OPINION: An extra glass is one of life’s great pleasures...

Glasses of red wine, as England's Chief Medical Officer has said that the idea that drinking a glass of red wine a day is good for you is an "old wives' tale"
Glasses of red wine, as England's Chief Medical Officer has said that the idea that drinking a glass of red wine a day is good for you is an "old wives' tale"

New government guidelines say that no level of regular drinking is without risk to health. Here, JOANNE SAVAGE says that we don’t need to be told how much or how little to drink – we already know the risks

Just as the festive Bacchanalia is behind us and the January blues set in, you are utterly skint and realise you have gained half a stone from overdoing the carbs, health bores have augmented the gloom by announcing that no level of alcohol consumption is without risk and will increase your chances of developing certain cancers.

Joanne Savage

Joanne Savage

The recommended number of units per week for men has dropped from 21 to 14 - the same as women’s recommended weekly intake, which has stayed the same under the new guidelines. This amounts to seven pints of beer or five large glasses of wine per week.

Well, sod that, we all need palliatives to lighten the mood, cushion us from the myriad sorrows and difficulties life brings and help revive our spirits in times of heartbreak and loss.

Even St Timothy said a person should “use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your future ailments”.

Everything in life carries risk - eating too many bacon sandwiches, paragliding, falling in love, excessive partying, crossing the road.

Everyone knows drinking too much each and every day is lethal and stupid, but within all reason, overdoing the red wine on a Friday evening or having too many gins at a birthday party is a risk worth taking, affording necessary release from stultifying sane and sober routine.

Adults don’t need the state telling them how much of the good stuff is too much, and just what fun would life be without the occasional blow-out?

This is just another scaremongering announcement from the joyless health freaks in our midst; in France there are no recommended limits and they seem to enjoy alcohol in a less disordered fashion than we do.

You may as well drink when you’re living - you certainly can’t drink when you’re dead.

Hemingway drank to make other people seem more interesting, Edgar Allen Poe to escape lonelieness and a sense of impending doom, while Benjamin Franklin noted that there was wisdom in wine, freedom in beer and bacteria in water – so when you are on the sauce in an attempt to de-stress from the demands of everyday life or to escape the boredom of grinding routine, you have the added advantage of knowing you are in the best of company.

Health chief defends safe alcohol guidelines