A few of you have asked me where CAMRA is in the whole battle against the neo-prohibitionists, and whether they have issued any response to the HSC report.
So yesterday – after receiving a press release entitled ‘Pub Goers Set to Benefit from Abolition of Land Agreements Exclusion Order’ – I asked CAMRA’s press officer the question – had they issued any response to the HSC report or were they planning to?
CAMRA confirmed that they have not issued a press release, but have released the following quote to the media:
Iain Loe, CAMRA research manager, said “CAMRA welcomes the call by the Committee for the introduction of a minimum price per alcohol unit which will benefit community pubs by curbing the below cost selling of alcohol by supermarkets which can fuel pre-loading. We also welcome their suggestion that the Government should introduce a reduced rate of duty on beers below 2.8%.”
So there you have it. CAMRA supports minimum pricing – which we already knew – and has nothing to say about the rest of the report.
I’m not just going to indulge in knee-jerk CAMRA-bashing here. I’ll be asking CAMRA why they are not commenting more widely.
But in the meantime, what do you think? Is it CAMRA’s job to argue back against the HSC? Should they do so given that they claim to represent the interests of beer drinkers? Or is it too political? Is it outside their remit?
You can understand to an extent why drinks manufacturers are not arguing back – they would be hung out to dry by the media, treated (unfairly) with the same contempt as the cigarette companies who tried to argue that the link between smoking and lung cancer wasn’t proven.
But who SHOULD be fighting back? Someone has to. Surely it’s not just down to one or two independent journos and bloggers…
What do you think?