Guest Post: Terry Barnes I’m a baby boomer, and I like a drink. So there

Oh dear, nanny state researchers are out and about again, finding fresh angles to demonise those of us who enjoy a wee drinkie, a bit of a puff, or a little weed (and not a Little Weed of the Flowerpot Men type)*.

On Wednesdaythe ABC breathlessly reported a new study, published in the British Medical Journal, that finds in the UK and Australia, binge drinking is on the decline among all age groups — except those over the age of 40. And of course, it was a natural for that forum of lefty zeitgeist, ABC News.

It seems we baby boomers – and the generation Xers who want to be like us – are more likely to drink more heavily, smoke more and addle our brain with licit and illicit drugs. The habits of misspent youths in the late sixties and seventies stay with us and die hard, it seems.

Of course, the rent-a-quote public health Pooh-Bahs jumped on the study to cry that more must be done to clamp down on elder self-abuse.

When it came to alcohol, the drug of choice of the boomer generation, the media message of the study leaders was that governments must clamp down on “risky drinking” by older fellas and gals– defined as more than 14 units of alcohol a week, or two units per day.

In the UK, a unit is defined as 10 millilitres of pure alcohol. In Australia, one unit equates to a standard drink. So two standard drinks a day is OK, three is binge drinking. On that measure, more than two glasses of chateau cardboard at a sitting is bingeing, though drinking Grange with lobster might also be an indicator of impaired judgment.

Naturally, the experts lining up to comment on these findings said more must be done to combat alcohol and other drug abuse in the over-forties. Naturally, they said more funding’s needed to protect Australian oldies from themselves.

Of course, they did. And what characteristic drivel.

Let’s be honest, which is a damn sight more than these taxpayer-funded researchers are being in sensationalising their findings. What generation is the healthiest in history, the fittest in history, and will become the longest-lived in history? That’s right, baby boomers. We boomers have survived and thrived because we’ve been smart enough to make informed choices about what we do, look after our bodies and our minds, and be less likely to trouble the scorers when it comes to demands on our healthcare services until the very last stages of life.

Educated boomers know how to drink in moderation, consume tobacco and recreational drugs in moderation, and generally not be an intoxicated nuisance to themselves and others. If boomers are prone to genuinely excessive drinking, it’s likely because it’s hereditary: their kids drive them to it.

As usual, however, the approach of the public health Pooh-Bahs is to urge yet more prohibition and abstinence. They want to make boomers’ mature and twilight years a joyless time of temperance and misery – for our good, they assure us. It seems you and I can’t be trusted to use a bit of responsibility, and we can’t be left alone to enjoy what’s left of our decadent boomer lives.

Reports such as this deserve to be filed in just one place: the wastepaper bin. Now, where’s that third drink?

*If you got the reference, congratulations. You’re a Baby Boomer and this article is about you.

Terry Barnes is a fellow of UK think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs. This op-ed first appeared in The Spectator

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68 Responses to Guest Post: Terry Barnes I’m a baby boomer, and I like a drink. So there

  1. Bill Griffiths

    “We will fight them in the bars. We will fight them in the restaurants. We will fight them in our homes and in the homes of our friends and we will never surrender.” Fight the good fight Terry, secure in the knowledge that we baby boomers are with you all the way: a good Scotch in one hand and a bottle of Aussie shiraz in the other.

  2. closeapproximation

    Bong on, old-timers.

  3. Into every nook and cranny
    the socialist left Nanny-
    State, ‘Big Mother’
    replacing Big Brother,
    to keep his-her
    gender-neutral eye
    on all us plebs …
    quick march, eyes left,
    all together now’
    full steam* ahead
    the the Distopia State.

    (* On renewable energy actually.)

  4. Holy crap! I’m a baby boomer alcoholic and damn proud of it. If I can’t buy it, I’ll start making it.

    Last year I wrote about the Nanny State on my blog: https://australianimage.com.au/the-nanny-state/ and I just have to keep updating it, as I keep coming across more and more idiocy from the Leftist do-gooders who, quite frankly, I’d love to send to a deserted island to play survivor amongst themselves. The world would be a far better place.

  5. iain russell

    Born Dec ’53 I used to be termed a ‘cusp-er’. Then the borders of Booming were expanded to enable it to become the biggest Gen in history, ’45-’65. If anyone seriously thinks that someone born in’45 had the same life as one born in’55 and ’65 then they really do need a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down. Anyhow, hasn’t Australia shown a consistent decrease in pp alcohol consumption since 1970? Certainly the ABS stats I read say so.

