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RE: Arthurs day ..... Drinks body tries to deliberately soften wording of damning report relating alcohol to domestic violence and rape

category national | anti-capitalism | other press author Friday April 13, 2012 18:52author by lefty Report this post to the editors

Are we tired being viewed as the drunken idiots of the world yet?
Are we tired being viewed as the drunken idiots of the world yet?

The Examiner has an interesting article today for those of you as horrified as I was to witness first hand the alcohol fuelled breakdown of our society on the streets that was St Patrick's Night. In light of this report, perhaps those in government who still have some semblance of a moral compass remaining could override their complete deference to money, economic considerations and profit as the most important things in our society, and might now consider removing sales of cheap alcohol from supermarkets. This is long overdue as the strains on our already underfunded health system from alcohol related cases and the social breakdown exacerbated by the availability of cheap alcohol, often cheaper than bottled water, are becoming more and more pronounced.

Or perhaps the powers that be are more than happy to have a malleable population in a perpetual state of stupefied inebriation while they busily rush through economic and social policies with long term ramifications that nobody in a sober state of mind would ever countenance

"The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland sought to delete paragraphs and dilute the language in a report on substance misuse created by the National Substance Misuse Steering Group. That group, which sat for almost two years, was tasked with formulating an integrated approach to substance misuse, both alcohol and drugs. Its final report was published in February.

However, documents released to the Irish Examiner under a Freedom of Information request show that even though it had a position on the steering group itself, ABFI was deeply critical throughout the process leading up to the final report to Government.

At one point, the steering group created a draft document which it circulated to its members for consideration. ABFI suggested a number of changes, seeking the deletion of paragraphs which read:

* Alcohol was a potential trigger in one-third of cases of domestic violence.
* Among those who experienced severe domestic abuse, 34% of cases had alcohol identified as a potential trigger and in one-quarter of cases, alcohol was always involved.

* Alcohol intoxication is a factor in rapes.

* 45% of complainants and 41% of suspects were severely intoxicated around the time of the rape.

Instead it wanted to insert paragraphs which read:

* A survey of domestic abuse in Ireland in 2005 found that about one-third of cases of abuse were associated with the consumption of alcohol. However, alcohol consumption was always involved in only one-quarter of such cases.

* A Rape and Justice in Ireland briefing paper of September 2010 outlines research which indicates that decisions on the consumption of alcohol made by both men and women can have the effect of facilitating the incidence of rape and make detection and prosecution of rape more difficult and that alcohol consumption affects decisions on whether to report alleged rapes.

Rape Crisis Network Ireland said ABFI was trying to distance alcohol from sexual violence.

"We do not need to talk in these general terms when we have concrete evidence and know the facts," said Cliona Saidlear of RCNI.

She also questioned why the alcohol industry was involved in the decision-making process in the first place. "


how many drink related rapes will it take for us to wake up and realise we have a deep problem here?
how many drink related rapes will it take for us to wake up and realise we have a deep problem here?

is this how the world sees us?
is this how the world sees us?

or maybe it's this way?
or maybe it's this way?

author by Mano Monopublication date Sat Apr 14, 2012 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"45% of complainants and 41% of suspects were severely intoxicated around the time of the rape"

If a woman is drunk it's rape because she is not able to give "consent"? If a man is drunk....... it's still rape? What I mean is, two drunk people getting it on.... she regrets it the next day.... hey presto..... RAPE! What if the guy regretted it more? I mean even before he is to be branded a sex criminal for life. Would she have raped him? Oh I guess not. Who ever heard of such a silly thing. It's not like there's equality under the law or anything.

Yes, drink is a major factor in domestic violence against men, women and children. It is also major factor in suicide, which they fail to mention in this article. But then suicides are mostly those nasty men so who care right? Let's just talk about domestic violence and rape because we still have people believing women are the Victims and men are the guilty ones (incorrectly) in those areas.

Maybe you should do an article on how information on mens rights are edited from articles, sites and newspaper articles?

author by leftypublication date Sat Apr 14, 2012 20:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Instead of derailing this one, why don't you go away and write such an article?. This one is about political machinations of drinks companies lobbyists not men vs women. It doesn't really matter who is the party wronged / in the wrong because in either case, both lives are destroyed and drink is a major factor in this destruction of lives. Changing the law and society to make rape convictions even more difficult is clearly not the solution at all here. Getting drink out of the equation as much as possible however clearly is.

