I recently looked at why CAMRA remained so puzzlingly silent in the face of the current tidal wave of anti-drink sentiment, and set up a poll asking “Should CAMRA do more to fight the rise of neo-Prohibitionism?”
There were 74 responses – I think the highest for any poll apart from the smoking ban one – and the results were:
Yes, it should speak out: 56 (76%)
No, we have alcohol problems that need to be addressed: 1 (1%)
No, it should adopt a narrower, non-political role: 1 (1%)
It’s a waste of space anyway: 16 (22%)
That must be one of the most conclusive results in any poll I have ever run. More than three-quarters of people took the view it should speak out more, while only one went for Option 2 which is closest to the current view of the leadership, and likewise only one selected Option 3 which at least, as I said in a comment, has the benefit of intellectual coherence.
I assume most of those who answered “It’s a waste of space anyway” are people who believe that neo-Prohibitionism should be resisted, but CAMRA has been so compromised by its equivocation on this issue as to be incapable of mounting any successful challenge.
So a very clear signal there, but don’t hold your breath for any change of course.
While CAMRA remains wedded to the ideas the a minimum alcohol price that raises the typical price of off-trade drinks will benefit the pub trade (which it won’t) and that most consumption of off-trade alcohol is inherently irresponsible (which it isn’t) then don’t expect any change from the current sleepwalk into prohibition.
First, they came for the cheap lager drinkers, but I never drank cheap lager, so I wasn’t concerned…