Dear Frank Dobson
I’m just listening to you speak on Decision Time, Radio 4, broadcast on 27th January.
You’ve just claimed – and I’m quoting your words exactly here – that “heavy drinkers cause a vast amount of disorder, get involved in sexual assaults, get involved in accidents and are a major nuisance with loutish behaviour.”
As a heavy drinker myself, I find your comments astonishingly offensive. I have never been involved – even in my youth – in any of the behaviour you describe above, and neither have any of my friends. You are quite clearly implying that if I drink, I am more likely to assault someone violently or sexually.
Your failure to specify ‘some’ or ‘a minority of’ drinkers, or to qualify your claims in any other way, means you are quite clearly claiming that ANYONE who drinks heavily is more likely to carry out such an assault. Having studied NHS and ONS data closely (I’d recommend you do the same) I know for a fact that there is no proof of this. While those who are already prone to sexual or violent assault may well have a drink before carrying out an attack, you are making a grave and slanderous error by implying that alcohol itself makes people more likely to commit such an attack. You are wilfully confusing correlation with causation.
On behalf of myself and the vast majority of drinkers who consume a legal drug that in the vast majority of cases enhances and benefits social interaction rather than damaging it, I demand an apology from you for this appalling slur on our characters, and suggest you check the facts before you open your mouth on this topic again.
As a beer writer, I’ll be copying this email in various channels and urging my many law-abiding, respectable readers to make their feelings known to you in a similar fashion.
Frank Dobson MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AARing Frank on –
020 7219 4452 or 020 7219 5840Fax Frank on –
020 7219 6956Email Frank on