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".
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring AG Barr, Bombay Sapphire, Wines of South Africa and Pabst Brewing Co....
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Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring SABMiller, Orangina Schweppes, PepsiCo and Scottish devolution....
- No Home Comfort for TWE as Bids Collapse
- Bacardi Seeks Own History at Bombay Sapphire Home
- Treasury Wine Estates: Here I Go Again On My Own
- NPD: The Craft Cocktail Revolution
- Private-equity bids "over" - TWE head
- Carlsberg suspends production at Russian brewery
- Anheuser-Busch InBev appoints new AmBev CEO
- Suntory Holdings to split beer, spirits division
- Treasury Wine Estates pulls plug on takeover talks
- Quintessential Brands changes MD at Essential unit