Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Don’t worry - drink and be merry

H/t to Jeff Pickthall for this excellent article appearing in the Spectator.

The government acts as if booze is the root cause of all our social problems, says Leah McLaren, but it’s not. Drinking is an important part of British culture, the pub is the hub of the community, and health warnings can even be counterproductive.
She quotes from Professor David Hanson (for once a prof who talks sense), who says:
There is this idea that almost any alcohol is bad and it’s moving very quickly across Europe,’ he says of the recent spate of anti-binge-drinking campaigns sweeping Britain and continental Europe. ‘You’ve got this idea that alcohol is poison and that we need to reduce consumption and that will solve all our social problems. That simply doesn’t bear out historically. In the United States, for instance, prohibition actually introduced the practice of heavy drinking by making liquor an illicit substance.
and explains how an anti-drink crusade will simply lead to responsible people enjoying themselves less while actually making the situation of genuine problem drinkers worse.

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