  6. stackja

    I’m a baby boomer, and I like a drink of water. So there.

  7. duncanm

    Let’s pick a random institution named in that ABC article: Cancer Council

    Hypocrites, one and all.

    They can GAGF

  8. duncanm

    And another.

    * Flinders Uni Cancer Foundation: Pink Yellow Blue Ball

  9. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Holy crap! I’m a baby boomer alcoholic and damn proud of it. If I can’t buy it, I’ll start making it.

    An “alcoholic’ has been defined as “someone that you don’t like, who drinks as much as you do.”

  10. An “alcoholic’ has been defined as “someone that you don’t like, who drinks as much as you do.”

    Everyone I like drinks as much as I do, often more.

  11. Sydney Boy

    The same lefty organisations are always banging on about drug de-criminalisation too. Hypocrites.

  12. Nov

    They seem to have a problem aith maths as well as research. Most Boomers are on the top side of 50 and all are over 45. 40 is a completely ridiculous boundary.

  13. calli

    Cheers, Boomers! 🍺🍷🍸🍾

    Now they know why we’re all so happy.

  14. duncanm

    Yup – 40-50 is smack bang in the middle of GenX

    I like to think I’m drifting gracefully towards Grandpa Hoover from Little Miss Sunshine.

  15. Most Boomers are on the top side of 50 and all are over 45.

    Actually, by definition, ALL baby boomers are over 52. Two thirds of us were born in the first ten years after the war (1945 to 1955), so most boomers are over 60.

  16. hzhousewife

    Reports like this prove to me that most people actually have jobs which entail doing nothing useful at all. None of the people who research and produce this stuff have any interest AT ALL in doing any practical work like spending time with alcoholics to help them sort themselves out, or spending time with drug addicts helping them integrate into life and repair their relationships etc etc – that is, helping to solve the issues CAUSING over-drinking and over-drugging.
    I agree with the person above who called them all hypocrites.

  17. Squirrel

    I’m more concerned about the health issues of 20/30/40-something boom-bahs than I am about Boomers and their consciousness-altering activities.

    When the ABC starts running a co-ordinated campaign across its various platforms about the correlation between perma-puppy fat (the kind that never goes away, it just hangs around until it becomes a middle-aged spread) and a predilection for ratbag lefty politics as a way of dealing with the resultant anger and self-loathing, I will know that they’re serious about all health issues, not just the issues which fit in with their world view.

  18. True Aussie

    Typical entitled boomer attitude.

  19. Indulging in likker makes us stronger because as kids we baby boomers were fed meat and three veges. Chokos & tripe, that’s what did it, and pressure cooker peas turned to mush.

  20. Confused Old Misfit

    It is my considered opinion that no one should be licensed to practice what is (laughingly) called journalism until they are not less than 42 years of age and have fathered/mothered and raised a male and a female child to the age of 18. If they have not by then acquired a sense of proportion and some sense of what, in life, is important and should be reported to the wider world, they should be put down. Figuratively speaking.

  21. Tintarella di Luna

    Holy crap! I’m a baby boomer alcoholic and damn proud of it. If I can’t buy it, I’ll start making it.

    We are so lucky in our happy home we have clients who make grappa which is a cross between marine varnish and rocket fuel, just like my papa used to make, great for the morning caffe corretto

  22. Tintarella di Luna

    It is my considered opinion that no one should be licensed to practice what is (laughingly) called journalism until they are not less than 42 years of age and have fathered/mothered and raised a male and a female child to the age of 18.

    until that happens it’s just j’ism

  23. egg_

    perma-puppy fat

    Repugnant.
    The surgeons will need chainsaws to operate on ’em once in middle age.

  24. hzhousewife

    It is my considered opinion that no one should be licensed to practice what is (laughingly) called journalism until they are not less than 42 years of age and have fathered/mothered and raised a male and a female child to the age of 18.

    Neither should anyone teach high school or university until then.

  25. Docket62 (deplorable)

    I’m more concerned about the health issues of 20/30/40-something boom-bahs

    You’d be the only one then.

  26. egg_

    Aunty also claimed that coke was on the rise amongst wymminses in their 30s, but explained it away as an ‘affluent lifestyle’ choice.
    Escapism by the childless, more likely?

