Over the past few years there have been several occasions when I have suggested that CAMRA at a national level had entered into a potentially dangerous embrace with the anti-drink lobby in the pursuit of narrow short-term objectives.
However, two developments at their latest Annual General Meeting in Norwich suggest the tide may be starting to turn.
First, motion 8, proposed by the Liverpool branches, was passed, apparently without any speakers against.
8. This Conference requires that the Campaign should actively challenge the health lobby’s anti-alcohol statements to give a more balanced view.Then, after what reportedly was a very lively debate, Motion 19 was passed by 276 votes to 201.
19. This Conference agrees that CAMRA is on the wrong side of the argument over minimum pricing. It instructs the National Executive to withdraw its support for this measure with immediate effect.Well done to Tandleman in successfully proposing this motion.
This has to be added to the beer duty cut which, however presented, was actually a substantial across-the-board reverse for the neo-Prohibitionists.
Let’s hope that this signals the beginning of a new fighting spirit in standing up for British beer drinkers, although obviously the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.