Saturday, 10 March 2012

The daily vice

Some shock findings here from the Institute of the Bleeding Obvious that young people are more likely to binge-drink, but the middle-aged and elderly are more likely to drink every day. No surprise there, then – anyone with any experience of life could have told them that the young are more keen on the big weekend night out, but once they get a bit older they will settle down into a regular routine of moderate drinking.

But what is concerning about this report is the evidence of the growing demonisation of daily drinking.

When it comes to men of pensionable age, more than one in five opens a can or bottle of beer, wine or spirits every day.

The figures shift the focus away from young people when it comes to the abuse of alcohol.
Sorry, but in what way is having one or two drinks every day “the abuse of alcohol”? As I’ve said before, if you’re regularly having heavy sessions at the weekend, it may make sense to have a day or two off to allow your liver to recover, but, given the same overall level of consumption, I fail to see how having a drink every day is going to result in any worse health outcomes than staying off it for two days a week and having a bit more on the other five days. Indeed, very often the ritual and routine of drinking is the means by which people keep it under control.

How long will it be before some granddad is stigmatised as a “problem drinker” because he has a single daily Scotch as a nightcap?

It’s also worth repeating the classic quotation from Kingsley Amis that “no pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home at Weston-super-Mare.”


  1. My late mother (died two years ago aged 90) has a friend who was a couple of years older than her and is still, to the best of my knowledge, going strong. She liked to smoke five to ten fags a day and enjoyed a couple of stiff whiskies in the evening. A few years ago, she had a mini-stroke and was told sternly by her doctor to pack in the fags and the Demon Barleycorn. Being an ex-Warrant Officer in the WRAF, she was luckily made of stronger stuff than to take any notice of this nonsense.

  2. More denormalisation, I fear. I expect our honourable MPs, one of whom has just been done for assault & battery while completely leathered, to take due note.

  3. One presumes that the journalists who write this scurilous and scare-mongering nonsense don't enjoy the odd tipple themselves?

  4. Blimey! I can't remember the last time I had a day go by without having a drink! I'm obviously a serious abuser of alcohol, despite the fact I almost never drink during the day and can't remember the last time I got drunk, it was so long ago.

    What utter bilge. What complete tripe. And people get paid for writing this garbage?

    Useful idiots all.

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
    – H. L. Mencken

  5. in the words of Winston Churchill, "My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them ..." - nuff said!

  6. I can't find it at the moment, but I'm sure that a couple of months ago there was a report on the Queen's daily routine which suggested that she has a drink every day, and usually several. Doesn't seem to do her any harm.

  7. The Queen Mother had a gin & Dubonnet at 12 noon sharp every day. I don't think it was just the one either. In the evening, she switched to a brand of champagne that Veuve Cliquot made especially for her. Didn't do her much harm.
    Prince Philip has a variant of Double Diamond (yes, I know) brewed especially for him and he does a few bottles a day. 92 this year?
    Denis Thatcher was said to be invariably over the limit after lunch. Died aged 80-odd. Smoked like a chimney as well.

  8. I agree with the sentiments expressed. Co-indicentally I blogged on this theme a few days back.
    How do we hit back against this anti-alcohol campaign?


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