Libertarian meat eater, right wing in the sense of conservative with a small c.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The poor are stupid....

....according to the Alcohol Health Alliance, (AHA), anyway. I have a number of problems with this lot but lets just have a quick look at their solutions:

1). Dedicated funding for alcohol treatment and prevention strategies
2). Increased taxation on alcohol
3). A ban on alcohol advertising before 9.00 pm and in cinemas apart from 18 rated films
4). Promotional material to carry information on health related harm
5). The drink driving limit to be reduced to the EU standard of 0.5g/l and a near zero limit for new drivers

1). Is simply a plea for more money by the organisations involved in such work, (check the member list at the bottom of the link). Most of these are charities and it is entirely reasonable for them to get involved in fundraising, it does seem like a cheeky way of doing so though.

2). You can just see the meeting can't you;

"There's terrible problems with pissed people!"
"OMG what can we do?"
"Lets raise taxes, that'll stop the proles in their tracks!"
"But I thought middle class drinkers were the problem, a bit more tax won't stop them drinking!"
"Never mind that spurious bollocks, the proles are too thick to think for themselves. We must do so for them!"

3). Will make sod all difference to alcohol consumption. We already have very tightly controlled regulation of this. People do not drink because they have seen a sodding advert.

4). Bollocks. We know that alcohol can harm us, not only is all the information freely available but hangovers are rather indicative. We do not need "YOU ARE EVIL" shouted at us every time we have a beer.

5). It makes no sense to have two separate drink drive levels. There is a possible advantage in having a zero limit in that it would at least be easy to work out how much you can get away with drinking. However, any reduction would also require justifying, (some data showing that such a measure would reduce accidents). As our abilities to regulate anything are going to be taken away by the EU ratchet clause it seems a bit pointless to bother though, the EU never requires that an idea be sensible to think that it's a good.

The AHA have kicked all this off with a startling statistic:

"Alcoholic liver cirrhosis has increased by 95% since 2000, and by 36% over the last two years to 2006 and is still increasing"

Now this gives rise to a few questions of the lies, damn lies or statistics sort. I can find no link to anything other than the above statement about where the above numbers come from so no reliability, methodology etc assessment can be made, (I have e-mailed the Royal College of Physicians, (RCP), who seem to be coordinating the AHA for further info).

Well, I will let you know if and when I get a reply but I would like to leave you with a quote from this study, (pdf), by the RCP from 2001:

"By historical standards current levels of consumption are not remarkable....."

UPDATE: I do like the Daily Mash's take on this one.


Angry Steve said...

The only reason alcohol consumption is up is that folk who have jobs and are robbed blind by the government, and lied to by the bansturbators and do-gooders need a small sherry to relax at the end of a day when you've earned almost fuck all for yourself...

Of course, long term dole cashing filth probably need a drink since sitting on your arse all day is such hard work.

This latest advice just weeks after the admission the safe consumption guidelines were made up on the spot. Next they'll be telling us salt is good for us again. Oh wait...

And blogger ate my last comment. Bastards.

Falco said...

Bloody blogger. I have yet to hear from the RCP but I will chase them up tomorrow.