The noise going up while consumption going down. Listen to the views of the fun police and you would think that Australia has embarked on some new kind of alcohol explosion.

The truth, as revealed by Australian Bureau of Statistics figures this morning, is somewhat different. Alcohol consumption per person has been relatively stable for 20 years

And over the last four alcohol consumption has actually fallen from 10.56 litres of pure alcohol per head in 2008 to 9.99 litres in 2010-11.

Babies are in safe hands here The World Health Organisation released a report overnight Born too soon: the global action report on preterm birth. Each year, the report shows, some 15 million babies in the world, more than one in 10 births, are born too early. More than one million of those babies die shortly after birth; countless others suffer some type of lifelong physical, neurological, or educational disability, often at great cost to families and society. Yet an estimated three-quarters of those preterm babies who die could survive without expensive care if a few proven and inexpensive treatments and preventions were available worldwide.

Australia does relatively well in providing the necessary care and comes well down the world’s pre-term birth list.

And another WHO publication, Levels and Trends in Child Mortality, shows Australia as almost the safest country in the world to have a child – second behind only Andorra with the lowest rate of neonatal mortality, covering deaths in the first month after birth and in 2010 only Iceland had a lower mortality rate for children under five. Further details are on The Stump blog.

Broken promises and the power of the internet. The internet, with things like You Tube, has certainly added a new dimension to politics. Messages that once required the thousands of dollars that only major political parties and lobby groups could muster are now available to all of us.

Like this one that a kind reader has referred to me about Ted Baillieu and his Victorian coalition government.

Not that many views yet but I predict it soon will have.

Some news and views noted along the way.