Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Another Government funded health body pushing for tax hikes on alcohol

The health fascists are at it again.

In a story, largely picked up and uncritically reported by the media, the North West Public Health Observatory NWPHO are pushing the idea that middle class drinkers regularly indulge in drinking ’hazardous’ levels of alcohol.

'Hazardous' drinking is defined as regularly consuming between 22 and 50 units a week for men. Guys - That would make you a hazardous drinker if you often have a pint and a half a day.

For women, hazardous drinking is defined as regularly consuming 15 to 35 units a week. Ladies – If my sums are correct that means you are a hazardous drinker if you often have a glass of wine a day.

So then. More of the current practice of picking a range of figures that is slanted to take in normal behaviour and allowing that to ‘inflate’ the results. Results that are then given an alarming semantically loaded label. A label that conceals the actual range and can be used to beat up on anyone who queries the figures.

Exactly why are they pushing this agenda? Someone has to pay for all that lost cigarette tax if the Government are to be kept in the style they are accustomed to.

Tellingly, having effectively invented, or at least massively inflated, a so-called ‘problem‘ the Director of the (you guessed it) NWPHO, Professor Mark Bellis, is pushing for ‘substantial’ increases in the price of alcohol to help to tackle it.

Now who funds the NWPHO? Why the people who tax us of course, the Government, through the Department of Health.

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The average French person drinks 60.13 Ltrs of wine per annum. That is over 80 bottles or around 321 glasses. Around the bottom end of the ‘Hazardous’ range.

So that would make the entire French nation (who are reputed to know a thing or two about wine and be reasonably healthy with it) hazardous drinkers according to the NWPHO…

4 comments:

Sir Philip Johnston-Higham said...

Pint and a half a day heavy drinking? Are they off their brains?

Phil A said...

Exactly!

The technique seems to be to pick a range of figures.

One end is reasonable to include the other is effectively normal behaviour. That ensures you get a big percentage of your sample included in your range, inflating the result.

Then, rather than quote the range, you disguise it, hiding it behind a term, or phrase, so people don’t question it, or cotton on. The more dramatic the better, in this case.

Then you can push it as ‘medical science’, rather than dodgy government stats - and no one will question it.

Virtually all the media are just lapping it up and repeating it without question as a public health thing with some talking heads for good measure.

There is some truth in it, for the top end of the range, but the figs are skewed.

MJW said...

I don't know, surely if all the health warnings that come out are true I'd be dead by now; my liver would have packed up from my 25 - 30 units of beer a week, my heart would have packed up from the daily packet of crisps I have on my tea break, my lungs would be wrecked from sitting in smokey pubs, my nervous system would have collapsed through a lack of balance in my diet etc etc... It's quite lucky I haven't though as it means I can still pay taxes whilst I'm killing myself.

Phil A said...

MJW, You might be forgiven for thinking you could actually live forever, if only you heeded all the advice the government puts out.