Do these look like people who care about alcohol guidelines? New Year’s Eve in Manchester, UK, 31 December 2015. (Joel Goodman/LNP)

Alcohol guidelines are not the end of the world, Britain

jennisheppardBlog, Opinion Leave a Comment

Alcohol guidelines – who would have thought such a mild nudge could cause such outrage? But that’s the case in Britain this week, after the UK’s chief medical officer issued the first new advice on drinking alcohol for 20 years.

Men are now advised to drink less, specifically no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. That’s the same level that’s been advised for women for the last two decades, which remains unchanged.

What’s 14 units you say? Here are some approximate examples:

  • Just over 6 pints of 4% beer
  • 10 small glasses of 11% wine
  • 14 single measures of 40% spirits

As if anyone in the UK drinks single shots of vodka or small glasses of pinot grigio. But I digress.

The new alcohol guidelines also point out that research now shows drinking any amount of alcohol can increase your chances of getting cancer.

Is it any surprise that a substance which essentially works by poisoning us in the short term ends up giving us long-term problems? Not really.

But British politicians and media have taken against all these new alcohol guidelines with an anger usually reserved for reacting to Donald Trump’s latest outrage.

Alcohol guidelines are apparently a ‘form of nannying’

In a piece headlined, “The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits,” The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins declares, “Goodbye nudge, hello Big Brother.”

Meanwhile, The Telegraph, usually directly opposed to The Guardian, doesn’t mince words, describing the new alcohol guidelines as “harsh, nannying standards” that are “hyperbolic and puritan.”

Of course, that bloody idiot, Nigel Farage of UKIP (think a political party of bigoted idiots who still believe in the British Empire) takes the cake, having the gall to urge mass protest over the new alcohol guidelines.

“If we choose to enjoy a few drinks four or five nights a week after a hard day at work whether it slightly shortens our lives or not, so what?” he reportedly told a London radio station.

(What the hell? A few drinks on most nights of the week to get over your work day sounds like potential alcoholism to me.)

Farage reportedly continued, “I think what we ought to do is have a mass protest against this form of nannying and we should all come out at lunch and have a glass of something.”

(Because drinking in the middle of your work day is a great idea, right?)

These people seem to have no idea what Big Brother or “nannying” looks like.

Why Brits need to stop complaining about alcohol guidelines

Let’s put things in perspective for these Brits with a rundown of the approach to alcohol here in beautiful British Columbia:

Are you generally required to be seated and order food to consume more than a couple of drinks in most British pubs? As if.

Are you legally responsible in Britain if someone suffers adverse consequences after you serve them a drink? No.

Is alcohol only sold in designated liquor stores and largely banned from grocery stores in Britain? Thought not.

Is the amount of alcohol you can bring home from other parts of Britain limited? Not on your nelly.

Is drinking in public illegal Britain? Er, what kind of fresh hell is this?

Can the police fine you and/or seize and pour your drinks out onto British streets? Has the world gone mad???

Sure, some of the liquor laws in British Columbia may change in future. I generally agree they are too strict, but I see the benefits too. And sure, some people think these new British alcohol guidelines are bunkum.

But Britain, don’t go shouting about the nanny state.

Giving people information then letting them do what they want is the exact bloody opposite of nannying, and it’s time you damn well realized it.

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