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Stuff & Nonsense, Part 5

By now, even the casual Bulletin reader has likely noticed that I’ve been following Pete Brown’s brilliant refutation of his national health service’s attack on alcohol, beginning with, Stuff & Nonsense: The UK Health Select Committee Report On Alcohol. The first four parts of Pete’s rebuke have been published over the past few days, and now part five is up.

Today’s rebuke concerns hospital admissions and the burden on the health care system, a facetious claim made on both sides of the pond. Over here, for example, an accident where one of the passengers had been drinking is often classified as an alcohol-related accident. In the UK:

In terms of official figures, what they don’t tell you is that when they are compiled, there’s a sharp difference between hospital admission and deaths that are considered wholly attributable to alcohol, and those where alcohol is a secondary or partial factor. And guess what? Only 25% of total ‘alcohol related’ hospital admissions are judged to be entirely due to alcohol.

At best, that simply misleads the statistics, making them sound more alarming than they really are. But it gets even worse, and in some ways goes beyond what American Neo-Prohibitionsts have been willing to say, at least so far.

The Report [implies] that if you drink, you are more likely to be a rapist, a child abuser, a wifebeater, a suicide, and that the fact that you drink makes you so. As Phil [Mellows] pointed out when he addressed the rape issue, this is not only inaccurate, it is astonishingly offensive to drinkers.

We’ve had groups here use images of a syringe filled with beer, equating beer with heroin, but so far as I know, they haven’t called those of us who drink rapists … yet. But they do seem to believe that virtually every societal ill can be pinned on alcohol.

But when someone does something appalling and then says, “The drink made me do it,” they are denying personal responsibility for their actions and we tend to dismiss this as a lame excuse. The Report seems to buy it 100%.

I could go on and on, but it’s best if I just suggest at this point that you go over and read part 5, Alcohol related hospital admissions — and the cost of alcohol to the NHS — are soaring. It’s the longest so far, but definitely worth your time.

If this is new to you, start with Pete Brown’s Health Select Committee Report on Alcohol. Part One (of 10) was published Sunday, Alcohol consumption in the UK is increasing. On Monday, parts two, 25% of the UK population is drinking at hazardous or harmful levels, and three, Binge drinking is increasing, were published. Tuesday saw part four: Alcohol is becoming cheaper/more affordable, and today part five, Alcohol related hospital admissions — and the cost of alcohol to the NHS — are soaring, was published online. Once again, stay tuned.

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