Monday, 19 November 2012

A child at 24?

What The Metro wants you to believe 
Shock-horror headline in The Metro: "Sobering thought: British children blame cheap booze for drunkenness." The article went on: "They told researchers that alcohol promotions encouraged excessive drinking, pointing out it was 'cheaper to buy a three-litre bottle of cider than buy a ticket to go to the cinema'. The 16- to 24-year-olds also claimed there was a widespread culture of 'drinking to get drunk'."

Hang on: 16 to 24 year olds are children? All in that age range are old enough to have a job, pay taxes, get married, have children and for those over 18, buy alcohol, vote and risk their lives going to war. So who's doing this study? Our old friend, fake charity Alcohol Concern (AC). Fake, because, as I've pointed out before, nearly all of their funding comes from taxes, which makes it a quango with tax relief in my book. AC also claim that alcohol is now 44 per cent more affordable now than it was in 1980. I don't know how they work that out, but using an inflation calculator on the Bank of England website, I've calculated that beer prices in pubs have gone up at more than twice the rate of inflation in the last 40 years. How 44% cheaper fits in with that I've no idea.

Meanwhile two studies, one on the UK and one in the USA, both suggest that more intelligent children grow up to drink alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children. Click here for more information: I wonder why AC and our compliant press haven't publicised this?

The Metro has clearly just printed the AC press release without applying any critical faculties whatsoever, but that's typical of what our free press does on this issue. Judge for yourself here, if you can be bothered.

P.S. I've done some checking on the internet. Beer was 35p in 1980, so using the Bank of England inflation calculator, that was the equivalent of £1.23 in 2011, which makes a pint more than 200% dearer nowadays in real terms.


  1. How much is a cinema ticket nowadays? Does this statistic maybe suggest that is too dear, rather than drink too cheap?

  2. A standard ticket is £8.80 at my local cinema, so I think you have a point there.

  3. I believe the main issue is teenagers drinking outside the controlled environment of pubs and bars. This means they don't actually learn how to drink socially and responsibly. The price of drink is a side issue that is unlikey to be solved by a minimum price although this would mean the demise of cheap strong "cider". No bad thing in my opinion.

  4. I agree completely, Tom, and made a simlar point here last year.

  5. They are all at it. Didn't I read that a hospital admission counts as "alcohol related" if you have drunk alcohol in the last week before admission?

  6. Is there an address we could write to, in order to challenge their ludicrous statements?

  7. Tandleman: it wouldn't surprise me. The police apparently classify a road accident as alcohol-related when a driver has had a legal drink, even when the accident was clearly not caused by alcohol.

    Geoff: Metro contact details are here. I may chase it up.

  8. The anti drinks lobby say alcohol is more affordable rather can costly. That's because wages have gone up more than inflation. The person on an 'average' wage can therefore afford more of everything, including beer.

    Its changing the rules to suit their arugement.


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