back to article British poshos outdrink chavs

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that despite what the government keeps telling us we are not a nation of drunks, and people with manual or routine jobs actually drink less than those with professional or managerial ones. Not only that, but average alcohol consumption is also falling. In 2006 the average …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    It gets better!

    So booze doesn't only make you a witty conversational genius with superpowers who's magnetically attractive to women, it also makes you successful too?

    I'll have to do something positive about my career prospects later.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Pubs are closing down all over the UK...

    ...and alcohol consumption falls. I'm shocked.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    It's what you do when pissed that matters

    Not how much you drink.

    The basic problem seems to be the anti-social behaviour. Although this might itself be a symptom of the trend that britian has to becoming a far more intolerant society (after all, political correctness is just another phrase for intolerance. I have a suspicion that if all the chavs got drunk, fell over and slept it off - without harming anyone, or anything else the problem would be seen as much less important. As it is, the hysterical press promotes the image of drunks goings around, smashing up town centres, puking everywhere and beating up anyone they find. Now, while this is only the rantings of the gutter press (who are experts on drunk behaviour, themselves), the image sticks. It's the perception that is the problem much more than the actuality. If there were just piles of people propped up in doorways, snoring drunkenly then apart from the tutting or the puritanical busybodies, there'd be no story.

    What this piece of statistical outpouring does tell us though, is that using price as a means of controlling consumption is flawed. The rich will still be able to afford to get rat-assed, while the poor can only stand in the pub (or supermarket) doorway and look thirsty. So much for social equality So anyone who claims to be restricting booze "for our own good" can be shown to be talking rubbish.

    BTW: a lot of the same arguments can be applied to other drugs apart from C2H5OH, too.

  4. Wommit
    Big Brother

    Fixed it for you.

    "Yesterday, Public Health Minister, Gillian Merron, launched the 'Alcohol Effects' campaign with three leading health charities - the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and the Stroke Association. This campaign highlights the unseen damage that can be caused by regularly drinking more than Government Ministers do."

    1. Beelzeebub


      I am doing about 21 units a day at the mo.

      Everything's fine, which is a shitter, because I want to die soon.

  5. Annihilator Silver badge


    Increase of drinkers dying over the years = decrease in drinkers.

  6. Red Bren

    Can't take it seriously

    The "21 units per week for men, 14 for women" figures have been revealed as being plucked out of the air without any medical foundation. The concept of "binge drinking" was only introduced to discourage people from drinking their weekly "limit" in one go, and the bar (no pun intended) keeps getting lowered.

    In reality, there is no blanket "safe" limit. But a succession of puritanical governments push this lie because they view the public as an exploitable resource for their business mates.

    1. FlatSpot


      Is it not also true that Orange Juice is far worse for you then alcohol, I'm sure I read somewhere that its the most difficult drink for your body to process and also aggravates stuff like arthritis?

  7. Rob

    Did I miss something?

    Did I miss the stats for unemployed drinking?

  8. The Original Ash

    I can solve drinking deaths for you

    Three simple steps:

    1) Re-hire David Nutt.

    2) Outlaw alcohol.

    3) Legalise cannabis.

    There has never, *IN THE RECORDED HISTORY OF MANKIND* been a *single* reported death directly related to the use of cannabis. Not one.

    Prove otherwise. I'll give you some time for that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Your an idiot

      These numbers are not people dying directly of booze, this is booze related.

      So you have a drink, get pissed and get run over by a bus its the booze.

      Technically, if you were drunk and got killed by a teroorist its teh booze.

    2. DragonLord

      I'm sure there are some

      I mean, what are the chances that at least 1 person has choked to death on a cannabis leaf, or had a whole plant rammed somewhere unpleasant?

    3. Elmer Phud

      Missing a bit?

      Not sure if it's necessary to outlaw alcohol -- just put it on an equal footing with the rest of drugs for once.

      There are so many words in our language for someone who is more than partial to alcohol but none of them are 'addict'. It's the legalised addition to booze that makes it easy to use words that don't place it with the 'bad' drugs. It's an addiction that causes so much damage and cost yet this is sort of excused away because it is legal and somehow there are no alcohol addicts.

      If we started by getting rid of the misleading phrase 'drugs and alcohol' and got the masses to realise drugs is drugs then number three would be simple.

      It also means keeping alcohol in the revenue stream but - as history has shown - there would be fierce lobbying by those who know how much they would lose by having thier current legalised addicts weaning off on to other, less addictive, drugs.

      We like our drugs - let's just recognise them all for what they are.

  9. Satan P Coolsborough

    "No one thing will solve the complex challenge of alcohol abuse"

    I'll drink to that.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Booze Tax not needed then presumably

    If the stats are true, then there is little need to price booze at the minimum or increase taxes to promote health benefits. Not that I ever thought the proposal to increase booze tax was anything other than a new government income scheme.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Unfortunately not

      If drinking is in decline, then the Booze Tax running total will be smaller each year. So the Booze Tax will need to increase proportionately to cover it. I assume that's why they've been raising it each year (and hitting harder on the cigs).

      I feel sorry for the last person to give up smoking - he/she'll be paying the entire tax bill on their own! Thank God that Simon Cowell's a smoker...

  11. PaulK

    I do not abuse alcohol!

    For instance, if asked "What would you say to a small drink?" I would not say "Fuck off you homicidal gin!" No, I would be far more likely to say "Hello, small drink!" Before consuming said drink.

