Drink firms 'target young online', Alcohol Concern Cymru claimsCampaigners claim drinks firms are using the internet and social media to evade restrictions on promoting alcohol to young people.
You might assume from this that some sort of research has been published to support allegations of wrong-doing (for it is forbidden to target the 'young' with alcohol advertisements). Alas, there is no mention of it. Instead we get a bunch of quotes from Alcohol Concern which spread unsubstantiated claims designed to advance their campaign for a total ban on alcohol sponsorship. As is typical of the nation's broadcaster when the temperance movement is involved, there are no balancing quotes from drinkers, the drinks industry, freedom-lovers or anyone else who might object to neo-prohibitionism.
And then in the Guardian, we have this:
Minimum alcohol price 'could save 5,000 older people's lives a year'Researchers say 50p-a-unit minimum price would cut alcohol-related deaths among pensioners in England.
Forgive me if I sound jaded when I discuss these people's crystal balls, but it was only six months ago that a 50p minimum price was predicted to save 2,000 lives a year across the entire population. The government-funded sock puppet website www.minimumpricing.info says that it will save exactly 1,000 lives, again across the entire population. Suddenly saving 5,000 lives only amongst pensioners seems to be upping the ante somewhat, no? (The BBC is running the same story, but incorporates the old trick of multiplying the figure over a decade, hence 'Minimum alcohol price 'would save 50,000 pensioners'.)
Academics at Sheffield University produced the estimate for next Monday's edition of the BBC's Panorama programme...
Which is, of course, the natural place to début serious and impartial scientific research.
...which highlights the growing problem of over-65s drinking dangerously.
By my calculation, this is at least the third occasion in the last 18 months that Panorama has been used as a vehicle for temperance campaigning (see here, for the most egregious example). It really is time to put that once-great show out of its misery.
Setting the unit price at 50p would mean that a cheap bottle of vodka would start costing £13 rather than £9 and it would address the fact that alcohol is 44% cheaper now than it was in 1980.
Firstly, alcohol is not cheaper than it was in 1980. Whether measured in cash terms of real terms, alcohol is more expensive than it was in 1980. It is more affordable than it was in 1980, true, but so is nearly everything; as I mentioned on Wednesday, average incomes have doubled in real terms since then. The Guardian has made a mistake that no economist would make of confusing affordability with inflation-adjusted cost. If you want to see if something has become more or less expensive over time, you look at the cost in real terms, nothing more.
Secondly, why would anyone want to "address the fact" that something has become cheaper? Is there some stone tablet lying around upon which it is written that 1980 was the optimum year for prices? And who the hell do these people think they are to be trying to squeeze pensioners of their savings?
A spokesman for Alcohol Concern, the [fake] charity representing alcohol services, said life-changing events such as retirement or bereavement could prompt older people to start drinking too much.
That is absolutely none of your business, you little pipsqueak.
"Most often, it's something that goes on quietly in the home without disturbing anyone."
Yes, that must be intolerable to you curtain-twitching prodnoses, mustn't it?
A planned Home Office consultation on minimum pricing has been delayed but will finally start this autumn, a spokesman said.
Tremendous. A chance for the public to put their views across so the government can hear both sides and come to a carefully considered opinion about whether to bring in minimum pricing or not. Which way will Caesar's thumb turn? It's far too early to tell.
"We will introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol, ensuring for the first time that alcohol can only be sold at a sensible and appropriate price," he added.
Hey ho, at least we know where we stand. Don't think I'll bother responding to that "consultation".