I LIKE the odd drink as much as the next man. Unless the next man is someone with the thirst of a George Best or Oliver Reed.

I’m sure my intake’s very moderate indeed. But how many others are saying exactly the same? And how many are blind to the truth?

A report just out says that 27,000 people in Poole are guzzling too much. 27,000!

It’s easy to dismiss such statistics, assuming they can’t apply to you or me. We’re not binge-drinkers guzzling bucketloads are we?

But 27,000 is a mighty big proportion of Poole’s population. One in four adults. And I doubt if the figures differ very greatly for Bournemouth or most other parts of Britain.

Figures are hard to absorb even when you’re sober but, nationally, 1,500 men and women are admitted to hospital every day because of alcohol. Many for conditions like high blood pressure that we may not even know we have.

And our culture of self-deception has surely been highlighted by the admission of former PM Tony Blair that “although not remotely a toper” his drinking was at the “outer limit”. He writes: “Stiff whisky or a G&T before dinner and couple of glasses of wine or even half a bottle with it.”

Outer limit? Of what? Would the rest of us have slept happily knowing our PM was downing half a bottle of wine on top of a Scotch at night?

Tony Blair once famously said: “I can only go one way. I have not got a reverse gear.”

Reverse gear? Call me a puritan but this is the man whose finger was on the button of the nation’s security?

When, legally, he’d wouldn’t even have been allowed behind the wheel of a car!