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BBC channels Anti-Saloon League

A BBC article on alcohol consumption statistics features a stupid comment:

The figures also suggest that alcohol consumption is increasingly a problem among the middle classes. Men and women in “managerial and professional” households drank an average of 15.1 units a week.

The same study also shows that men drink, on average, twice as much as women. Hence, the average professional man drinks around 20 units and the average professional woman drinks around 10 units.

So, even based on the insanely low guidelines of 14 units per week for women and 21 for men (a man would have to drink 63 units a week to reach the same risk of death as a teetotaller), the figures actually suggest that alcohol consumption is not a problem among the managerial and professional classes.

(yes, I also believe the strong libertarian case, that even if someone is downing a bottle of gin every lunchtime, that’s only a problem to the extent that it causes them to inflict misery and suffering on others. However, I’m not impressed by the view that this is only relevant when applied to feckless chavvy teens and not also, say, surgeons to the royal court – especially as incidents like Gary Newlove’s murder are extremely rare whereas violent domestic abuse is extremely common…)

  1. Neil
    January 22, 2008 at 11:08 pm | #1

    The 'story' seems to be that people with more disposable income buy and drink more booze than those with less. Next up, dog bites man.

    And they're probably drinking decent wines and beers, which has to be healthier than the diet of gutrot like MD 20/20, Thunderbird and White Lightning I subsisted on back in my less well-off days.

  2. January 22, 2008 at 11:27 pm | #2

    The ’story’ seems to be that people with more disposable income buy and drink more booze than those with less. Next up, dog bites man.

    I think there's -slightly- more of a story than dog bites man – there's a bit of a stereotype that poor people spend their days spending their benefits (taxpayers' money, mind you!) on Special Brew and then drunkenly murdering their benefactors; and puncturing that is no bad thing.

    20/20? Filth… (both you and the drink, I mean)

  3. Neil
    January 23, 2008 at 1:03 am | #3

    Filth indeed. I spent about three years wondering why Sunday was chronic indigestion day before the penny dropped. Ahh, but it was so easy to smuggle those little bottles into the club…

    Christ I feel old.

  4. January 23, 2008 at 3:26 am | #4

    Sorry that Trackback's dumped so much crap. It's automated, as I'm sure you know, and obviously needs looking at.

  5. January 23, 2008 at 9:33 pm | #5

    Fixed. Lucky you commented – otherwise I'd've almost certainly mistaken it for one of those "fake blog that automatically generates articles and then leaves trackbacks to them" bits we all know and love…

  6. JVIP
    January 23, 2008 at 11:02 pm | #6

    I've worked in DV for many years. Like addictions to substances, it straddles the class system. I've always favoured a marxist perspective of criminology suggesting that rich people tell poor people what to do.


  1. January 22, 2008 at 5:24 pm | #1

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