Wednesday 14 December 2011

Repetition, repetition, repetition

Knock, knock, knock at the door they go—the incessant whining designed to make the government sigh and give in, with the forlorn hope that maybe they'll finally shut up and go away. We saw it with the smoking ban. We saw it with banning below-cost alcohol.

And do they ever shut up and go away?

They do not.

Ban cut-price alcohol to save lives, leading doctors warn

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, medical experts urge the Government to take “bold action” and follow the lead of Scotland by bringing in minimum prices for drinks.

Firstly, writing a letter to the Telegraph shouldn't be considered front page news, even in the Telegraph.

Secondly, quit it with this "bold action" stuff will you? You tried it last month...

The British Medical Association (BMA) is calling on ministers to bring in the "bold and courageous" ban for reasons of health rather than road safety.

There's nothing bold about putting up tax and banning things. It's cowardly and self-serving. Your attempts at flattery are nauseating and your cynicism is transparent.

Sir Ian [Gilmore—for it is he] is calling for a return to the higher prices of 20 years ago, when alcohol was about 50 per cent more expensive in real terms.

Does anybody understand what 'real terms' means any more? It means 'after adjustment for inflation', not 'compared with average wages'. As I never tire of pointing out, the Office for National Statistics has looked into this and concluded:

Between 1980 and 2008, the price of alcohol increased by 283.3%. After considering inflation (at 21.3%), alcohol prices increased by 19.3% over the period.

Actually, I do tire of pointing this out, so please stop it.

New figures were made public last week showing that twice as many people were being treated in hospital because of alcohol compared with 10 years ago.

New figures?! You must be kidding. The "twice as many people being treated in hospital because of alcohol" story appears more often than the crossword. It's done the rounds three times this year alone (in February, May and December).

In addition to reporting this "news" last week, the Telegraph reported it in May and August—using the same photo to illustrate it on each occasion. It was first reported back in 2008 and has appeared with unfathomable regularity ever since.

The repetition of the 'hospital admissions double' canard (and it is a canard) epitomises the campaign for minimum pricing, which is based on nothing more than a relentless, circling PR exercise by the UK Alcohol Health Alliance modelled on the smoking ban campaign. There is nothing in the article or the accompanying letter of any interest. None of it is new. It is the same hysterical half-truths masquerading as news.

And so, in the absence of anything interesting to write about, I will use the occasion to launch my new leisurewear collection. The Snowdon Winter 2011 collection includes two high quality white t-shirts (other colours are available) featuring simple but lovingly designed motifs which will give the wearer years of satisfaction.

Order now to avoid disappointment.


Xopher said...

Since when did medical training include a unit about the economics of drink and make these experts qualified to do more than comment on medical matters and treat the sick --- which they don't when they spend their time lecturing us.
Cut waiting lists - make them do their job.

Smoking Hot said...


Anonymous said...

Gilmore: 'One could end up looking evangelical' - 2008

"As one lobbyist put it there is no "magic bullet" with booze. With smoking there was passive smoking, but with alcohol it is different."

Anonymous said...

What effect will the demise the of the EU have on this ,after all most this nonsense funnels straight from the UN - WHO - EU - here.
It may certainly spell the end for a lot of useless quangos including I hope the "prod nosed variety".

Anonymous said...

Love the t-shirts. Hate the prohibitionists, but hey, a laugh is a laugh.

Keep the faith

manwiddicombe said...

I read the report that the inflation quote is taken from. In Appendix A it concludes that alcohol is 75% more affordable in 2008 than 1980.

Whatever that means??

Christopher Snowdon said...

It means that wages have gone up so much during that time that a pint of beer costs 0.06% of a weekly wage whereas it used to cost 0.11% (figures are purely theoretical, but you get the point).