This alarming headline screamed out of the newspaper at me. WTF? I was shocked. Even Mr **** the dodgy local off-licence retailer would draw the line at serving five year olds. And how could they reach the stuff anyway? But no, it wasn’t as entertaining as that.
The silly season is upon us; phew what a scorcher etc. Although it never really went away as far as demonising alcohol in the media goes. When not trying to frighten people with ill-judged and downright false health statistics; it’s been blamed for everything from social disorder to the reason why the odds-on favourite in the 1530 at Chester races fell.
And of course, what better way to drum the anti-booze message home than through the plight of children. So we have this story. A child under five is taken to hospital every week after consuming alcohol, we are told. In six cases, they were actually under 12 months old.
These are worrying statistics, many would agree. And what is the cause? Well according to Prof Mark Bellis, of the Centre for Public Health: “Cheap supermarket deals had led to a massive increase in the amount of alcohol stored at homes.” He said: “Not so many years ago, parents would know exactly how much alcohol they had at home. You didn’t have 40 cans of lager and a dozen bottles of wine stored in the garage.”
So there you have it; supermarket deals are to blame. What a relief. For a moment there I thought it might be the parents. But then again, presumably the sort of irresponsible parents who may be to blame for this, like me, don’t keep 12 bottle of wine in the garage. Well, I haven’t got a garage.
Personally I’m worried about aspirin. Its only 19p for a packet and is involved in far many more overdoses than booze. And now I know why: the bloody stuff’s too cheap. And then there’s bleach. Blimey, we need more taxes and we need them now. Sign my e-petition immediately.