I READ with interest the letter (17 January) from Dr Evelyn Gillan of Alcohol Focus Scotland with regard to my Friends of the Scotsman article (15 January) and would point out that I quoted the exact title of the report Societal Cost of Alcohol Misuse in Scotland for 2007, not when it was published. This means that the statistics, such as they are, are now seven years out of date and, as Dr Gillan will know, given that these figures are also available on the Scottish Government website, average male and female consumption of alcohol declined by 20 and 15 per cent, respectively, between 2003 and 2012.
I would also take issue with the statement “Scotland’s relationship with alcohol is an unhealthy one”, but would certainly agree that too many people in Scotland’s relationship with alcohol is an unhealthy one. I do not have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and neither do the vast majority of the people of Scotland.
I, like most other people in Scotland, can distinguish between sociable drinking in the pub and drinking heavily at home because virtually all my drinking is the former and if Dr Gillan and Alcohol Focus Scotland wish to join my crusade to increase the former and decrease the latter, then I am all ears.
National chairman, Campaign for Real Ale