Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Cats in a sack

Chris Snowdon is suitably scathing about the ludicrous proposal by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association to impose a £1 per unit minimum alcohol price – more than twice that planned by the Scottish Government.

As I have often argued before, there is no guarantee that simply increasing the price of off-trade alcohol will do anything to help the pub trade, when it won’t make drinks any cheaper in pubs, and there are many reasons beyond price why at-home drinking has increased relative to pubs. I have also said that the anti-drink lobby must be laughing into their sarsaparilla at the sight of different parts of the drinks industry trying to scratch each others’ eyes out in the hope of gaining a short-term advantage.

Chris’ conclusion is well worth reading:

Is there any aspect of the pub debate that is not a cess-pool of cant and hypocrisy? If I see one more politician who voted for the smoking ban crying crocodile tears about the state of the pub industry, I may throw up. CAMRA are no better, climbing into bed with both the anti-smoking brigade and the temperance lobby in their crusade against any pleasure that doesn’t appeal to overweight, middle-aged Jethro Tull fans. Alcohol Concern are, it goes without saying, paid shills and neo-prohibitionists whose world would fall apart if they told the truth for one day. The pub industry, almost to a man, switched sides on the smoking ban as soon as they realised that exemptions for private members' clubs would adversely affect their business. And the SLTA, one of the few groups to have taken a consistent stand against the ban, now wants to torment their customers until they take their rightful place standing outside empty pubs in the rain.

A plague on all their houses. It's got to the stage where I'm now officially on the side of Tesco’s. How the hell did that happen?
Mind you, I think he’s a bit unfair on overweight, middle-aged Jethro Tull fans... cough...

(Also mentioned by Dick Puddlecote and Freedom2Choose Scotland)


  1. CAMRA-baiting for hits now, PC? Me, I have to, but you? ;)

  2. Touched a nerve with the Jethro Tull have I? Apologies, I had to think of a prog rock band I wasn't familiar with. I had Tommy Saxondale in mind for some reason. I'm sure the Tull are very good really.

  3. Chris, Jethro Tull have set themselves up for ridicule since the day they were formed, so no raw nerve has been touched. And DP will confirm that, while I am undoubtedly middle-aged and a bit overweight, I certainly don't have a beard or long wispy hair ;-)

    In the context of the comment you got it spot-on, I think. And I was discussing Tull with one of the stewards at the recent Stockport Beer Festival.

    And, counting them up, I reckon I have more Tull CDs than any other act (Rush being second).

  4. I have a cat who lives with me and I must say with deep regrets that the cat and myself are both highly disappointed that your title was a tease, causing me to click, hoping to find something cuddly about cats in a sack. Instead, there were no warm fuzzy photos and all this talk about drinks just makes me thirsty for ale.

  5. Cat-lovers may prefer to look here >^..^<

  6. CAMRA's Executive actually believe that increasing the price of beer in supermarkets will bring people back into pubs! Rumour has it that the Chairman places a turd under his pillow at night in case the Tooth Fairy has a coprophiliac sister.

    Who are Jethro Tull?

  7. Thank Gawd for pub cats. You've managed to salvage me and the cat's day.

  8. To be fair PC, the early stuff doesn't deserve ridicule.


    The Eagles were probably inspired by that a few years later.

    @Anon: classic Tull


  9. @davbrubu: I infer from your post that Jethro Tull were some kind of pop music group. My interest dies at this point.

  10. On the pub cats post - there's a guy called David Langford who writes a regular newsletter, called Ansible, about goings-on in the world of science fiction publishing and fandom. What you found is an issue of Cloud Chamber, which is a less regular newsletter in which David Langford puts stuff that can't go into Ansible because it's got no relevance to sf. Proto-blogging, really.

  11. Ta for the clarification, Phil. Cute cartoons, but I always wondered what the site was all about…


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