17 December 2009


Ah, good old sir Liam, he was the one who warned us all about swine flu deaths...remember?

Now he's saying parents (specifically middle class ones) who let their teenage kids 'taste' booze will make them more likely to be heavy drinkers as adults

Any stats for that?

I'm not saying he's wrong...but if you've been wrong before you can be wrong again, right?

Far be for me to use anecdotal evidence - but I was tasting booze from about 14, drinking possibly too much at 17 and 18, but nowadays I barely drink at all - I got bored of it once I got away from the first-year student culture, and I'd have to blame my friends and the culture of binge-drinking far more than my parents for my occasional excesses back then, I was a teenager - teenagers are quite stupid

Yet, here I am, faculties in order, with a proper academic degree and writing in prose - we all know alcohol is harmful, worse than a lot of illegal drugs in many ways - but it's not a substantial risk to drink it, particularly in moderation, we have a life expectancy of what? 78? And we've been drinking the stuff for millenia, while kids all over the world do fine after drinking, the stats do show that more liberal countries in Europe don't get nearly as much alcohol-related-violence so there's some balance to this debate, Liam

But don't take my uninformed opinion on it, thankfully the BBC love a good counter-argument

here's Jeremy Todd of Parentline Plus

He said: "Parents can have a huge influence on their child's drinking choices.
"Rates of teenage drunkenness are higher amongst both the children of parents who drink to excess and the children of parents who abstain completely.
So irresponsible and draconian approaches don't work - meaning being responsible does work, unfortunately no amount of government interference can make people responsible - stop trying, Liam

"Whilst parents have a greater influence on their children's drinking patterns early on, as they grow older their friends have a greater influence.
"It is therefore crucial for parents to talk to their children about alcohol and its effects."

Quite right, and banning stuff = not talking, I'm not sure if Sir Liam has ever met a teenager

I particularly liked Professor Ian Gilmore:

"We know that adults who drink sensibly tend to pass these habits on and that some families choose to introduce alcohol to their children younger than 15 in a supportive environment."
He stressed that not drinking alcohol at all remained the "healthiest option" for children.

Spot on - why isn't this man Chief Medical Officer? (He's already president of the Royal College of Physicians)

What we do not need is more bloody preachy adverts:

"He announced a major publicity campaign on the subject in England, which will get under way in January 2010."

 Stop wasting our bloody money on 'don't drink' adverts! Unless they actually return a profit through less cost to the NHS then they are a frivolous drain on our ever-growing deficit - don't they know there's a recession on?

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