Dear Wankers, please fuck off

On Boxing Day millions of families will enjoy a full sporting calendar, either on TV or in person – a chance to spend quality time with family and friends. They will also see the countless alcohol marketing messages that go hand in hand with our national sports. In the UK, alcohol sponsorship is as commonplace as advertising for cereal or soap powder. Viewers of the World Cup this year, including millions of children and young people, saw one example of alcohol advertising for every minute of playing time. Shouldn’t our national sports be inspiring our children to lead healthy and positive lifestyles? It would be considered outrageous if high-profile teams such as Everton or Celtic were to become brand ambassadors for tobacco, and so why is it acceptable for alcohol?

Our children deserve a better future and we must take the opportunity to give it to them. Self-regulation of alcohol advertising isn’t working when it allows drink brands to dominate sporting events that attract children as well as adults, creating automatic associations between alcohol brands and sport that are cumulative, unconscious and built up over years. Evidence shows that exposure to alcohol advertising leads young people to drink more, and to drink at an earlier age.

Next year will be a year of change. The public supports restrictions on alcohol advertising and it’s time for the government to listen to the people rather than to big business. Let’s take action to protect our children by ensuring that the sports we watch promote healthy lifestyles and inspire participation, not a drinking culture. Let’s make alcohol sports sponsorship a thing of the past.

Signed by the usual bunch of tossers:

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore chair, Alcohol Health Alliance UK
Professor Jane Dacre president, Royal College of Physicians
Dr J-P van Besouw president, Royal College of Anaesthetists
Dr Peter Carter chief executive, Royal College of Nursing
Professor Colin Drummond chair of Addictions Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists
Dr Clifford Mann president, College of Emergency Medicine
Shirley Cramer chief executive, Royal Society for Public Health
Dr Adrian Boyle chair, College of Emergency Medicine quality committee
Professor Frank Murray president, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
Professor Robin Touquet vice-chairman, Medical Council on Alcohol
Dr Peter Rice chair, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP)
Eric Carlin director, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP)
Katherine Brown director, Institute of Alcohol Studies
Professor John Ashton president, UK Faculty of Public Health
Professor Jonathan Shepherd director, Violence Research Group, Cardiff University
Colin Shevills, director, Balance
Diane Goslar, patient representative, Royal College of Psychiatrists
Dr Chris Record consultant hepatologist, Newcastle upon Tyne
Dr Mark Bellis alcohol lead, UK Faculty of Public Health
Dr Kieran Moriarty CBE British Society of Gastroenterology
Professor Nick Sheron Population hepatology, University of Southampton
Paul Lincoln OBE chief executive officer, UK Health Forum
Professor Marsha Morgan reader in medicine and honorary consultant physician, UCL
Mariann Skar secretary general, Eurocare
Dr Evelyn Gillan chief executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland
Professor Martin McKee CBE president, EUPHA (European Public Health Association)
Nichola Coates chief executive, Faculty of Occupational Medicine
Professor Gerard Hastings University of Stirling
Dr Zulfiquar Mirza College of Emergency Medicine
Professor Rob Poole co-director, Centre For Mental Health and Society, Bangor University
Suzanne Costello chief executive officer, Alcohol Action Ireland
Jackie Ballard chief executive, Alcohol Concern
Andrew Langford chief executive, British Liver Trust
Professor Linda Bauld deputy director, UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, and chair in behavioural research for cancer prevention, Cancer Research UK
Dr Andrew Fraser director of public health science, NHS Health Scotland
Professor Eileen Kaner director, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University

Truly, if we’ve now got the time to worry about a single word on a footballers’ shirt then we’ve no serious problems left in the world, do we?

28 thoughts on “Dear Wankers, please fuck off”

  1. That” bunch of tossers” deal, or have dealt daily face-to-face with the problems caused by excessive alcohol intake for years. They are bound to have an extreme opinion not shared by the majority of us who have a couple of beers too many then go and sit quietly in a corner giggling until we fall asleep. Having said that, their misplaced automatic assumption of superiority simply because they are specialist body-mechanics does not give them the inalienable right to dictate to society at large as to how people’s lives should be ordered.

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    Let’s take action to protect our children by ensuring that the sports we watch promote healthy lifestyles and inspire participation, not a drinking culture. Let’s make alcohol sports sponsorship a thing of the past.

    Participation in the English speaking world is intimately tied to alcohol. Virtually everything adult males do together involves some degree of alcohol consumption. But healthy lifestyles?

    If these sh!ts had an integrity they would admit what the entire corpus of medical literature says – alcohol consumption is good for you. In fact quite heavy alcohol consumption is good for you. If you’re not drinking a bottle of vodka a day, you probably have little to worry about.