  12. Paul Shirley

    diagnosis bias

    Am I alone in wondering how much of that rise in deaths is simply changes in diagnosis and the increase imaginary? There seems to be nothing some teetotal shit of a doctor can't somehow link to alcohol whenever invited to comment and a campaign to push the lie is well underway.

    I'm also finding the endless attempts to report on increasing alcohol related crime comically inept. Sure, my local hospital seems to have an endless line of staff willing to agree with the claim. Those problem drinkers must all be drinking at the hospital, the pubs and clubs have been empty all year!

    And don't start me on 24 hour drinking and the chaos its (supposedly) caused. I'm still trying to work out why I count 2 hours LESS opening time on my circuit, or where to find a drink 24 hours a day. Pubs all asked for extended hours simply to avoid the nightmare getting extensions for special events has become, the teetotallers like to gloss over pubs not actually opening for the longer hours they're licensed for :(

  13. kissingthecarpet

    It takes a long time to die of booze

    The guys dying now have probably been drinking heavily for 20 years

  14. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    Bollocks. Bollocks bollocks bollocks.

    "Drinking more than eight units in a session, if you're male, or six if female, counts as heavy drinking."


    8 units is less than 3 pints of 5% lager (roughly 8.6 units IIRC) or 4 double spirits (8.5 units at 40%). Who here considers 3 pints or 4 whiskies in an evening to be "heavy drinking"?

    1. ravenviz
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bollocks^4

      Oh yes and 1 stone overweight is medically* obese.

      *as against other types of obesity

  15. pyroweasel

    @ The Original Ash

    "There has never, *IN THE RECORDED HISTORY OF MANKIND* been a *single* reported death directly related to the use of cannabis. Not one."

    Here's two...

    1. ravenviz
      Thumb Up

      Re: dope deaths

      If there's none there's none. If there's two there's millions.

  16. Graham Marsden

    In 2008 5,999 men died an alcohol-related death against 3,032 women

    So that's 9,000 deaths in the UK alone.

    Remind me again why we're so afraid of terrorism...?

  17. Ben Klumaster

    More than doubled

    "6.7 deaths per 100,000 people to 13.6 per cent in 2008"?

    That sounds more like a 2000-fold increase to me.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, where do these figures come from?

    After all, every GP in the country will tell you that not one of his patients consumes more than the recommended 21 units a week, fails to exercise regularly, smokes or indulges in risky sex...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    *lol* Nice.. But you cant say that was a direct result of cannabis.

    Stupidity yes, cannabis no.. and it does even sound like they were that stoned.


    "After smoking marijuana and liquoring themselves"

    So they were drunk, which it probably more of a reason they were acting the way they were.

    And secondly..

    "The energetic gyrations of the dancers"

    Energetic is not a word a would use to decribe someone who is stoned.

  20. keddaw

    Knee jerk legislation required

    "Heavy drinking, by ONS standards, is a young person's game"

    Won't someone think of the children...

  21. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    I smoke and drink

    So tax me on them to a level that statistically would provide for any medical care I might need over the norm, then fuck of and die yourself. Sorted.

  22. YARR

    No change really

    If you factored in the recent growth in the % of the population who practice a religion which bans the consumption of alcohol against the recent fall in average alcohol consumption, I doubt you would find much has changed amongst the % who do drink.

    If you are poor you have a stark choice: pissing your money away on fags and alcohol or spending the money to raise another child. One choice will prove to be more productive in the end.

  23. I Like Heckling

    I don't believe it....

    People spend less on alcohol in a severe recession... next they'll be telling us people have less money to spend, can't find work and can't afford the latest piece of crap from Apple.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Normally smoking and drinking goes up in recession

    that is the traditional place to put money, but because of the Labour party and their bizarre short sighted and one eyed approach to totalitarian control, the pubs and off-licences are closing so they lose that taxation revenue stream.

    People still smoke and consume more alcohol in a recession, but no one ever admits to it, because it gets recorded by the Stazi doctoring lot. And, even though they get paid by the people they are megalomaniacs who believe their insane thinking is right and should be enforced on others. Doctors still die don't they, still contract illness and well cannot heal themselves let alone others.

    Leave them to it, and if you can do things to reduce your tax burden then you really should, it will hasten their demise. Labour and the Doctors all know it is not about helping society it is about how much they can take from it, the least amount of tax revenue given to them the better for liberty and life.

    The UK economy will not recover until Labour is out, and, even then, only if the Conservatives cut public spending and services, and remove some of the labour laws or there is a hung parliament and they just spend their time trying to deal with each other and leave the rest of us alone.

    Alcohol and smoking is not that bad for you, there are many social advantages to them as well, and if we are to be honest it is oil burning vehicles that are far more carcinogenic, and oxygen itself is carcinogenic.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to quote the late Bill Hicks

    "There are better drugs, and better drugs FOR YOU - than alcohol"

    - They should legalise and tax weed, that'd hit the alcohol deaths hard

  26. raving angry loony

    obvious really

    Of course average consumption went down in the UK.

    I left.

    I think my former local pub closed shortly afterwards.

    I really miss the beer though. Where I am now it's mostly crap.

  27. Ponmyword

    The Labour Government drove me to drink

    I'd have thanked them if they hadn't put so much tax on my booze.

  28. pieface

    Chavs are not manual workers.

    What about people who are not manual workers, or professional workers, or any other kind of workers?

    Bet they drink more!

  29. lukewarmdog

    Ban Beer

    "Not sure if it's necessary to outlaw alcohol -- just put it on an equal footing with the rest of drugs for once."

    It's on an equal footing with tobacco, gambling, glue.

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