Society may have indeed have its biases and sometimes men do get a bad rap but the last ESRI report on such matters shows the ratio for domestic violence is still 2:1 in Ireland for domestic violence. ( http://www.esri.ie/pdf/BKMNEXT056_Domestic%20Abuse.pdf )
That means its 2:1 in favour of men being violent towards women still in Ireland, whatever about other countries. Also, women are the weaker gender physically and they can get pregnant with all its consequences for their lives so they need a strong deterrent in law and in society to protect them from being raped. Even with this "strong bias" in place, the fact is many rapes still go unreported. Often because girls think people will just say exactly what you did, i.e. that they consented under the influence.

I don't see you talking about male on male violence but since you are defending men here then perhaps you have something to say about drink as a factor in male on male violence? It certainly exacerbates this kind of situation too. We've all seen the drunken bloody brawls after closing time and the tell tale red puddles on the paths. Often resulting in more people unnecessarily clogging up our already overstretched A&E facilities. Drink overall does not do men any favours.

I'm glad you mentioned suicide because drink, as a depressant, is very likely major factor in that too. Mostly younger men here too. Unable to deal properly with pressures in their lives, identity issues, work issues, emotional issues etc no doubt. All often distorted and magnified out of all proportion by consumption of drink.

Its time drink was taken out of the equation in our human relationships as much as possible. Then maybe amongst other issues, your own particular issues about how men relate to women and how society presents this could be clarified also. In fact most human relationship issues would be easier to tackle as a result of drink being less of a factor.

So whether men get a bad rap or not, I think we're both likely in agreement that drink only makes things even worse for BOTH parties in these violent / sexual interactions and as such, we really need to take some serious action. No more cheap drink sales from supermarkets. Its not a complete solution but it's a start.

author by leftypublication date Sun Apr 15, 2012 00:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Another even more interesting article by the examiner:

full article here:


Some Quotes:

"Later the report highlights that:

* Alcohol was responsible for at least 88 deaths every month in 2008;

* It is a contributory factor in half of all suicides;

* Is a factor in deliberate self-harm;

* Increases the risk of more than 60 medical conditions and is associated with 2,000 beds being occupied every night in Irish acute hospitals, one-quarter of injuries presenting to emergency departments, and over half of attendances to specialised addiction treatment centres. "

"Huge swathes of draft reports were "unacceptable" to ABFI.

It tried to block the inclusion of a table on "cost of harmful use of alcohol in Ireland" because it said the data was unpublished — "We don’t believe it should be included if it has not been peer reviewed," it said."

"Eventually, when it seemed the document was about to be made public and it was clear that many of ABFI’s concerns would not be addressed, the new director of ABFI, Kathryn D’Arcy, wrote to Dr Holohan demanding that her organisation had a "fundamental right" to have a minority report included in the final report "to record our views on the process and the recommendations".

"(We) will not agree to sign off on the final report until we get an opportunity to have our minority report included," she said.

A review of that "minority report" simply confirms the view that ABFI was very much on the margins by the time it was finally completed. For 15 pages it picked holes in the draft report with a huge number of the points clearly motivated by its bottom line — the profits of the drinks industry. In the end, the minority report was not included in the final document. "

most damning:

"In the unpublished document, ABFI not surprisingly rejects, among a myriad of other things, a call for an industry-sponsored "social responsibility levy", increasing excise duties, minimum pricing for alcohol (though supported a ban on below cost selling), a 9pm watershed on alcohol advertising and a reduction on recommended daily intake. "

Dumping the real costs of your product on to the society at large is called "externalising" by corporations. These hidden but very real costs are called "externalities". We have been paying these "externalities" while drinks companies made profits for many years. How much would they all amount to if we were to total them up over 50 years I wonder??

why the hell shouldn't there be a "social responsibility levy" since their product is clearly responsible?? Bah!
Good on the examiner for covering this issue.

Our state visit by Obama was just a glorified free guinness commercial (Now owned by diagio, a company paying the bulk of its taxes elsewhere not in Ireland).

Guinness still accounts for more than a quarter of all beer sold in Ireland. The UK is the only sovereign state to consume more Guinness than Ireland, and the third largest Guinness drinking nation is Nigeria.

All very fucked up drunken nations, you'll agree. Guinness as a company, has a lot to answer for in these maters.
Their toxic brown shit ain't "good for you" at all!!

