Stand up to the anti-alcohol brigadeFrom the Morning Advertiser
Whatever you think about the actions of the Belgian brewery workers, threatened by redundancy, who for two weeks in January defended their livelihoods, by blocking roads, setting fire to beer crates, kidnapping managers and handing out free beer.
Please note, by getting their bosses back to the table, they won that round.
Our pub business, in its dealings with the Government and its neo-prohibitionist hangers- on, could take a leaf from the book of these workers.
There are similarities in the two positions after all. Both groups have their livelihoods threatened and in both cases, it could be argued, they are threatened on pretty dodgy grounds — the brewery workers because the employer was making profits and they could, therefore, see no reason why they should be fired.
In the case of our industry so many of the allegations against it are patently such complete bunkum that any independent assessment would see the neo-prohibitionist case dismissed out of hand.
The difference is the brewery workers were totally focused on what they had to do and had the guts and leadership to see it through. Our lot on the other hand, in the face of the Health Select Committee report on alcohol and the mandatory code seem to do nothing but make placatory noises to the enemy.
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) don’t protest, but welcome minimum pricing and who knows what the British Beer and Pub Association think.
We need somebody to get out there and tell the world that alcohol consumption is falling and so is the incidence of underage and binge drinking, as well as alcohol-related crime.
For too long we have allowed the neo-prohibitionists to set the agenda.
For too long we have been unquestioning of anything the British Medical Association says, even when it’s patently rubbish (for instance that anybody who drinks more than the recommended daily unit is a “hazardous” drinker).
We have to fight back — another leaf we can take from the Belgian workers’ book. Being Mr Nice Guy just doesn’t work when you are dealing with bigots and fanatics.
In addition to exposing their lies, we need to bring home the benefits that alcohol, particularly alcohol consumed in pubs, brings to millions of people. We are talking about a vital, life-enhancing experience, not the joyless dystopia these latter day Puritans would impose on us all. Let’s set about defending it now before it’s too late
**One area where we need to take action is on the fake charities, or quango's as they are commonly known. In particular Alcohol Concern what is laughingly referred to as a charity, but is in fact a lobby group for HM Govt and who receives the vast majority of their funding from your taxes via government and not public donations like proper charities.
They issue outright lies, twist facts and are leading the call for ever higher prices, demonizing all drinkers for the actions of a few and issuing constant press releases; very few of which are ever challenged.
The head of this fake charity one Don Shenker(left) claims often in the media that cheap booze is the scourge of modern society and is getting cheaper an outright lie(sue me Don). That unless it is taxed we shall all die and be reduced to mindless beasts rutting in the fields.
However in the real world, not the taxpayer funded public sector or fake charity industry that Don works in; alcohol is (on average) more expensive than it used to be -see here(link). According to the Office of National Statistics:
Between 1980 and 2008, the price of alcohol increased by 283.3%. After considering inflation (at 21.3%), alcohol prices increased by 19.3% over the period.
Now either Don is misinformed, or he is a deliberate liar?
The very alcohol units quoted by thin lipped puritans out to raise taxes and destroy the beer trade are utterly useless with no basis in real science what so ever:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8172982.stm
Now if we are to enjoy a social drink before it is banned and banned it will be if they have their way, if we are not forced to produce our ID cards and be treated as verminous suspects by the New Labour state; we must all act now.