Blog: Cameron leaps aboard the (alcohol) wagon
Chris Mercer | 16 February 2012
Ever the self-publicist, prime minister David Cameron is frightened of losing moral ground over excess drinking.
Adopting his paternal, creased-brow-'concerned' demeanor, Cameron this week stood inside a National Health Service hospital (yes, we still have them) to tell the UK that he is taking all this alcohol stuff very seriously.
From Cameron's voicemail (joke), I understand that there has been some consternation within Government about the Department of Health's hands-off approach, particularly on pricing. Banning sales below the cost of duty and VAT isn't going to do much to prices and Cameron knows it.
Therefore, the Government had better be seen to be at least thinking about doing something else. Maybe it will go further, maybe it won't. What matters right now is that everyone in Government is very concerned, very concerned indeed.
You could read more into it, of course. For one, if higher pricing can be achieved via higher tax, who do you think will get the money?
Second, in this week's speech, Cameron is tackling alcohol from a public order perspective. The insinuation is: 'get as pissed as a lord in your own garden, but chuck the beer cans over the fence and we'll nail you.' Or, lock you in a "drunk tank".
Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson - lead singer of the band Iron Maiden, for the unitiated - is clearly a man not afraid to get his hands dirty. ...
The homebrewing revival continues in the UK - and evidence has come that even the supermarket chains are taking it semi-seriously. ...
Does Pernod Ricard have something to hide? In a press conference after the release of full-year results today, only a quarter of the 100 minutes were given over to questions from journalists....
Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Carlsberg, Heineken, Coca-Cola Amatil, California's winelands and Cognac....
- Allegro: The shape of things to come at Pernod?
- The End of the Road for International Beer Brands?
- Pernod Ricard's Allegro cost-saving programme
- Pernod Ricard's FY Performance by Region, Brand
- US craft vodka puts squeeze on Pernod's Absolut
- Pernod bemoans tough FY as sales, profits drop
- Pernod Ricard set for CMO switch
- ASA bans Jägermeister TV ad
- Scotch whisky leaders sign pro-UK letter
- Wine Australia reports death of UK, Europe boss