Back in 2013 I discussed with industry trade bodies and leading drinks’ producers the possibility of starting a lobby group that would campaign against the constant litany of scare stories coming from the health lobby. Partly as a result of that discussion a group of drinks’ producers started the Alcohol Information Partnership (AIP) about 18 months’ ago. This organisation, headed-up by its Director General Dave Roberts, does a great job in answering the bogus statistics and one-sided research peddled by so-called ‘public health’.
The problem with AIP is that it is too easy for critics to dismiss it as the voice of Big Alcohol – which is manifestly true and AIP makes no bones about that fact. What has been missing from the alcohol-society debate is the authentic voice of the ordinary drinker. Until now.
A couple of weeks ago, a new organisation was launched called Drinkers’ Voice. This is a Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) initiative that aims to get the voice of the moderate drinking majority heard in this debate. CAMRA is in an ideal position to launch this initiative precisely because they are the biggest consumer group in Europe, are often highly critical of big brewers and cannot possibly be portrayed as drinks’ industry shills. The initiative has begun well and DV provided the media with a poll which highlighted that 70% of UK drinkers don’t take any notice of the CMOs revised drinking guidelines, because they’re not based on science and have no credibility with ordinary drinkers.
There have been articles on DV published in the Sun on Sunday, the Sunday Times and the Telegraph as well as a TV appearance by Amy O’Callaghan, DV’s spokesperson, on Sunday Live. DV will be a grassroots organisation with spokespeople in communities across the country who are passionate about their freedom of choice and their right to drink in a sociable and moderate way.
Creating a grassroots organisation of this kind is a bold move and CAMRA, and their chief executive Tim Page, are to be congratulated on taking the lead. To influence the wider alcohol policy debate we must influence the public opinion on which politicians’ ride. This is a fledgling organisation and it needs money. The decision has been made not to accept donations from the drinks’ industry, for obvious reasons. It is being crowd-funded by donation and if you would like to support Drinkers’ Voice as an individual you can donate via the following link:
This initiative is needed, and long overdue. Please get behind it. Further information about DV is available on their website www.drinkersvoice.org.uk