Following yesterday's post i decided to search BBC news for 'alcohol'. Obviously, every single news story on the subject is negative. But I was a bit harsh - only about half of the illustrations of booze are of beer, a drink which plays a minimal role in the issue being discussed. Today they even showed a pic of wine in a story about calories. But if anyone was as sad as me and did this search, they would come away in no doubt as to what's really behind the nation's drinking problem. Here's a selection of pics and their captions going as far back as August...
"Alcoholics face benefit cuts" (link to video of the story below, 14th April)
"Alcohol flush shows cancer risk" (13th April)
"1,000 die from alcohol in Wales"/ the report found alcohol consumption in young people was 'worrying'." (6th April)
"Alcohol misuse is a major problem for the NHS" (15th March)
"Minimum price limits have been proposed in England and Scotland" (15th March).
(Fact: minimum pricing would affect beer less than any other drink because it is already one of the highest costs per unit of alcohol, and many trade bodies support the move).
"Rise in alcohol illness in young" (12th March)
(Fact: young problem drinkers reject beer because it doesn't get them pissed quick enough)
"Many western countries have a binge drinking problem" (9th March)
"Stark warning over alcohol trends" /Some under 16s are drinking more than the recommended limit for adults" (29th January)
"Alcohol toll on young soaring" (30th December)
"North west England is alcohol blackspot" (18th December)
"Alcohol campaign targets shoppers/people are being told to drink sensibly over the festive period" (13th December)
"Alcoholics can choose drink ban/pubs and off licenses will refuse to sell alcohol to self excluders" (19th November)
"Cash for alcohol blackspot areas" (5th November)
"NHS alcohol services 'struggling'" (29th October)
"Alcohol link to serious assaults" (27th August)
About 50% of features have no illustration at all. Of the rest, some are specific to people in the story. Wine comes next, with about eight picture references. Four stories used pictures of drunk teenagers in the street. Four used a pic of spirits. Alcopops were featured twice and are faintly visible in some of the binge pics if you look closely. Strong cider features once - but as that's in a story about the cider having its ABV reduced, they kind of had to.
So there you have it: according to the BBC, young binge drinkers are slowly killing themselves on beer - mostly real ale. So that's why cask ale figures are really on the rise. It's all clear now.