  27. You’d be the only one then.

    Sadly, no.
    The 25 to 40 year olds today are probably the unhealthiest generation since the place was settled.
    Half of them won’t survive to 50.

  28. Jannie

    It is my considered opinion that no one should be licensed to practice what is (laughingly) called journalism until they are not less than 42 years of age and have fathered/mothered and raised a male and a female child to the age of 18.

    The same license should govern voting qualification.

  29. Geez, I don’t know about anyone being interested in genuinely protecting me from myself. More like some bureaucrat has noting to show for this months show and tell and trots out someones research that shows there’s a demographic that needs more meddling.

    Besides, I think we oldies are justified in drinking a bit more, it helps to dull the feeling that the world has gone utterly bonkers, and that the coming generations have no bloody idea what they’re doing with our country and the world, so they’re stuffing it up every way they can. Those of us old enough to remember a bit of lived history and the aftermath of WWII, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and the cold War look on the current state of the world with dismay and incredulity that our “leaders” could possibly be stuffing things up as royally as they are. Now, where’s that single malt gone……

  30. Bruce in WA

    I gave up smoking because …
    I avoid fatty foods because …
    I cut back on salt because …
    I don’t eat refined carbs because …
    I almost totally cut out sugar because …

    But I’ll be screwed, blued and tattooed if I’m going to give up my three — or even four — glasses of wine at night, spread over a 5 to 6 hour period.

    If that makes me an alkie, so be it. At 67 I’m too bloody old to even want to change.

  31. SavedBySusan

    Thank god the wine bottle cork has all but disappeared. These days I misplace things line corkscrews more and more often. The new thingy-ma-jibit – screw cap solves that problem.

    One twist and its pain relief pleasure time.

    So ABC – piss off.

    I pay for my daily nectar with my private-sector earnings, unlike the rainbow coloured “green-room” twisters in that worthless, interfering, cabal of slackers.

  32. The new thingy-ma-jibit – screw cap solves that problem.
    One twist and its pain relief pleasure time.

    Two litre casks are just as easy to open – and you only have to do it once per evening.

  33. Unless, of course, it’s been a really, really, really hard day.
    Then you might have to do it twice.

  34. Motelier

    Ya’all know where this will end up.

    If you like a tipple then you will need to find a way to make your own, cos, there will be calls for increased taxes on alcohol.

    When push comes to shove, the bastards are going to have to start taxing the raw ingredients.

    So start brewing and distilling cats and kittehs.

    Sorry SatP, the days of profit are long gone, but perhaps we can have Cat get-togethers to sample each others produce.

    Cheers.

  35. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Besides, I think we oldies are justified in drinking a bit more, it helps to dull the feeling that the world has gone utterly bonkers, and that the coming generations have no bloody idea what they’re doing with our country and the world, so they’re stuffing it up every way they can. Those of us old enough to remember a bit of lived history and the aftermath of WWII, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and the cold War look on the current state of the world with dismay and incredulity that our “leaders” could possibly be stuffing things up as royally as they are. Now, where’s that single malt gone……

    Well said, Bushkid. Single malt helps take away the feeling that Australia is the only lunatic asylum on Earth being run by the inmates, and that we’ve finally reached peak stupidity. Sliante.

  36. Dr Fred Lenin

    If you want alcoholics ,look at the pre1945 generations, they drank a lot more than people do now ,look at the number of closed pubs in our cities ,an experience to be remembered was to be in any pub in Victoria at 5,3o pm during 5 o’clock closing days ,now that was drinking on a mass scale ,serious drinking you boomers don’t see this these days. There were twice as many pubs for half or less. the population .

  37. Peter

    Leftists are like the Puritan God Botherers of old, except unlike Puritans they hold no affection at all for the big fella upstairs. The similarity I refer to is that like Puritans they are against things that give people pleasure – it used to be said that puritans were against the medieval sport of bear baiting. Not because of the pain it caused the poor bears but rather because it gave pleasure to the observers.

    It is sometimes also said that the same type used to be against sex – mainly because they feared that it might lead to dancing.

    Members of the modern Left are their heirs and successors, just with different obsessions.

  38. a happy little debunker

    I went to the doctor in March, just before I turned 50 – for a health check.

    Pretty much everything I thought was wrong with me was validated.

