Another Pointless Survey

According to the Lifestyle Survey conducted by the ONS, managers drink more than manual workers.

People in managerial jobs drink more than their counterparts in manual jobs, official statistics show.

The annual Lifestyle Survey, published by the Office of National Statistics reflects the habits of UK adults in 2009.

Average weekly alcohol consumption for managers was 13.5 units, compared with 10.7 units in those in manual jobs.

I can’t help wondering why people respond to these surveys. Why don’t they just tell the buggers to go away and leave them alone. If everyone did this, such nannying, hectoring nonsense would be harder to come by.

And, what else do we get in this puff piece?

The current recommendations for daily alcohol intake are that it should not regularly exceed three to four units for men and two to three units for women.

Sigh… These figures are made up, invented, constructed out of the ether, a fabrication. In short; a lie. Yet still they peddle this garbage. What is okay for you may not be okay for me. Individuals will have individual tolerances to alcohol.

However, the survey reveals that amongst managers, 41% of men and 35% of women exceeded these recommendations, on at least one day in the week before they took part in the survey.

Yes? And? So? Given that the limits are pure fantasy plucked from the collective arseholes of the so-called researchers commissioned to come up with them, exceedence is a non-issue.

When people were asked about heavy drinking – defined as more than eight units for men and more than six for women – 23% of men and 15% of women in managerial households had reached those levels of drinking on at least one day in the week before the survey.

I’m sorry, but really. One day in the week preceding the survey is not by any stretch of the imagination “heavy drinking”, which definition is itself based on junk science.

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of the charity Drinkaware said heavy drinking among professionals was a cultural problem:

No, it isn’t. In my occupational field I mix with all sorts, from track workers to company directors. I have not noticed a culture of heavy drinking. I do come across people who like to unwind with a pint at the end of a working day if that is what Sorek means. Oh, yeah, it is what he means.

“While there continues to be a strong culture of drinking as part of professional roles it’s not surprising to see managers drinking more than manual workers. Meetings and get-togethers are all situations where professionals may feel under pressure to drink. We also know many de-stress with a drink at home after a long working day.”

And how many professionals are rolling about fighting in the gutters on a Saturday night, one wonders. I do know that I’ve never felt any pressure to drink when working with managers and directors –  not least because drink during the working day is usually off limits anyway. And it certainly is in my industry. When away at a conference or training event, the same rules tend to apply with people drinking lightly if at all over an evening meal.

The drop in alcohol-related deaths was welcomed by the charity Drinkaware.

However, its chief executive, Chris Sorek said it was important not be complacent: “It’s really encouraging to see a drop in alcohol-related deaths but the fact that thousands of people are still dying from alcohol misuse shows we must not rest on our laurels.”

Yeah, I’m sure you won’t. CS Lewis had you people summed up.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Says it all, really. And if the ONS ever ask me to take part in one of their surveys, the answer will include the word “off”.


  1. “It’s really encouraging to see a drop in alcohol-related deaths but the fact that thousands of people are still dying from alcohol misuse shows we must not rest on our laurels.”

    What’s it got to do with him if people are dying? Surely their deaths are their business, and everyone has to die of something.

  2. A good assault on yet another ridiculous story LR but you missed out two salient points.

    Firstly, why did the BBC put this spin on what is basically a good news story. Could it be that they are just a tad biased when they report health stories?

    But more spectacularly
    “The slight fall in 2009 in alcohol related deaths mirrors a slight drop in alcohol consumption, and while this is positive, is wholly due to a drop in consumer spending as a result of the recession. “

    More total and utter crap from Don Shenker that proves once and for all that he is an unprincipled spin doctor who has absolutely no clue what he is talking about. Most alcohol related deaths are caused by diseases that take years to develop so short term impacts due to relatively short term economic situations are improbable. In addition alcohol the ONS report that you link to discusses the ongoing falling trends in alcohol consumption that began according to the ONS in 2000.

    It appears that as well as being ill informed and essentially stupid, Shenker is incapable of reading the report he is talking about before spouting utter bilge to the media.

    And we pay his salary!

  3. I’ve done these surveys a few times. The people that do them usually go to the same places, such as city centres, at the same time, Saturday mornings, so the people filling them in are usually the same people.

    And I don’t tell the truth either. What makes me laugh is that even if you give contradictory answers the people asking the questions don’t even seem to notice.

    Keep the wheel spinning and if you can make it go faster.

  4. The survey proves that while management are bloody enormous liars, manual workers still have the edge

  5. “……..shows we must not rest on our laurels.”

    Who is this “we” and what “laurels” have they earned?

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