Back in September, Emily Ryans of CAMRA created a very laudable petition on the Number 10 website saying:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to reject proposals from the British Medical Association to vastly increase taxes on alcohol and restrict pub opening hours; and to protect the interests of the responsible, sensible majority of moderate drinkers.What drinker or pubgoer could object to that? Yet it only achieved 2,824 signatures. When we consider that CAMRA has over 100,000 members, at least half of whom must be Internet-literate, that is frankly pathetic. It was given a certain amount of publicity in What’s Brewing, but it never appeared on the front page with a direct link to the web page.
The proposition in the petition was entirely reasonable and moderate and did not challenge any of CAMRA’s shibboleths. But it’s hard to escape the conclusion that far too many members are still preoccupied by tilting against the windmills of Lager, The Supermarkets, The Tie, The Pub Companies and The Keg Menace and completely fail to appreciate the existential threat to every single thing they hold dear.