetotallers as anything. The problem Emily Robinson identifies could be solved by a surge of Islam and Methodism, but that would not affect heavy drinkers.
So the WHO has quite brilliantly skewered the ethnic argument from the likes of Sheron and Robinson because they simply can't have it both ways. If they want to look at just the rates of those who drink - that is, strip out the people who are teetotal - there are 94 nations with a greater 'booze epidemic' than us.

However, if they insist on sticking to the per capita ranking to advance their agenda, we are 25th but - by their own admission - the proportion of ethnic minority children in schools who will grow up to reject alcohol is "growing rapidly" so our rank will swiftly improve.

Nothing, then, for alcohol campaigners to do but sit and wait, eh? Or maybe we could sack some seeing as their job is being handled by demographics without their input.


Rursus said...

Keep in mind that the WHO is saying: " Alcohol-Related Deaths Hit 3.3 Million in 2012" and ""More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption," said Dr. Oleg Chestnov, WHO assistant director-general for noncommunicable diseases and mental health."

3.3 Million Deaths.... out of 7.2 Billion human beings are only 0,046 % of the worldpopulation!!!

Over 99,9 % are _not_ dying because of alcohol related deseases!

Only 0,046 % are dying because of alcohol related deseases!

Because of the 0,046 % the 99,9 % had to be punished (higher tax) and gagged (prohibition) ???


Rin Tin Tin said...

Dont forget ,in the last 10 years 3 million Brits("drinkers") have departed to be replaced by 4 million ,not known for downing a few pints on a regular basis,
As the English way of life ,it's traditions,it's culture,as these are crucified
on the altar of left wing/Liberal Ideology and health freakery,the question is,
who will fight and who will stay silent????????????
Whats the use of so many barking dogs if none can bite ?

truckerlyn said...

Good point on culture. It seems that our own cultures are being eroded while those of 'ethnic minorities' are booming as government, both local and national bend over backwards to accommodate cultures alion to those of OUR country! No wonder they all want to come here!