Revised UK Department of Health guidance on alcohol consumption has met with widespread anger and criticism.
'Government cuts have now gone too far,' said John Smith, a typical British drinker. 'First they reduce spending on essential public services,' he told reporters bitterly, 'then they slash benefits, now they've cut back the amount of booze we can all drink without feeling guilty. It's a scandal!'
The campaign to 'Raise Alcohol Tolerance by Actively and Regularly Supporting Excessive Drinking,' led a protest march through central London this morning. They handed in a petition at Downing Street demanding an urgent review of the new guidelines and an emergency interim moratorium on alcohol limits pending that review.
'Not only have they totally removed a safe alcohol limit,' said Stella Foster, a spokeswoman for the RATARSED campaign, 'but they've also told us not to drink on at least two nights each week. What do they expect people to do on those two nights,' she added angrily, 'sit around in the pub drinking water with our crisps? It's just not realistic. The government is living in a fantasy world.'
The government are said to be fully behind the new guidance after a clause was added to exclude from the recommendations any units of alcohol consumed within the City of Westminster.
The official Labour Party position is unclear due to disagreements within the shadow cabinet. Left wing activists are already preparing, however, to intimidate those who oppose Jeremy Corbyn when his view becomes known. Analysts expect Jeremy Corbyn to oppose the new guidelines, in part because the Labour leader looks as if he ought to be standing in a CAMRA pub sampling a pint and extolling the virtues of Fuggles Old Peculiar, but also because of the lead given by current Russian guidance - the latter being to continue to consume vodka until consciousness is lost.
The Liberal Democrat perspective has not yet been clarified, but will be included in an update to this report as soon as anyone can remember the name of that bloke who took over from Nick Clegg.
The drinks industry has responded by highlighting bias within the new guidelines. 'The document demonstrates a quite extraordinary negativity towards alcohol,' said a spokesman. 'Research we have commissioned demonstrates clear health benefits from consuming alcohol in all circumstances in which harm cannot be definitely proven. Drink responsibly,' he added, almost inaudibly.
There has been insufficient time since the guidance was published for many ordinary people to fully consider the document. 'I ain't got time to read that,' said a typical consumer, 'I've gotta meet me mates down the pub in ten minutes.'
'If it wasn't for drinking,' added a younger member of the public, 'where would I meet my friends? We all get together every Friday night - first at the pub and then at a club and then down at A and E.
The RATARSED campaign has advised people not to panic. They have recommended that, until the current chaos of official recommendations is resolved, people should drink at home from a number of simultaneously open wine boxes. 'People can then estimate their own consumption as always being at a low to moderate level,' concluded Stella Foster, 'without having to consider boring, objective measurements.'