Wednesday, 8 February 2012

It's now official policy... water the workers’ beer.

Alcoholic drinks in Britain could be watered down under controversial Government plans to deal with binge drinking, a health minister said yesterday.

Anne Milton made clear that the Coalition wanted to see a ‘significant’ reduction in the number of units in beer, wines and spirits across the drinks market.

She warned that the Government was ‘deadly serious’ about slashing the numbers of deaths in Britain caused by alcohol.

There would be no one ‘silver bullet’ to tackle the nation’s drinking problems in the long-awaited alcohol strategy, expected in the next few weeks, Miss Milton said. But Department of Health sources last night confirmed that one of the ideas under consideration is the introduction of higher taxation for stronger alcoholic drinks.

Ministers are also pushing for a voluntary agreement from the drinks industry to water down their products.
This kind of “voluntary” arm-twisting is something I foretold in the past, but it gives me no pleasure to see it coming to pass. As I said then, almost exactly three years ago, “you read it here first.”

How this will really make any difference is hard to see, when the UK and Ireland already on average have the weakest beer in Europe. And it’s always beer and cider, isn’t it, never wines or spirits? Having said that, the room for manoeuvre on spirits is limited, as the EU mandates that anything sold as spirits must have a minimum alcohol content of 37.5% ABV, and I can’t imagine that reducing Bell’s from 40% to 37.5% is going to have any impact whatsoever. People will just pour a little more.

You might expect the organisation that styles itself as the drinker’s and pubgoer’s champion to be up in arms about this. But no, they’re still bleating on about how beer is a low-strength drink consumed responsibly in the controlled environment of the pub, and how 2.8% pisswater is the “People’s Pint”.

Meanwhile, you can hear the song for yourself. Maybe it’s time for a new version, entitled “I am the woman, the very ugly woman, that waters the workers’ beer.”


  1. CAMRA really are morons that they cannot see or refuse to acknowledge what is happening here.
    It's the next logical step to prohibition.
    God there is stupid and STUPID!

  2. Peoples pint? what people is that then?

  3. But only yesterday Lord Faulkner, in response to an article wrote:

    "The stringent regulation imposed on tobacco will not spread to "a swathe of other products" as she suggests, because tobacco is not a product like any other. No other legal consumer product kills when used as intended."

    So you see, there must be some mistake. Because a Lord wouldn't lie, would he!

    Would he?

  4. And, if that is true, why should campaigners against alcohol, fat, sugar and anything else you care to mention so enthusiastically adopt the "tobacco control template"?

  5. It would be interesting to see what policy this translated into and whether that was an issue for the EU

    Early UK lagers were around the 3% mark in part due to tax but customers eventually expressed a desire for a more authentic drink, but it just a common market then.

    If tax policy penalises Heineken at the expense of weaker domestic beer, might they have cause to ask the EU whether it is a protectionist measure?

  6. Appeasement seems to be the only game in town. We get Simon Clark's Forest supporting an anti=smoking campaign and then such as CAMRA etc supporting anti-drinking campaigns. WTF?

  7. Return of the white van man booze cruises well on the horizon.

  8. I'd like to see a reduction in the 100,000s of deaths that have been caused by the UK carpet bombing and invading other peoples countries over the last decade or two. Or are deaths only important if they take place in Britain?

  9. In what way is FOREST supporting an anti-smoking campaign?

  10. I do worry the author of this blog and its readers are boozers. It's all about beer and fags. Nothing about a nice healthy cycle, glass of water and an apple.

  11. Hello Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle ;-)

  12. In what way, Curmudgeon? Quote from SC:-

    "The gist of my comment was that Forest would support a campaign to educate parents because we do believe that smoking in a car is inconsiderate to a small child. Research suggests that the overwhelming majority of smokers believe this too ...."

    l despair

  13. My how times have changed!

    In the Bible, the 'Good-Doer' changed water into alcohol.

    These days, the 'Do-Gooders' want to change alcohol into water.

    Gary K.

  14. "In the Bible, the 'Good-Doer' changed water into alcohol.

    These days, the 'Do-Gooders' want to change alcohol into water."

    Best observation I have heard today for putting it into perspective. Work of the devil, all these bansturbators, from tobacco to alcohol to the whole lot.

  15. It will be interesting to see the practicalities of the watering down of wine. Will they expect the French and Italians to do this at the winery, or will there be customs officers doing this in the harbour?



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