Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pete Brown, you have the measure of this situation exactly.

Pete Brown in London Loves Business
Brown's beer: Alcohol Concern is wrong. We're not a nation of binge drinkers.

Pete Brown, you have the measure of this situation exactly.

There are strange people who deny human nature and demonise drink and pubs and places that sell alcohol, whether it's low abv beer or high strength spirit, with quasi religious fervour and fanatical zeal that would have them classified as extremists in any other context. As we progress to a less alcohol using society than we have been, as lifespans increase and general health indicators gradually improve, many of these people appear to sense that if they put the boot in now, give alcohol a push, they will get the unit price of alcohol shoved up to prevent ordinary people from over indulging without it hurting their wallet and making all others think twice about having an enjoyable tipple anytime they like. It's bad and silly and divisive.

On a connected fervour: In 2003 I was introduced to an MP at a House of Commons shindig celebrating the launch of some new grant initiative by the Carbon Trust. When I told him I was a Publican in response to his asking 'What do you do?' his entire frame stiffened visibly and he eyed me up with a wry grin and said: 'Legislation I'm working on now is going to put people like you out of business'. He looked like he really enjoyed telling this stranger that he was out to nobble him.  Reminded me of my then pubco area manager.  He went on to say how proud he was of his anti smoking stance since it caused so much damage and in passing that he regarded all publicans as irresponsible peddlers of vile and evil goods and practices. He admitted he was not a pub goer and never would be; 'why would I go to pubs?  They're filthy places'

As his stance was developing I pondered how this man had switched from being a pleasant, charming person at introduction to presenting as a rabid, socially inept, obsessed lunatic just because I ran a pub.  Didn't catch his name unfortunately because I'd become so distracted by his ire.

Whenever I hear alarmist woes attacking everything we do to ourselves when socialising I recall that conversation and doubt seriously that the constituents of a politician like him know how much of a  nutter their MP really is.

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