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Cameron at odds with Chief Medical Officer's advice on children drinking at home

The BBC reports that the Government's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Liam Donaldson, has warned that parents who allow their children to drink alcohol at home may actually be increasing the chances of drinking problems. "The more [children] get a taste for it, the more likely," Donaldson warns, "they are to be heavy drinking adults or binge drinkers later in childhood."

That is not David Cameron's view. This is what the Tory leader told BBC Radio 1 in August 2008:

"I think the idea of introducing your children to understand that drinking is something you can do socially and something you can do with a meal and something that is part of life, you know, I think that is the way to do it. some of the friends I had, the ones who had the biggest problems were the ones where actually they never were able to drink anything at home. whereas the ones who drink responsibly were the ones who were given a glass of wine or small glass of beer or shandy or something, just to get them to know, right this is alcohol, this is what is does, you have to be careful. I think that's the right way to do it, in the home."

Cameron's approach makes sense to me. As with the climate change scientists and the government's drug advisers, it is important that politicians - rather than 'experts' - make the final policy decisions.

Tim Montgomerie


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