Friday, 7 September 2012

Am I drinking too much in old age?

Just as I finished reading Christopher Snowdon's latest article, BBC Breakfast began promoting Panorama's upcoming prohibitionist propaganda.

Spurred on by a viewer's email about a grandfather who (shock!) enjoys whisky, Louise Minchin felt obliged to ask: "perhaps we should leave the elderly alone".

Of course, this was just an excuse for her interlocutor, Joan Bakewell ("the government's former voice of older people") to explain why we shouldn't. A small amount of social drinking is ok, you see, but we mustn't drink every day, and never alone and never in excess of the government's unit limits. She herself was guilty of everyday drinking.

Snowdon's article is well worth reading. As well as the Panorama programme, he considers a BBC 'news' piece from yesterday Drink firms 'target young online', Alcohol Concern Cymru claims.

You might assume ... 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.

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