Wednesday 11 July 2007

Honesty in Politics?!

There's been a lot of noise recently about the Tory Party's new 'beer tax' proposals, which I find interesting in light of the fact that the Government has also already announced a review into pricing in both the on and the off trade.

But what scares me the most is that they are taking advice, as is the European Union, from an organisation that was set up by, and still has tremendously strong links, to the Temperance Movement.

The Institute of Alcohol Studies, which you will hear and see quoted widely, is mainly funded by the Alliance House Foundation - the new name for the UK Temperance Alliance.

Now, before I go any further I'd like to say I've got no problem with the Temperance Movement, their views are perfectly valid and their values are impeccable, they were set up at a time when the UK was descending into chaos due to the consumption of gin and, to a lesser extent, beer.

What I do have a problem with, however, is the Institute of Alcohol Studies being represented as an impartial scientific body - that's just totally disingenuous.

And it's amazing that this is continually the case, not trying to blow my trumpet but I successfully challenged a BBC producer on NewsWatch about presenting the IAS as an impartial body without informing the viewers that they were Temperance Movement funded and yet people still aren't challenging this!

I have no problem with the Government, or prospective Governments, attempting to tackle the drinking issues this country has but let's get real - by taking the advice of a self-interested body we aren't tackling the problem, we are becoming part of someone else's agenda.


Stonch said...

Personally I do have a problem with the temperance movement, just as I do with puritans of any stripe! They need a kick in the arse, the lot of them.

Ten years of beer duty rises from Gordon Brown and the mad Tory proposals this week have left me feeling pretty negative about politicians' attitudes to beer.

However, they aren't all so bad. To prove it I've profiled five Heroes of Beer
on my blog, all from the world of politics.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Its sad that the situation in the UK seems to be steering towards the political environment in the states. Puritanical powerfull interest groups feigning impartiality while the media smiles and accepts (or even promotes) the spin.

Stonch said...

Unfortunately there's a loony contingent of the Tory party that look with admiration at the American right. The party's leader seems unable or unwilling to shut them up, but fortunately he seems to be coming unstuck.

Tabellion said...

The biggest danger to innocent enjoyment of beer in this country right now is the likes of Alcohol Concern and others who pose as health and social welfare campaigners but who are, behind the mask, the same temperance wowsers who tried to destroy the drinks trade in the past - so well done MC for exposing them ...