That makes for a good headline, doesn't it?
Let's take a closer look.
First of all, there is the WHO's definition of "binge drinking" which apparently means 6 "standard" drinks? I am assuming by "standard, they mean a "unit" which interestingly enough varies from country to country. So in Ireland, 500ml [which is around four fifths of a pint] accounts for two units? Therefore, by my understanding , if you drink three pints it's a "binge drinking" session? Three fucking pints? To listen to the WHO's hysteria you'd swear they were talking about at least ten pints if not a lot more. But what they are screaming about is that 64% of men have said they had downed three pints in one session in the last month, which I would consider completely normal and certainly none of the WHO's fucking business.
Another interesting fact they claim is that by far the majority prefer drinking pints. I would have thought they would be happy about that as beer [or stout] tends to fill you up and it's a lot harder to drink eight pints than it is to down eight shorts. But then the WHO are never happy, are they?
Of course Suzanne Costello [she of Alcohol Concern – a fake “charity” that makes a living out of its “concern”] – has to step in with the horrendous stories of liver disease, cancer [of course] and screaming "risk" and "harm". Of course I am aware that there are problems related to excessive use of alcohol just as there are problems associated with excessive use of a lot of things but to listen to Ms Costello you'd swear that everyone who drank three pints would cause several hit-and-run accidents while driving home to beat up the wife and kids, before dropping dead of liver cancer.
None of this is the WHO's concern. It is none of their business if a bloke wants to drop into the pub on a Friday evening to have three pints while maybe watching a football match. It's none of their business if a few friends meet up in a pub for a chat and a few glasses of wine. It's none of their business if I want to invite a friend or two around to kill a bottle of whiskey. They do however seem to think it's their business to nag us about anything that we might enjoy or that might relax us a bit and help us to set aside the miserable world they are trying to create.
Naturally, we all know where this is heading –
"This effective normalisation of drunkenness in our society has been fuelled by the widespread availability of cheap alcohol, which is then very heavily promoted, with young people a particular focus of these powerful and sophisticated advertising and marketing campaigns."
The want to "denormalise" drinking. They want advertising bans, display bans, minimum pricing and heavy taxation. plain labeling and health warnings. Now where have I heard all that before?
It's funny how they overlook the apparently irrelevant fact that alcohol consumption is declining rapidly here in Ireland?
But then facts always were their weak spot.