Monday, 22 October 2012

Drinking in the shadow economy

The latest report from Chris Snowdon looks like essential reading:

The Treasury is losing as much as £1.2 billion every year to the illegal alcohol industry. A new report, Drinking in the Shadow Economy, demonstrates how illicit alcohol consumption is becoming a permanent and growing problem due to excessive taxation.

Failing to deal with counterfeit and smuggled alcohol threatens not only public cash, but public health and public order. Counterfeit alcohol can contain potentially life threatening levels of dangerous chemicals, whilst alcohol smuggling is linked to other illegal activities such as drug dealing, violence and money-laundering. High taxes are encouraging the growth of the illicit alcohol market

It is evident that high taxes are causing this boom in the illicit alcohol market. As prices rise, consumers are increasingly turning to the more affordable options available in the shadow economy. Government policy might intend to improve people’s health, but it may be having the opposite effect.


  1. Interesting. I liked the phrase "surrogate alcohol (e.g. methanol, antifreeze, aftershave)"

    When I noticed some bearded folk leave a private room in a pub and was told they were the local CAMRA lot, and then noticed one of them nip in the all night offie for a 2 litre bottle of white lightening, is that surrogate alcohol?

  2. There seems to be a bearded CAMRA contingent every time you go into a pub, CL, or are you just stalking them?

  3. It's rumoured he has donned a false beard and infiltrated the group.

  4. I joined under the pseudonym "Richard English Jnr" and I travel the country attending meetings and conducting my anthropological studies into the lesser spotted beer geek. I grew a beard after having my false beard pulled off in a bit of a ruckus when I suggested we ought to use the word ignoramuses rather than ignorami and refer to lager as euro piss rather than chemical fizz. All hell broke loose. I lost the fight but got some good punches in.

  5. I think, just for research purposes, I'll do a beard count at our next Branch meeting. There won't be many, so I'm wondering whether these groups you're stalking aren't CAMRA impersonators themselves.


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