In Praise of Alcohol 175


Here is a record of my last few days alcohol consumption:

Wednesday 2 September Nil
Tuesday 1 September 1 Glass merlot
Monday 31 August 1 Champagne Cocktail
5 Glasses Puilly Fuisse
2 Glasses Remy Martin XO
Sunday 30 August Nil
Saturday 29 August 3 Glasses Pinot Grigio
Friday 28 August Nil
Thursday 27 August Nil

That is a pretty average week for me. Alcohol is among my pleasures. Like a great many people, I find it enhances good times and gives some solace in bad. I am therefore rather pleased that the European Court Advocate General has made observations thought to be generally unhelpful to the nanny state proposals of the Scottish government on minimum alcohol pricing. These proposals would not affect me, given what I drink. The proposal is a classical resurfacing of the middle class desire to regulate the behaviour of the working class. Life is tough enough. People should be allowed their small pleasures.

I have a great contempt for the anti-alcohol lobby, and particularly for the cultist doctrine that the only way to combat alcoholism is total abstinence. If alcohol were truly a physical addiction, why am I not addicted? I have had days where I drink 40 units over 24 hours. And I have periods particularly when writing where I don’t drink a thing for three or four weeks at a time. I can switch from one phase to the other, or any intermediate state, without ever the slightest shadow of a physical craving. My introspection tells me that the standard explanation of alcohol being physically addictive is impossible to reconcile with my personal experience. It is an imposed reality. Alcohol is very good for me. And it is very good for you too, whatever the do-gooders may say.

Slainte Mahth.

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175 thoughts on “In Praise of Alcohol

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  • Becky Cohen

    According to most official medical sources, anything over 2 to 4 drinks a day is bad for our health, but I think most of us rarely conform to that pattern anyway. I like a few drinks myself, but I’m quite lucky as it doesn’t really take very much to get me drunk. I only usually drink at weekends anyway and it’s never the really hard stuff – just five pints of lager and a bottle of wine for me on a Saturday, that’s all. I can still get drunk and I’m not even going beyond the weekly unit recommendation.

  • fred

    “Alcohol abuse is a hellish problem in the west of Scotland.”

    But it isn’t the only problem. There is also a problem with young people sniffing glue or lighter fuel, there is a problem with legal highs and illegal drugs there are many problems which minimum pricing could only make worse.

  • Robert Crawford

    Alcohol abuse is a hellish problem in the West of Scotland.

    It is a hellish problem all over the world!

    The problem is, the English media relish rubbishing us Scots. It is their “inferiority complex”.

    If they gave their own problems as much “air time” they might improve things.

  • fedup

    Good morning Robert Crawford,

    Thanks for asking great, last night I enjoyed a nice meal without the usual accompanying glass of wine or two and surprisingly enjoyed my meal more so because of the absence of drink. This morning I feel good and I am fine, I should have done this a while back is the thought that jumps into my mind.

    How about you Robert, how are you to day?

  • Robert Crawford


    I have got over whatever it was that was knocking me around. My G.P. took two blood samples that failed to show any reason why I felt so terrible. Maybe my immune system cleared it up?

    One more week to go until I have another CAT scan. That will tells us if anything is wrong.

    In general terms, “I am in the pink” and up for it. Whatever “it” may be.

    I am glad you are feeling good, the weekend can be a tricky time when you stop drinking. Everyone wants you to go to the pub. the club, the place where your resolve can be undermined.

    Don’t do it! Just tell everyone firmly and clearly. thanks, but, no thanks. People are usually supportive.

    What a hero you are!!!.

  • fedup

    Robert Crawford I am glad to hear about your recovery, and delighted to read you are fighting fit and robust. Let me know soon as you have had the cat scan results back. .

    You should have read my mind, because I have already planned to change the weekend routine too, and I intend to get on with some more of the work that has been left to be done; “when I have more time”, so I will be busy with those. I have let my mates know of my intentions. You are right they are supportive and I hope they too start reassessing their routines, as I have told (although I must admit without the of evangelism of a new convert) about the “liver flexibility test” as mentioned by Muscleguy. Let’s hope they will join me in kicking the heavy drinking to touch, or declare a moratorium as I have done.

    Thanks all the same Robert for you advice and concern.

  • Robert Crawford

    Great stuff Fedup.

    You sound like you have it mastered already, well done!

    Just go and be happy and do your own thing.

  • nevermind

    I apologise profusely for having spread dissent at this years excellent DTRH, I was close to being braised alive as a revolutionary for plying hardened Scotsmen/ som e freemasons for all I know, with English wiski of the sort they had never experienced.

    Thanks to the crowd of alcoholics we were kept busy for three days. I was greatful for not having to serve chemically brewed concoctions praising the dark and dingy corners other beers can’t reach/would never descend to, just great ales and draughts, such as ‘cock on a walk’ and ‘joker’

    I’m known to like my beer with food and I enjoy a good single malt to warm the cockles, but
    and in here lies a lot of grief and falsehoods…..
    I agree with pigs notion of hypocrisy when it comes to all things cannabis and marihuana, about time we stop the Governments dictatorial cartel, allowing G.W. pharmaceutics, cameron’s best pals, to provide Sativex, an alcoholic cannabis spray, on the NHS, against WTO rules which aim to increase and allow competition.

