Scotland Drinkers Update…
Now Drinkers Can Hate ASH Too
26 February 2011
I’ve mentioned the tobacco control template many times before. Perhaps some may have thought the concept a bit tinfoil-ish.
I’ll air-paint one mark for me then as they’re not even hiding it anymore.
Alcohol Focus Scotland, ASH Scotland and Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems are pleased to announce a joint conference which will consider what progress has been made in alcohol control and tobacco control and explore what each sector might learn from the other. Chief Executive of AFS Evelyn Gillan and Chief Executive of ASH Scotland Sheila Duffy look forward to hearing your views and ideas to improve Scotland’s health. A report with policy recommendations will be circulated to delegates and to the Scottish Government.
To all those CAMRA binge-drinkers (oh yes you are!) who so loved the smoking ban, see what you spawned? The smokefree coalition is now so flushed with success that they’re branching out in other areas.
And why not? They have comprehensively conned politicians into passing hideous laws before, and are now able to offer their expertise to those who want to denormalise the lives of people who freely enjoy other vices. That’ll be yer average beardy, cardie-wearing beer festival goer, then. You were warned, you know.
Gotta laugh, eh? Well, not you fatties, of course … I’m sure you’ll also be targeted by this snowballing ‘coalition of the hideous’ sometime soon.
In light of the rank incompetence exhibited by CAMRA and the BBPA, it’s worth rolling out this sage piece of advice again.
It’s like a bunch of folks on the scaffolds complaining that the other guy’s noose isn’t quite tight enough. Y’all might instead direct your attention to the hangman sometime and try helping each other cut those ropes.
How many warnings do drinkers need to recognise ASH as a threat to drinkers as well as smokers? They have a coalition, we ‘unapproved’ have a set of self-regarding idiots allowing the righteous to run wild because of personal prejudice.
It’s time the hospitality industry and their lackwit afficionados woke up, the alarm has been ringing for quite some time.
Diageo severs ties to drink awareness body in row over smoking
11 March 2011
By EDDIE BARNES
DRINKS giant Diageo has cut its ties with Scotland’s most prominent alcohol awareness charity over controversial moves by the campaigning group to link the impact of alcohol to that of smoking.
The company, which makes Johnnie Walker, Bell’s, Guinness and Smirnoff, has retaliated against Alcohol Focus Scotland after being frozen out of a conference next week which the group is co-hosting with anti-smoking lobbyist ASH.
Drinks industry bodies have not been invited to the event, to be attended by health secretary Nicola Sturgeon, where public health experts are expected to recommend that the zero- tolerance approach to smoking is taken to drink.
Edinburgh-based Diageo has written to AFS, arguing it is “misleading and unjustified” to suggest smoking and drinking should be tackled in the same way when there is evidence that responsible drinking causes no harm. Having given Alcohol Focus ?140,000 in recent years, it has also decided to redirect funding to other alcohol education programmes.
AFS claim the drinks and tobacco industries regularly share tactics on how best to counter public health arguments and that new research suggests even small amounts of drink could be harmful.
Next week’s summit will hear from public health experts such as Dr Laurence Gruer of NHS Health Scotland and Sir Ian Gilmore, former president of the Royal College of Physicians. Sir Ian backs a minimum unit price on alcohol and restrictions on the sale of drink.
Diageo said last night it had previously backed AFS in promoting responsible drinking but decided to sever ties in light of the forthcoming conference.
Mark Baird, head of corporate social responsibility, said: “We are very disappointed at the way our partnership with Alcohol Focus Scotland has come to an end. Over the past six years we have provided over ?140,000 of financial support to the charity but more importantly we have strongly supported their policy objectives of promoting responsible drinking, reducing alcohol-related harm and changing Scotland’s culture in relation to alcohol.
“We also believe it is misleading and unjustified to suggest alcohol and tobacco should be treated the same way with regard to public health policies and we strongly believe the recent moves by AFS to associate the two are a serious mistake which cannot go unchallenged..”
AFS said it had decided not to invite drinks firms to the summit because organisers did not want “vested interests” involved in a discussion on possible public health reforms.
Chief executive Evelyn Gillan said: “Public health experts should be given proper deference and the alcohol industry are not experts on public health.” She said new research – such as claims that a glass of wine a day can increase womens’ exposure to breast cancer – had hardened up AFS’s approach to drink.
Michael J. McFadden
Philadelphia, USA 11/03/2011
Diageo has learned an important lesson. Throwing other chickens to the wolves does NOT take you off their dinner menu.
Their claims for alcohol being “different” than tobacco in terms of proof of harm fall on deaf ears once one realizes that the antismoking campaign has not won its success on claims about the harm of smoking. The success came from outrageously exaggerated nonsense about the deadliness of secondary smoke in decently ventilated surroundings, and the claims about the “secondary effects” of even moderate alcohol consumption are probably far stronger.
Even two or three drinks slightly impair reaction times in terms of accidents, even two or three drinks slightly increase one’s likelihood to get a bit belligerant and start a fight or batter a wife or child, and even two or three drinks can lead one to make unwise decisions about gambling one’s money away.
And in addition to even a single drink slightly increase one’s chances of cancer (after all, ethyl alcohol IS a Class A Carcinogen, and the antismoking folks have assured us that there’s “no safe level, right?) there’s also the fact that alcohol is a highly volatile liquid inhaled onto those delicate carcinoma-prone mucous membranes by any who happen to be near a drinker. (Yes, I’m quite aware of how “crazy” that sounds: the idea of secondhand smoke sounded just as “crazy” before decades of media-intensive propaganda invaded our minds. See “Secondary Smoke, Alcohol, and Deaths,” (third item down) in the British Medical Journal at:
(Read) and see if it still sounds so “crazy” by comparison.
Of course it *IS* crazy… but so are the worries about low levels of exposure to secondary tobacco smoke. Give the Prohibitionists of whatever stripe enough money and they’ll make “crazy” into “normal.”
Antis: What to expect
The Cold Sharp Slap Of Reality