There’s a welcome outbreak of fighting spirit in the February edition of the CAMRA newsletter What’s Brewing from Chris Holmes, a former national chairman of the organisation and retiring chairman of Castle Rock Brewery.
The anti-alcohol mob poses a serious threat. I said several years ago that once the do-gooders had sorted out the tobacco industry they would move on to alcohol.Well, absolutely, but what do we think are the odds on
Well, it’s come true. The best body to stand up to the health fascists is CAMRA, but one has to ask the question. Has CAMRA got the balls for it? Do I detect reluctance among the CAMRA hierarchy to speak up in favour of booze, and to contradict the over-hyped and biased stories put out by the dry brigade who clearly have no sense of fun or enjoyment unless it’s going for a five mile jog or eating a lettuce leaf washed down with green tea?
But he then goes on to piss in his own soup by saying:
There is a big question to be dealt with. To what extent should CAMRA lobby for legislation to protect pubs from supermarket competition? If we think that CAMRA should be doing this then it should go for the throat. It should be noisy, controversial, and generally stroppy to get the message across. I’m not convinced that sitting at the top table with government and senior civil servants actually gets us anywhere.Don’t forget that the supermarkets employ armies of lobbyists at Westminster and they are serious opponents.Now, there’s plenty to be said on that issue, much of which I’ve said before. But, if you want to fight the anti-drink lobby, might it not make sense to have the big battalions of Tesco et al on the same side, rather than opening up a war on two fronts? And, realistically, the people who are drinking cask beer in the pub are broadly the same as those who are buying the premium bottled ales from the supermarket. To suggest that someone cracking open a bottle of London Pride that he has got on a 3 for £4 offer while watching Midsomer Murders is doing a VERY BAD THING is likely to lead to your support rapidly withering away.