    Good to hear you’re OK Robert, lets hope they get they’ll catch the best suitable cat to power the scanner….;)

  • Robert Crawford


    I have never used dope. However, I read a piece by a Spanish lady doctor, and apparently a certain part of cannabis is good for cancer.

    We won’t get it unless the big Pharmas can get a monopoly on it.

    I will ask the Urologist when I go for the results. That will probably send his eyebrows to the back of his head.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, re. some of the recent comments, but it’s a far, far bigger problem specifically in the west of Scotland than the problems associated with any other drugs/lighter fuel/mushrooms/glue/Tippex/legal highs and it’s a bigger problem than in most (not all) other places in the world. Forget the London media. They distort everything anyway. It’s still a massive issue for us here. People disagree about how it can be tackled.

    The other point – as a counter-argument to myself – is that in the political context, one is aware that the issue of alcohol has been used as far back as Victorian times as yet another battering-ram on ‘the working class’.

  • nevermind

    Yes Mary, I bow my head, I did not know until told on the estate and diplomacy seemed to have been a good idea at the time.

  • nevermind

    Robert, I wish that the tumor destroying properties of concentrated CBD oils would be more explored and recognised, there are many experiences with astonishing results. To ignore it, just because one could not possibly let on that we were wrong for decades,

    that we vilified and criminalised people for ‘not very much at all’, that we demonised a plant to suit the paper and nylon industry, and that we wasted billions on a prohibition that was unenforcible. Moreover we denied the NHS a remarkable painkiller which is cheap and easy to produce, harm free, a natural dilative which soothes asthma, glaucoma and other respiratory ailments.

    Much health is underpinned by our mental ability to assist such ongoing process with positive, even humorous portioning of what we can and cannot desire enough off….
    one looks at three sparrows in the birdbath outside the window, their juvenile wings flappin’ water everywhere, cleansing the mites with vigor, droplets, misted pearls of shimmering energy, not unlike a humming bird,
    a moment in life we should take strength off.

    Some people travel thousands of miles for such a moment of sheer bliss, others would never see it.
    night all

  • Robert Crawford

    Suhayl Saadi.

    Thanks for that piece of information.

    I am a great believer in the “pure root”. However, I am not at the stage of looking for alternatives until I find out what the two white spots on my lungs are.

    I have heard people say it is great for pain relief. I don’t have any pain that I can’t handle.

    I will ask the Urologist when I get the results. It will either be bad news or good news.

    I am not up for anything other than, GOOD NEWS!

  • ben

    Good to hear some social/research progress on canna in the UK. Sounds like a brand name for marinol: the non-psychotropic cannibinoid. CBD’s are just now being seen seriously as a miraculous healer/preventative. It’s a shame so much time has been wasted by gov and NGO’s needlessly persecuting and prosecuting with languishing research made so impossible by the terminally ignorant who still fight it.

  • glenn

    In case some comrade here has not read Paxman’s “The English”, a passage sprung to mind which might amuse you. Here are a few quotes from some observations made in the book.

    It has been like this for centuries…. William of Malmesbury (c. 1095-1143)in his ‘Chronicle of the Kings of England’ observes at the tie of the Norman Conquest, ‘drinking in particular was a universal practice, in which occupation they passed entire nights as well as days… They were accustomed to eat until they surfeited and drink til they were sick.’

    In 1362 The Archbishop of Canterbury was complaining that, given the slightest opportunity, the English would binge themselves stupid, because of holy days ‘the tavern is rather worshiped than the church, gluttony and drunkness is more abundant than tears and prayers, men are busied rather with wantonness and contumely than with the leisure of contemplation.”

    …in 1742, a population one tenth the size of today downed 19 million gallons of industrial strength gin – ten times as much as is drunk today.

    The full version is very well worth reading.

    (Taken from p251, 252 in my 1999 paperback edition)

  • Robert Crawford

    Something to remember.

    After a night on the booze it takes seven days for your pancreas to recover.

    A lot of people go back out the next weekend (5 days later) and do it all again.

    Type2 diabetic???.

  • David

    Alcohol….. the opiate of the masses.

    Its pretty well documented that Craig likes a drink or two ( or 5 ) but to say its good for you ?

    I hate the stuff with a passion.

    The government allows you the poison that stops you having any intelligent social abilities, makes you at best a dull bore and at worst a pest.

    Alcohol is responsible for the deaths of far too many completely innocent people, and for the ruination of 10s of thousands of peoples lives every year.

    Its not good for you, its not good for me, its not good for anyone.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Robert, all good wishes to you.

    Glenn, exactly, thanks for posting that quote.

    All this chat about booze and temperance makes me long for an absinthe. But they don’t make like they used to! You know, wormwood, black stockings, green fairies…

  • Richard

    I’m teetotal and I loathe booze and the place it has in our society, but that’s my business.

    Judging from your personal consumption as listed, it looks as if, like Churchill, you have taken more out of booze than booze has taken out of you. Like him you can string a fair sentence together, anyway. Perhaps if children are taught where the commas go at a young enough age, they never forget no matter how much Kickapoo Joy Juice they pour down their gullets.

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