Though this company might piss and moan about declining sales when confronted with a social levy, the fact is business is still VERY GOOD for the drinks giant.
"Overall sales in Europe were down 3pc in the six months to December 31, but Diageo said this was more than offset by strong growth in North America and in emerging markets as pre-tax profits rose 16pc to £1.61bn (€1.9bn). "

we suffer while they profit handsomely.

see how Tesco, despite pretending to have a social conscience on the matter has previously moved in scotland to avoid legisltion on cheap alcohol sales: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/tesco-move...98272

their "externalities"....our lives.

FREE YOUR MINDS!! (from drunken stupor)

***vegetarians, did you know fish bladders are still used in making guinness BTW? Disgusting and primitive eh?




author by leftypublication date Sun Apr 15, 2012 00:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

below cost selling of alcohol as a loss leader by tesco and others:


author by Moderation Mandypublication date Sun Apr 15, 2012 02:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In 19th century Britain gin palaces and smoky beerhalls were the alternative social meeting places to the churches. Drink was regarded as 'the curse of the working class'. Leaders of social reform movements, including the Chartists and the trades unions, automatically gave verbal support to the temperance movement. These leaders knew that workers who squandered their low wages on booze deprived families of basic nourishment as well as damaging home life with domestic violence. Workers who struggled to end the control of alcohol over their lives were then better able to struggle with their unions for better wages and conditions of work.

It is time for leaders of Irish trades unions and radical social and political campaigns to remember what happened in the Uk during the 19th century. Today Irish youth is letting itself get pissed out of its lazy mind. Adding soft and hard drugs makes it all a life-threatening cocktail mix. The dropout rate among first year students at higher education institutions is alarming; exam failure rates are partly caused by too much time spent boozing and too little time at studying. Students enjoy reading trashy entertainment magazines and don't bother to read radical websites like this one. Irish left magazines have a low student readership outside Dublin and Belfast. Is it any wonder that there is so much social apathy and irresponsibility among Irish youth these days when the country is staring into the abyss of decades-long sovereign debt and depression?

author by JoeMcpublication date Sun Apr 15, 2012 14:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lefty's well-meaning use of the pics shown above to get the anti-alcohol message across won't work in my opinion. If anything that (staged?) pic of the leggy girl laying in a prone position in front of a litter bin on what looks like Dublin's O Connell St will if anything boost alcohol sales to youngsters . The same goes for the pic of the pleasant looking lad with the booze bottle who is pulling a funny face in another pic .

I can't see why Pat thinks that Muslims would be interested in getting themselves involved in some row about cheap alcohol sales btw. Just last week Lefty referred to “wacky” Muslim beliefs on a thread about the "crucifixion party" that was held in Dublin on Good Friday . Now she is getting accused of being a bit like a Muslim herself - crime of crimes ! You are damned either as a killjoy or as a wacko if you’re a Muslim on Indymedia Ireland , there's nothing in between they're all either crazy or else just plain nasty . And the very same people that are calling Muslims wacko one day will often be calling them killjoys the next !

author by leftypublication date Sun Apr 15, 2012 18:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Just last week Lefty referred to “wacky” Muslim beliefs on a thread about the "crucifixion party" that was held in Dublin on Good Friday . Now she is getting accused of being a bit like a Muslim herself - crime of crimes ! You are damned either as a killjoy or as a wacko if you’re a Muslim on Indymedia Ireland , there's nothing in between they're all either crazy or else just plain nasty . And the very same people that are calling Muslims wacko one day will often be calling them killjoys the next !

Its the religious ideas themselves that I consider crazy not the actual people who likely had this nonsense imposed on them as children. The "wacky beliefs" were the ones involving god / allah and the afterlife (and putting kaffirs to the sword etc). However, there is nothing crazy about the practical social rule of abstention from alcohol in this life. Makes sense. In THIS life, we're all the same, in the same boat together, with the same social problems, alcohol abuse being one of them.

I have no problems with actual people of any race, be they "muslim" or otherwise and I resent any such implication. We're all the same in my book in all the ways that truly matter. just some commonly held religious ideas seem a bit daft to me. Most religious notions of god/s and the afterlife seem daft to me. "Muslims" are not unique in this habit of not properly questioning daft creation myths handed down to them by authority figures. (The rather convenient standard "do not question the sacred ideas" clause built in to most religions has a bearing of course!). However in my book there is a huge difference between the actual person and a stupid idea they happen to have at a particular point in time. Ideas can easily change but you are still you with the same head, body and brain. Not easy to change those for someone elses.(nitpicking about cell death and cell division aside!)