    See here for some good links:

    http://www.overcomingbias.com/2010/09/alcohol-is-healthy.html

  3. So doctors think they can impinge on politics, policy and sociology without qualifications? Yet I can’t practice medicine?

    I don’t see how being a doctor gives you any authority on this subject above people. The cheek of them eh?

  4. > then we’ve no serious problems left in the world

    If that were a valid argument, you could use it to oppose almost any new policy.

    Not that I agree with the doctors, but you’ll have to find a better logical basis on which to refute their claim.

  5. Dear Sir,

    I wish most strongly to register my disapproval of whatever it is Sir Ian Gilmour likes doing.

    Yours faithfully

    Mr Outraged, Tunbridge Wells

  6. They are a bunch of tinpot twats trying to dictate the course of other peoples lives.Every single one of them should be sacked without compensation and their pensions confiscated.I say that as a teetotaller.

    As for those with alcohol problems–it is their problem. Because there are a small number of rapists , should sex be under govt control?. Oh ..wait a minute…

  7. It would be considered outrageous if high-profile teams such as Everton or Celtic were to become brand ambassadors for tobacco…

    Yeah, cricket and motor racing are much better suited to tobacco advertising.

    Remember the good old days when you could go to a one day match at Lords and scantily dressed dolly birds would hand out free packets of ciggies?

    Good times, good times.

  8. Evidence shows that exposure to alcohol advertising leads young people to drink more, and to drink at an earlier age.

    Except that evidence shows that people, including young people, are drinking less, so you’re a lying bunch of wankers as well. Do you think that if a nasty, horrible, evil big business tried to get away with this sort of shonky statistic in an advert that the PTB would let them get away with it?

    The public supports restrictions on alcohol advertising…

    Lying bunch of shitbags! See above about shonky stats.

  9. There’s so much in this article to fisk.

    Next year will be a year of change. The public supports restrictions on alcohol advertising and it’s time for the government to listen to the people rather than to big business. Let’s take action to protect our children

    We need to teach the children that bullying does not suddenly become acceptable just because it’s the state doing the bullying. And that’s what these people want to do: use the state to bully others who aren’t living in a way they want those people to live.

    As far as public health and quality of life, I can feel my blood pressure rising every time I hear one of these moral scolds wanting to use state power to tell my how to live my life — and I’m sure I can’t be the only one. Perhaps they need to stop their nannying for the sake of the national blood pressure. I’d also have a much higher quality of life if I didn’t have a bunch of nanny staters trying to tell me how to live.

  10. If the public supported restrictioons on alcohol advertising they would not support teams that advertise alcohol and those teams would go bust.
    ” In the UK, alcohol sponsorship is as commonplace as advertising for cereal” – scientific research showed that most of the nutitrional value in a bowl and cereal anf milk was the milk used to wash the gloop down the child’s throat (except in the casse of sugar-coated or honey-coated cereals, where it was in the sugar rotting the children’s teeth. Let’s have a ban on advertising breakfast cereal! Make eating healthy porridge compulsory!

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  12. Dear Mr Worstall

    It’s a good start to the list of people to be sacked when a sensible government is finally elected by a public who have become utterly fed up with the nannying*.

    The end is hopefully nigh for all professional public hypochondriacs.

    @ K.R. Lohse December 26, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I imagine those who deal with the effects of motor accidents on a daily basis have even greater cause for ‘extreme opinions’. I haven’t heard of any of them calling for a ban on car advertisements. There’s still time, I suppose.

    DP

  13. So Much for Subtlety

    A New Study Suggests That People Who Don’t Drink Alcohol Are More Likely To Die Young

    Helen Jupiter, Mother Nature Network

    A newly released study shows that regular drinkers are less likely to die prematurely than people who have never indulged in alcohol. You read that right: Time reports that abstaining from alcohol altogether can lead to a shorter life than consistent, moderate drinking.

    Surprised? The tightly controlled study, which looked at individuals between ages 55 and 65, spanned a 20-year period and accounted for variables ranging from socioeconomic status to level of physical activity. Led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin, it found that mortality rates were highest for those who had never had a sip, lower for heavy drinkers, and lowest for moderate drinkers who enjoyed one to three drinks per day.

    Of the 1,824 study participants, only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers died prematurely compared to a whopping 69 percent of the nondrinkers. Meanwhile, the heavy drinkers fared better than those who abstained, with a 60 percent mortality rate. Despite the increased risks for cirrhosis and several types of cancer, not to mention dependency, accidents, and poor judgment associated with heavy drinking, those who imbibe are less likely to die than people who stay dry.

    A possible explanation for this is that alcohol can be a great social lubricant, and strong social networks are essential for maintaining mental and physical health. Nondrinkers have been shown to demonstrate greater signs of depression than their carousing counterparts, and in addition to the potential heart health and circulation benefits of moderate drinking (especially red wine), it also increases sociability.

