Thursday 17 December 2009

Starting them early

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson has announced that he is going to step down in the middle of next year. For many, of course, that couldn’t come a day too soon. Today he’s come out with another load of prohibitionist nonsense suggesting that parents giving their children alcohol is likely to encourage binge drinking in later life. Once again, as I pointed out back in January, he completely fails to make the distinction between irresponsible parents who couldn’t care less about what their children are doing, and responsible parents who introduce their children to alcohol in a controlled and supervised manner.

I am not David Cameron’s greatest fan, but surely he was right with this last year:
The Tory leader said his friends with the biggest alcohol problems were those who were ‘never allowed to drink anything at home’.

Those who had been allowed small amounts to drink at mealtimes were now the most responsible drinkers, he said.

Even Sir Ian Gilmore, who normally sings in harmony with Fat Liam, conceded that:
We know that adults who drink sensibly tend to pass these habits on and that some families choose to introduce alcohol to their children younger than 15 in a supportive environment.
The worry, of course, is that what is “guidance” today gets the force of law tomorrow, with children being put into care and their parents arrested for daring to give them a small glass of shandy with their Sunday lunch.

Raedwald very effectively dismisses Donaldson as someone suffering from a crazed compulsion about stopping other people drinking alcohol:
The one consolation with cranks like Donaldson is that they can quickly take up novel obsessions; perhaps convincing the French that eating cheese is bad, or advocating the health benefits of the German habit of walking about naked once you reach forty years of age. Perhaps all of these together; a shrill, naked little man prancing about opposite Parliament waving a 'No cheese, No wine' placard. That will get you taken seriously, Liam.
Edit: I’ve just spotted another good article on the same theme in today’s Telegraph by Cassandra Jardine: Why I will let my children drink alcohol. This reinforces the point made above:
My children all say that the thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds most likely to be found heading to the park with alcopops concealed in plastic bags, are those who come from homes where there is total prohibition.


  1. Very well put. What morons like Donaldson never admit is the pleasure drinking brings. As I remarked back here in March after some previous wankery from the idiot, "If you said every drinker received just £2-worth of pleasure from drinking alcohol every week, that’s £4.7 billion of drinking pleasure every year."

  2. Yo Curmudgeon..the sooner Donnyboy throws imself off a cliff the better..I`d drink shit loads of booze,scoff deep fried chicken wings and chain smoke a pack a Cubans in celebration..

    Youngsters need to be taught to respect alcohol and the best person to teach them is some one who mum and dad..its so fucking obvious my mind boggles as to why donnyboy dont get it...the twat!

    Of course there`s always stupid parents..but there always have and always will be..

  3. This business has clarified the situation for me; everything Donaldson says is wrong, so I now know what to do.

  4. I listened to Liam Donaldson on Radio 4 and the interviewer put David Cameron's statement to him. Surprisingly he seemed to agree - more or less - but then said that that point failed to address the main issue, which was underage teens drinking extra strong lagers and ciders away from adult scrutiny. Two separate issues entirely, I'd say, unless he's suggesting a small glass of wine with a meal will lead to Diamond White binges in the park. Sounds rather like the old "one spliff will lead to heroin addiction and death" argument.

  5. I am not David Cameron’s greatest fan either but I do sort off subscribe to the notion of 'broken Britain'. It started to break down from 1979 onwards, and I'm not sure how it will be fixed. Although one thing is for sure it will not be by prohibition.


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