In fact, in my opinion, identifying people as "muslims" or "christians" or "jews" is a terrible idea as it conflates people's true identities as human beings with some medievil abstract fake notions about god and the afterlife they had forced on them as children and plays right into the hands of those that would try to control minds for their own ends. Religious ideas are as much a function of geography as anything else if you think about it. The fact is People are NOT their religion. They may "choose to believe in" / "have imposed upon them" some religious ideas at a certain point in time but what they really ARE consists of a head, arms and legs and a body containing a hungry stomach and living on a particular piece of land, in a particular society, trying to survive as long as they can. All things that humans have in common, as opposed to a bunch of divisive stupid made up ideas from various religious holy books which we don't.

Those religious ideas are often just a system of control which serves to divide us and stop us seeing all we have in common and instead make us see only differences, and often exists so that most of those bodies and those arms and legs will all do what they are told instead of getting together en masse and changing the social rules for something more akin to fair play that benefits all instead of just an elite scheming sociopathic few. This is how I see people unlike you Joe, as legs arms, heads and stomachs which need food, clothing, warmth and justice in THIS life, unlike most "muslims", "christians"," jews" who often meekly accept injustice in this life, believing they will get it in the afterlife, or, in the case of religious jihadists, willingly embracing their own death in the misguided certainty that they are going somewhere else, somewhere better. Complete with lots of sexually available virgins. These primitive belief systems just facilitate ruling forces who themselves clearly have no illusions about the afterlife and seek their power, money and longevity in this life.

People holding islam as a belief are just people with a few daft ideas. People holding christian ideas are just people with a few daft ideas. etc etc. whats common is the people bit. Lets sort that out first then when we are all being treated fairly and living under an equitable system of resource management and fair social rules (and it ain't sharia or the ten commandments!), then we can sit down and make up wacky stories without evidence about the unknown in our spare time and argue about them. One of the problems with this world is that we made up the stories without evidence first before sorting out the practical social justice and resource management stuff!!

So Lets make a fresh start in the direction of achieving social justice in THIS life which we all have in common and which is likely all there is, by tackling the low hanging fruit, stuff we really can change.

We could start by getting rid of cheap idiot juice and too much TV from our lives so we might start to think straight. We could probably do it tomorrow if we had the collective will to. But we are clearly out of control. So some proper anti cheap supermarket alcohol legislation would really help. It's not much but it's a step in the right direction.

author by P Naughtonpublication date Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am appending the following comment to this thread , for which it was originally intended . I had originally posted it by mistake to another thread concerning the drinks industry.

I know that it probably won’t go down too well with some people on this site, but isn't it about time we started to ask ourselves some very honest questions about what has gone wrong in Irish society over the past few decades ? Thirty years since the banning of corporal punishment in schools and the government is apparently now seriously considering legislation to make it a crime for parents to chastise their children in the home ! I’ve seen that picture before of the young "lady" lying drunk and half naked in the middle of the street . Quite frankly , it makes me feel more and more disgusted every time I look at it.

author by Tpublication date Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That report appears to have been actually published in Feb 2012 -unless it was delayed? And the press release for it from back in Feb 2013 on the Dept of Health website about the above report and it can be found here:

And the report can downloaded from here

But the report is attached here to make it easier to find it.

Here's some bullet points from the report I found particularly interesting or damming of the industry, but there is many more. It is worth just reading the first chapter which gives many of these bullet points even if you don't get around to reading the rest of it.

* Irish 16–21 year olds list alcohol
advertisements as fi ve of their top ten
favourite advertisements.

* Alcohol is associated with 2,000 beds being
occupied every night in Irish acute hospitals,
one-quarter of injuries presenting to emergency
departments and over half of attendances to
specialised addiction treatment centres.

* Between 2000 and 2004 alcohol was
estimated to lead to 10.3 per cent of bed-days
(3,428,973 bed-days) in acute Irish hospitals.17
In 2003–2004, 28 per cent of injuries
presenting to emergency departments were
recorded as being due to alcohol

PDF Document National Substance Misuse Steering Group Report on Alcohol in Ireland (Feb 2012) 2.6 Mb

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