I have expressed concern on here in the past that CAMRA seemed to be adopting an ostrich-like attitude to the threat from the anti-drink lobby, failing to see the parallels with the anti-tobacco movement and somehow believing that the tide of neo-Prohibitionism would wash over real ale and traditional pubs. Even worse, on some issues it was tempted to make common cause with the antis, naïvely believing that a combined assault on the off-trade would somehow benefit pubs.
Now, it seems the penny has finally started to drop. First came the online petition to oppose the BMA’s anti-drink proposals, which at the time of writing has garnered over 700 signatures.
Now the October issue of What’s Brewing has a front-page headline “Doctors push for tough new curbs on alcohol” and the editorial is entitled “Anti-drink lobby must be stopped”:
The catch-all approach currently being suggested by the BMA seems draconian – penalising the many for the actions of the few.Over the coming years this must become CAMRA’s core campaign as, make no mistake, if the anti-drink lobby have their way, there will be precious little left worth campaigning for.
It seems naïve to claim that those who drink alcohol irresponsibly do so because the pub is open a few hours later, or it is a certain price, or indeed that they’ve seen an advert that day. Responsible drinkers experience the same adverts, are charged the same prices and visit the same pubs with the same opening hours – but don’t abuse alcohol.
And please don’t give any space or time to the absurd myth that “responsible drinkers don’t exceed 3-4 units a day”!