    But, one thing took me by absolute surprise

    The incredulity of total disbelief on my doctor’s face, when I confirmed, that I took no illegal drugs.

    Boomers being pisspots is hardly newsworthy, by comparison.

    We have generations of addled, illegal drugs abusers affecting the health budget ahead & forever more.
    What a time to be alive!

  39. Chris M

    The 25 to 40 year olds today are probably the unhealthiest generation since the place was settled.

    I think definitely the opposite. It’s this group that tends to eat more healthy and exercise…. whole food plant based vegan cafes and 24 hours gyms are not so full of old codgers.

    I went to the doctor in March, just before I turned 50 – for a health check.

    I tried that a few years ago, the doctor couldn’t believe a guy would come in just for a health check when nothing was noticeably wrong. She ended up asking me if I’d been having gay sex and was worried about STD’s!! I was just speechless, think my jaw hit the floor. Hahaha, cracks me up still.

  40. It is my considered opinion that no one should be licensed to practice what is (laughingly) called journalism until they are not less than 42 years of age and have fathered/mothered and raised a male and a female child to the age of 18.

    That’s pretty similar to the requirements before being permitted to study Kabbalah.

  41. Snoopy

    She ended up asking me if I’d been having gay sex and was worried about STD’s!

    There’s no risk if you don’t push back.

  42. I’m a baby boomer, and I like a drink of water. So there.

    Wowser.

  43. She ended up asking me if I’d been having gay sex and was worried about STD’s!!

    I hate it when that happens.

  44. I think definitely the opposite. It’s this group that tends to eat more healthy and exercise…. whole food plant based vegan cafes and 24 hours gyms are not so full of old codgers.

    You need to get out of the inner-city cafe-latte district. Out in the ‘burbs this age group thinks “food” comes cardboard boxes, microwave ready, and Coca Cola is a health food dietary supplement drink. “Exercise” is what your thumbs get playing Warcraft.

  45. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I’m a baby boomer, and I like a drink of water. So there.

    Water! Water!

    Filthy stuff, you know what fish do, in water, don’t you?

  46. J.H.

    LOL, love this explaination. So damn true. 😉 “…If boomers are prone to genuinely excessive drinking, it’s likely because it’s hereditary: their kids drive them to it.”

  47. Andrew M.

    Exactly! Youngsters these days don’t know how easy they’ve got it.

    Why… when I were a lad… Terminator 2 was only in 2D.
    You tell that to the kids of today and they won’t believe ye.

  48. johanna

    Hey, Beth! Often read and admired your comments and pomes on the climate blogs.

    As for the nannies, there is never an opportunity to finger-wag that is passed up – especially if it comes with the prospect of juicy research grants.

    Sensible people take no notice.

  49. Mooka

    A young bloke told me that a night out drinking alcohol costs between $100 to $150. Can’t drive home,put on weight and get a hangover.
    A night on ecstasy costs $20, no hangover, loose weight, no refusal of service and small chance of going DUI.
    The “no Fun Police” and Government taxes are driving our youth into the arms of the drug dealers, and then patting themselves on the back when alcohol consumption is down.

  50. tgs

    Lol what a crock of shit ecstasy hasn’t cost $20 since the 90s, every squad car these days has RDT equipment and coming down from a big night on the disco biscuits can be just as bad or worse than a roaring hangover.

    Not to disagree that alcohol taxation and nanny state wowserism isn’t a joke in this country but facts are facts

  51. Ad Nausium

    I am a baby boomer.

    I remember with great fondness when governments made big decisions to benefit the majority rather than benefit of some alphabetic soup of once unheard of nanogroups.

  52. Mother Lode

    The BBC (and all the other elites) seem to forget that a previous generation, fond of guardening and trips to the country, who smoked and drank, that, when war was inevitable, dropped everything, took up arms, kissed their loved ones goodbye (knowing well it might be the last time), and embarked to fight the real nazis.

    And they prevailed. Against a maniacally possessed foe led by a man who thought he was fulfilling history.

    Now, let’s compare them, to the anally abstemious gender-muddled hooligans we have now.

    (Oh, and things that kept them going through sheer hell, were little things like a tot of rum and a cigarette).

  53. Up The Workers!

    As a wise old man once said:

    “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.”

