The Portman Group is trying to destroy Britain’s proud history of strong ales

It is as well the Portman Group wasn’t around when Admiral Sir Edward Belcher was fitting out his expedition to the Arctic in 1852 to try to find out what had happened to Sir John Franklin and his gallant men, lost on their voyage in search of the North West Passage seven years earlier. The… Read More The Portman Group is trying to destroy Britain’s proud history of strong ales

Neoprohibitionist lies exposed in one simple statistic

Where does the UK stand in the league table for consumption of alcohol per head? You’re probably saying to yourself something like, “oooh, we must be pretty high up – not as much as the Czechs, surely, they’re notorious for knocking back the pilsner, and I bet the Poles still drink lots of vodka, and… Read More Neoprohibitionist lies exposed in one simple statistic

Your handy cut-out-and-keep instant rebuttal guide to countering neo-prohibitionist lies

In the 40-plus years I have worked as a journalist, I never wrote anything I knew to be an actual lie. I’ll admit, though, that, very rarely, I span a story to leave the reader with an impression that, while not actively untrue, did not present a totally balanced narrative: generally because the balanced narrative… Read More Your handy cut-out-and-keep instant rebuttal guide to countering neo-prohibitionist lies

Pleasure versus risk, the honest alcohol debate

If Dame Sally Davies had really wanted to be honest, she would have said: “Here’s my advice on how to live a possibly longer but almost certainly less pleasure-filled life …” Instead the chief medical officer for England completely failed to address why people drink – because we enjoy it – and concentrated solely on… Read More Pleasure versus risk, the honest alcohol debate

Why Sir Liam Donaldson is a tosser

It was good to see the Government getting its retaliation in first, and dumping all over the Chief Medical Officer’s proposal for a minimum 50p-a-unit price for alcoholic drinks. Even before the annual report from Sir Liam Donaldson, on the nation’s health had been officially published, The Times was reporting that “a source close to… Read More Why Sir Liam Donaldson is a tosser

Binge drinking: a brief history

I love etymology. To binge, the Oxford English Dictionary reveals, was originally a Lincolnshire (and, it implies, East Midlands generally) dialect word meaning “to soak (a wooden vessel)”. The metaphorical extension of meaning from soaking wood to soaking yourself was an easy journey, and by 1854 a book called A Glossary of Northamptonshire Words had… Read More Binge drinking: a brief history