A drop of claret never hurt my little darlings

The latest health fatwa is aimed at the wrong target, as usual, says James Delingpole.

Ian Jones red wine A drop of claret never hurt my little darlings

This weekend I shall sit down to Sunday lunch with my children, splash their glasses with a drop of claret, and drink a hearty toast to the departure of the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson. My children are nine and 11, so I know Sir Liam would disapprove – indeed, he told us as much in his latest fatwa. “Children under 15 should not drink alcohol at all,” declared his new health guidelines on children’s drinking. “Those between 15 and 17 should be supervised by their parents if they are drinking and should limit alcohol intake to one day a week.”

The cheek of it! Was there ever a hectoring, busybodying government directive better guaranteed to have the opposite effect of the one intended? That was certainly its impact upon me. Normally at Sunday lunch, my children only have half a finger’s worth of wine in their glasses – just to give the water a bit of colour, and make them feel grown-up. But after Sir Liam’s nannying strictures, I’m tempted to treat the little darlings to a magnum each.

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