    The miserable, po-faced wowsers, rechabites and fun-police from the British Medical Journal who did that survey, obviously fund their annual lavish round-the-world trips and Rolls Royce purchases, with the funds generated by the latter and not the former.

    A mate of mine, also a ‘baby boomer’, used to have a sign hanging on his wall which said:

    “I’ve a few good reasons for drinking,
    and one has just entered my head;
    If a man can’t drink while he’s living,
    How the hell can he drink when he’s dead?”

    His wife disagreed and threw the sign out. He mostly drinks tea now (when he is allowed).

  54. I’m a baby boomer, and I like a drink of water. So there.

    I gave up drinking our local water because it was giving me headaches. And I’m being serious.

  55. hzhousewife

    I am looking forward to the day that nanny Roxon discovers the kid either smoking or toking or popping – it’s gonna happen, you know it !

  56. Diogenes

    I’m a tail end boomer, just made the 50’s by a few months, I drink and smoke and eat what I like (except shellfish which triggers my gout) despite knowing better . So they can ferk off.

    Most importantly why can’t I claim my cigars and booze as work related expense ? I had given up smoking for 10 years prior to becoming a teacher, and give it up for the holidays and the first or second weeks of term. The need for booze should be self evident (waves arms around muttering about prince boofheads & princess precious)

  57. Rococo Liberal

    This is what happens when governments take over responsibility for paying for healthcare. The balance between the individual and the state is tilted in favour of the state. Lots of bossy little prats in white coats and bureaucrats with cheap suits can now claim to tell us how to live our lives because if we do not live the approved lifestyle there won’t be enough Medicare money to pay for the health problems we cause ourselves.

  58. stackja

    bemused
    #2478699, posted on August 25, 2017 at 8:41 am
    I’m a baby boomer, and I like a drink of water. So there.

    I gave up drinking our local water because it was giving me headaches. And I’m being serious.

    To me an unusual event.

  59. Terry

    Ah, the dilemma.

    Which coping mechanism to choose to deal with the abject stupidity of modern Leftards.

    Resist with a bottle of plonk or get that full frontal lobotomy and join their ranks.

    I’ll have a case of red please.

  60. areff

    What did Bill say after performing oral sex on Ben?

    Gugle gurgle glup gob gulp

  61. To me an unusual event.

    Our way, a lot of people refuse to drink the local water without boiling it or filtering it. I was drinking boiled water and couldn’t figure out the sudden headaches. Went without drinking the water while away for a few days and headaches were gone. If I drink wine, beer and whatever, no headaches. I’m seriously thinking of adding a filtration system.

  62. old bloke

    though drinking Grange with lobster might also be an indicator of impaired judgement.

    That is most certainly the case, lobsters only drink white wine.

  63. old bloke

    Oh dear, nanny state researchers are out and about again, finding fresh angles to demonise those of us who enjoy a wee drinkie, a bit of a puff, or a little weed

    I suspect that two things will come from this…

    1. Increases in the tobacco and alcohol taxes (for our own good, of course)
    2. Age Pensioners will have to call at the Centrelink offices fortnightly to collect their pensions, after they have passed their fortnightly alcohol and drug tests.

  64. don coyote

    I drink, therefore I am.

  65. Neon

    I really can understand why people can go “postal” .

    But to the important part of the ops post. Bring back Bill and Ben. I demand it so it should happen.

    Isn’t this the way the world works now?

  66. bemused
    #2478699, posted on August 25, 2017 at 8:41 am
    I’m a baby boomer, and I like a drink of water. So there.

    I gave up drinking our local water because it was giving me headaches. And I’m being serious.

    Our local supplied water is very heavy on the calcium and chlorine and goodness knows what else, and if drunk un-filtered gives me awful reflux issues. Even using only filtered water, electric kettles eventually give up the ghost through accumulated deposits in their finer workings that can’t be reached for cleaning. Any shower head, bucket, watering can or animal watering trough soon acquires a healthy rim of encrusted mineral deposits. I’ve heard of horses developing enteroliths – stones of accreted mineral – in their intestines large enough to kill them. So yes, beer, wine, scotch – take your pick. They have to be better for you. (Wonder how my horses’d go on shiraz, or if they’d prefer a light, crisp white, or maybe a nice chilled beer……..)

  67. Lauriesienna

    Just stick to a balanced diet….. Yeh! ….I know it’s an old one but a glass in each hand does have merit…

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