    While it’s always important to drink responsibly, this is one study that warrants raising a glass.

    Read more: http://www.mnn.com/food/beverages/stories/study-abstaining-from-alcohol-significantly-shortens-life#ixzz3N2PveeoA

    So go forth and drinking in moderation to excess. Don’t want to argue with Mother Nature. And notice how important participation is – English speakers drink because they have friends. Something of an alien concept to this collection of tossers I expect.

  14. That” bunch of tossers” deal, or have dealt daily face-to-face with the problems caused by excessive alcohol intake for years.

    This doesn’t apply to all the tossers such as Katherine Brown (a bleeding History graduate), Colin Shevills, Mariann Skar, Paul Lincoln (who got knighted for a lifetime of nannying) and the hideous Jackie Ballard. These people are interfering twats who should just mind their own bleeding beeswax.

  15. So Much for Subtlety

    K.R. Lohse – “That” bunch of tossers” deal, or have dealt daily face-to-face with the problems caused by excessive alcohol intake for years.”

    None of them appear to me to be dealing face-to-face with any problems. Well paper cuts. They are all bureaucrats or academics. Except for two:

    Diane Goslar, patient representative, Royal College of Psychiatrists
    Dr Chris Record consultant hepatologist, Newcastle upon Tyne

    So a mentally ill patient and one single real doctor.

    Can anyone give me an update on the Guardian poll? My ISP seems to be blocking it (not quite what I asked for for Christmas, but it has the same effect and doesn’t require a small asteroid)

  16. SMFS,

    I’d normally say to the kids: yes, I can, would you like me to?

    But in the spirit of Christmas: Ayes 44%, Nays 56%.

  17. So Much for Subtlety

    DocBud – “I’d normally say to the kids: yes, I can, would you like me to?”

    I believe that is what the young people these days call White privilege. Shame on you.

    “But in the spirit of Christmas: Ayes 44%, Nays 56%.”

    Meh. We need to err on the safe side. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

  18. SMFS,

    I’m a real bastard, I also insist on the ‘magic word’.

    What is the protocol with these polls? Is it one vote per IP address?

  19. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I wouldn’t be surprised if sports injuries cost the NHS more than excessive boozing.

    I used to drink; I don’t anymore. I had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day without any booze and didn’t feel the need to tut-tut censoriously at any point. None of these people serves any essential purpose whatsoever and if the whole boiling were to die in a fire tomorrow the collective health of Britons would not be affected one whit.

  20. So Much for Subtlety

    DocBud – “I’m a real bastard, I also insist on the ‘magic word’.”

    Wow. Literally a fascist then. Although I just heard a man on the BBC say that ISIS and the Kurds were literally fighting eye ball to eye ball.

    “What is the protocol with these polls? Is it one vote per IP address?”

    No spoofing it. They just need an excuse to delete any embarrassing poll.

    Bloke in Costa Rica – “I wouldn’t be surprised if sports injuries cost the NHS more than excessive boozing.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the excise was so high that the drinkers of the nation pay for the NHS.

    “I used to drink; I don’t anymore. I had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day without any booze and didn’t feel the need to tut-tut censoriously at any point.”

    Let me encourage everyone to do so. It is a social good – it builds friendships and healthy communities, it is good for your health, it feels good at least in moderation.

    “None of these people serves any essential purpose whatsoever and if the whole boiling were to die in a fire tomorrow the collective health of Britons would not be affected one whit.”

    I disagree. The collective health of Britain would be improved.

  21. So Much for Subtlety

    More evidence these tossers are wrong:

    http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/health/article_f79ba902-8ba9-11e4-84df-a390de9458c8.html

    There is newfound reason to indulge in a pint or two of your favorite beer, and it’s not just to catch up and share a few laughs with friends. New research has shown that a chemical compound in beer may be able to improve cognitive function. The beverage once thought to obliterate brain cells when consumed in abundance may actually have the opposite effect and boost brain power.

    No one should run out and start imbibing just yet, however. The study that ran in Behavioral Brain Research in October 2014 was preliminary and only conducted on lab mice. During the study, scientists discovered that xanthohumol, a type of flavonoid found in beer, seemed to improve brain function in the young mice given xanthohumol doses.
    ….

    Yes, it is probably bullsh!t. But no more than any other psychological or medical study is. More importantly it is the sort of research that ought to be true. So I am going to believe it.

  22. SMFS,

    The beverage once thought to obliterate brain cells when consumed in abundance may actually have the opposite effect and boost brain power.

    I’ve noticed this myself, people who appear complete buffoons during the day turn into genii after a few beers, scoring 29/30 in the pub trivia quiz.

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