It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that, if statistics were released showing the whole nation had foresworn alcohol and climbed on the water wagon, the Daily Mail could still spin it into an alcohol scare story. Such is my reaction to today’s offering from the Temperance Gazette, entitled; “Middle-aged women now drink even more than their daughters, as doctors warn NHS is swamped by ‘silent alcohol epidemic’“.
The actual story is that young women are drinking less than past figures have indicated, and that the older age groups are drinking on average well below the arbitrarily-chosen “safe limit” of 14 units per week. Disastrous news for the fear-mongering moral panickers, you might think, but they are ever-ingenious. Firstly they point out two obvious no-shit-Sherlocks. that some women don’t drink at all, and, thus, some must drink more than the average. Secondly they draw attention to another obvious fact, that older people cost the NHS more money than younger people.
The Daily Mail’s Alcohol Advisory Panel
The wonderful thing, for control-freak authoritarians, in what they call a ‘silent epidemic’ of middle-class, middle-age boozing, is that, unlike a load of pissed-up youngsters brawling and spewing in the town centre on a Friday or Saturday night which might actually require something concrete and measurable to be done about it, such as arresting people and dragging them up before the beak, no action at all is required with a pseudo-problem that doesn’t exist.