Tuesday 18 January 2011

You what, Don?

Well, the theme of minimum pricing/below cost selling has been done to death, so I didn’t see much point in doing yet another post on the subject. But my eyes popped out at the comment by Don Shenker of Alcohol Concern in this report that: “Duty is so low in the UK that it will still be possible to sell very cheap alcohol and be within the law.” Come again, Don? The UK has the highest alcohol duties in Western Europe with the exception of the Irish Republic and the Scandinavian countries. By any international comparison, UK duties are in fact very high, and governments of both complexions have been steadily raising them through the “alcohol duty escalator”.

There was a blog, now sadly dormant it would seem, called Don Shenker is a C**t. It would seem that proposition is all too true. And a lying c**t at that. Indeed it is very striking how much of the neo-Prohibitionist case is built on a foundation of blatant lies – “alcohol consumption is at record levels”, “pubs are open 24 hours a day”, “alcohol is cheaper than it ever has been”, “Britain has the highest alcohol consumption in Europe” etc. Interestingly, that blog is still the first result suggested by Google when you do a search for “Don Shenker”.


  1. The guy does appear to be witless moron. However, the old trick of repeating outrageous nonsense loud enough and long enough will still get him airtime. Does no one ever bring him up on his blatant lying, though?

  2. At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, it's the classic Nazi "Big Lie" technique, isn't it? If it's said often enough, people will come to believe it, or at least get a feeling that there must be some truth in it.

    Maybe the country's leading organisation representing the interests of beer drinkers and pubgoers should bring him up on it. Oh, hang on...

  3. Shenker is cheaper than it ever has been!

    Consumption is at record levels!

  4. I think you forgot the following

    "Alcohol related illness will not bankrupt the NHS"

    "Alcohol consumption is trending downwards"

    "Alcohol related crime is not increasing"

    "Alcohol has no proven ill effects on the vast majority of drinkers"

    "Alcohol is not cheaper than water"

    and so on.

  5. Will have to remind Fido to do another post on Shenker when out for a few beers with him again.

  6. Spot on, PC, even though I have to say I've seen it all before. ;)

    I'm wondering, like you, when the hospitality industry is going to properly wake up to these threats and start to flex their muscles against the government.

    Mike Benner using a Shenker stock phrase yesterday was astounding!

  7. We have Godwins Law for Hitler, perhaps we should coin the phrase "Atherton's Law" for bringing up smoking bans and restictions in the context of other lifestle restrictions.

    So says the Royal College of Physicians.

    "The ‘passive effects' of alcohol misuse are catastrophic - rape, sexual assault, domestic and other violence, drunk driving and street disorder - alcohol affects thousands more innocent victims than passive smoking."

    Thw World Health Organization (WHO) has the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control from 2004. You drinkers I am sure will comforted that just in time you now have your own one on alcohol, the Framework For Alcohol Policy (FAP), mission statement:

    1. All people have the right to a family, community and working life protected from accidents, violence and other negative consequences of alcohol consumption.

    2. All people have the right to valid impartial information and
    education, starting early in life, on the consequences of alcohol consumption on health, the family and society.

    3. All children and adolescents have the right to grow up in an
    environment protected from the negative consequences of alcohol consumption and, to the extent possible, from the promotion of alcoholic beverages.

    4. All people with hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption and members of their families have the right to accessible treatment and care.

    5. All people who do not wish to consume alcohol, or who cannot do so for health or other reasons, have the right to be safeguarded from pressures to drink and be supported in their non-drinking behaviour."

    In Glasgow the police and council are planning to ban the sale of alcohol in the last hour pubs are open. So when does 1 hour become 2..3..4..5 etc.

    "In the hour before closing time, pubs should be prohibited from selling alcohol. The “winding down” hour would not allow for extra licensed hours."

    Perhaps even Tyson will admit that when they banned alcohol in pubs it led to closures.




  8. Also pointed out today by the BBPA that the UK, despite only having 12% of the population, pays 40% of the total beer duty in the EU.

  9. You are not risking anyone intelligent invoking Godwin Curmudgeon. Godwin said that a topic debated on line will inevitably eventually bring up a reference to Hitler irrespective of the initial subject matter. Others have misinterpreted him to try to undermine viewpoints that include perfectly contextually accurate comparisons to the man and his regime. It is a juvenile form of censorship that is especially odious when used to try to protect those who try to create “facts” by repeating the same lie(s) over a period of time, a technique that as you correctly point out was used very effectively by Hitler’s regime.

    Don Shenker’s comments do seem out of touch with reality but he doesn’t need to be right does he. He just has to get published by an uncritical media on a regular basis.


Comments, especially on older posts, may require prior approval by the blog owner. See here for details of my comment policy.

Please register an account to comment. Unregistered comments will generally be rejected unless I recognise the author. If you want to comment using an unregistered ID, you will need to tell me something about yourself.