I\’m afraid I don\’t understand this

The government\’s \”responsibility\” deal on alcohol looks likely to fall apart as health experts, angered by the limited concessions required of the drinks industry, consider walking away from the table.

The deal, between the industry, the government and health experts – including the chiefs of groups such as Alcohol Concern and the British Liver Trust, as well as senior doctors working on alcohol-related health problems – was billed, when launched last summer, as a fresh, collaborative approach to a serious public health problem.


Now me, I\’m of the impression that we\’re a parliamentary democracy. Not a corporatist state.

If some fake charity dressed up as a part of \”civil society\” like Alcohol Concern (in reality, just a fig leaf for the prodnoses who would have all joy and fun sucked from the world) decide that they don\’t like the laws that the government is going to pass, or are unhappy with \”the deal\” being made well, fine, fuck off then.

Who in buggery elected you?

16 thoughts on “I\’m afraid I don\’t understand this”

  1. Anyone taking government money should lose charitable status. If you want government money, set up a subsidiary company, and comply with tendering rules for services rendered.

  2. Not sure you’re reading this right.

    The government’s plan was that the drinks industry and the puritans would all come out alongside ministers at the press release for the new alcohol policy, happy and smiling, to prove to the electorate that the government was indeed beneficent and wise, and able to Banish The Scourge Of The Demon Drink and yet also Not Get In The Way Of Every Freeborn Englishman’s Right To A Pint.

    If the government alienates the puritans, then whenever the policy comes out, they’ll instead be all over the papers telling everyone that the government’s new plans are a sell-out to the booze industry, will lead to everyone’s liver exploding by the time they’re 30 if they haven’t already been knife-crimed to death by drunken hoodies, etc. And because the papers will print any old crap – especially if it’s about Health Scares and Crime Scares – and a depressingly large number of people will believe it, that might make life more difficult for the government.

    (worse, in fact, than if they hadn’t even bothered trying to build said Big Tent).

    This leaked Grauniad piece is part of that battle – it’s the puritans issuing a not-so-subtle message to the government that unless it makes the restrictions more restrictive, that’s exactly what they’ll do.

    So it’s no different from any other pressure group that happens to have the ear of the press (the TPA springs to mind as an obvious unelected group when gets a great deal of media play for its, not particularly well-sourced, pronouncements).

  3. John – at the risk of putting words into SimonF’s moputh, I think there is a difference between a non-Govt sponsored body doing a press leak along the lines you suggest and a Govt-funded body trying to discredit the Govt.

  4. “…that might make life more difficult for the government.”


    So what? Maybe it’s time the government grew a pair and let the media print whatever crap it likes.

    Those loons who fulminate about ‘the demon drink’ in the letters page and on radio talk shows are actually in the minority.

    Maybe the government has finallytwigged that?

  5. The solution for HMG is quite simple… If the puritans want to make a fight of it, no more taxpayer funding. I’d be willing to bet anyone a pint that they’d instantly be struck dumb at the thought of all those lovely cushy jobs having to be financed by the miniscule amounts that they receive in “genuine” donations.

  6. I can’t see people stuffing a fiver into an Alcohol Concern collection box, especially on one tbe bar of your Local.

    “donate to us and we’ll use your money to shut down your pub!”

  7. Alcohol Concern also gets another half million or so from non-government sources – I’m assuming the churches, Salvos, etc, but would be interesting to know…

    Unrestricted Restricted 2010 2009
    £ £ £ £
    Department of Health
    Annual Grant 400,000 400,000 400,000
    Practice Hub Grant 9 5,000 95,000 92,190
    HEI Grant 4 7,000 47,000 0
    SMART Recovery Grant 5 0,000 50,000 50,000
    AERC 5 ,000 5,000 0
    Big Lottery Fund 142,084 142,084 127,275
    Tudor Trust 5 0,000 50,000 0
    Welsh Assembly Government 250,000 250,000 0
    Comic Relief 27,305 27,305 54,807
    John Paul Getty Foundation 20,000 20,000 20,000
    Bridge House Trust 0 0 8,000

    Those are per year.

    Membership and donations together are £30,000 a year or so.

  8. The British Liver Trust website doesn’t say how they are funded but it does have a tag for job opportunities. Sadly, from experience both refusing to say & having to seek people to pay money to tend to be signs of fakecharity status. So simply a government funded advertising agency saying government should get more money. Again.

    Pity the taxpayer can’t walk away.

    Tim adds: Looking at their accounts, seems to be 70-80% private, 20-30 % department of health. And some of that was real work: checking hep C in hte prison population for example.

    Not perfect, certainly, but not too bad either.

  9. @ john b
    Most of the original funding of the temperance movement came from a Christian member of one of my local brewing families who wanted to wean the poor off “Mother’s ruin” (i.e. gin) so if your second paragraph was serious: fine – if it was intended to be sarcastic: try doing some homework.
    Secondly the really shady millionaires don’t bother with the TPA – they hire a tax specialist like Richard Murphy to avoid/evade their liabilities. It’s the little people like us who support the TPA.

  10. Wow, AC is even faker than I thought. It looks like FaceCharities isn’t counting the WAG donation as public money.

    John77: you’re wrong about the TPA’s supporters, at least when it comes to donors rather than people who think it’d be nice to pay less tax. It’s got documented associations with shadowy pressure groups backed by very rich individuals.

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