So the truth we’ve always secretly known has been made official – drinking any amount of alcohol is bad for your health.
Don’t blame the nanny state. Instead, thank them for playing pretend as long as they have, providing “plucked from the air” safe limits that have kept us merrily boozing away.
Did we ever think that swigging ale was a harmless pursuit? Life enhancing maybe. But certainly not life lengthening.
A couple of things occur to me and they’re not what you’d think. With this announcement the UK’s chief medical officers have ushered in two pieces of equality.
Women and men are now advised to drink the same sobering amounts. And the spectre of booze being treated like the pariah that is tobacco now hangs in the air like a depressing purple fug.
The health costs and utter social chaos that result from alcohol consumption easily justify a gruesome image of a diseased liver on every pint pot. Somehow, I don’t see that happening.
And here’s why…
1. Booze harms only the boozer – with no passive impact, unless you’re a spouse beater or feckless parent.
2. Booze was gently medicating Britain long before gin swillers crammed into gruesome bar halls to consume poisonous concoctions and… each other. Cutting the flow would unleash total anguish among the hordes. It wouldn’t be pretty: a definite election-loser.
3. Tax. There’s a tobacco-shaped hole growing in the chancellor’s coffers with every e-cigarette convert. Doing too much to dampen spirit consumption would double the pain.
4. Prohibition does not work. Just ask Al Capone.
5. But mainly, it’s about the future of humanity. Those t-shirts about booze helping ugly people to have sex don’t lie. But even supermodels have inhibitions. Booze puts us in “the mood” – it’s a natural part of procreation. The future of humanity depends upon it.
So raise a glass, but not too many. Beer is here to stay.