Thursday, 7 February 2008

Pour Me Another

Home Secretary Jackie Smith (wasn't she one of the original Charlie's Angels?) has been spouting off like an ignorant tabloid-reading, middle-England, red-faced ranter in today's Guardian:
But Smith also warned parents that they had a responsibility, saying that nearly half of the alcohol obtained by young people appeared to come from the family home: "The idea that you can hand your kids a six-pack of lager and tell them to disappear off for the evening - with no thought to consequences -is frankly baffling to me," she said, urging the police to make greater use of parenting contracts in the most persistent cases.
Now, I know that there is an underage drinking problem in this country. I don't know exactly how bad it is - probably not as bad as the newspapers make out. But you would expect politicians not to contribute to the wailing and caterwauling that we get from the media, wouldn't you?

What does the survey actually report? Well, we don't really know because the results aren't due to be published until "later this month", but if the Guardian story is accurate it will show that "more than half of 13-year olds have drunk alcohol" [my emphasis].

Not "more than half of 13-year olds are binge-drinking, hoodie wearing troublemakers". No. "have drunk alcohol" it says. So while this counts the noisy, obnoxious minority who knock back Tennants Extra in the precinct, it also counts well-behaved, nicely brought-up kids whose parents are responsibly (and perfectly legally) teaching them to appreciate and respect alcohol by giving them, for example, a very small glass of wine with a meal on special occasions. You know, just like you and I and most of the rest of us.

Of course, Ms Smith needs to get her headlines, doesn't she. Politicians can't just stick to facts nowadays, can they? Silly cow!

8 comments:

jomoore said...

Hm... It would be interesting to see the statistic showing the number of parents who send their little darlings out of an evening with a six pack under one arm and a packet of Marlboro Lights under the other.

Perhaps I'm just a bit too niave (or middle class) to believe that's widespread.

I do have to confess that Thomas had some red wine at Christmas - a small splash in a pint of lemonade. I feel terrible that I've now condemned him to a life of petty crime and leisurewear.

PT said...

Marlboro Lights? I'm sure they would be Benson & Hedges or John Player Specials if you're going to send them out to do serious damage to themselves!

Light ciggies are for wimps!

Mima said...

No update on how the job hunt is coming, so hope it is all going well, I have my fingers crossed.

lyw said...

Mmmm..red wine spritzer!!! I wonder what kind of look you'd get from the bar staff if you ordered one of those???
...I'll have to ask Thomas.

Sue said...

My parents are both from Europe and as a rule there was always a bottle of wine on the dinner table and each of us kids had a glass or even a beer on occasion. We all grew up to be either teetotallers or social drinkers only. Perhaps more American parents should let their kids have a sip now and then and there wouldn't be such an epidemic ;)

chux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chux said...

I liked the way you finshed the post 'Silly Cow'!

I havent heard that since I last watched a Carry on movie.

Mima said...

I hope that things are ok as you have been silent for a bit, but a nice little surprise, there is an award for you over at my blog!