Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

LORD Stoddart of Swindon writes to reassure me that he has not suddenly metamorphosed into a temperance fanatic. He says that his Liquor Advertising and Promotion Bill, mentioned in this column on 14 April, is a work of irony. `You may have misconstrued my motives in introducing the measure,' he writes; his intention being `to show in stark terms what the banning of one legal product could lead to in the future'.

While delighted to remove his name from the roll of the nation's nannies, it ought to be impressed upon Lord Stoddart that irony is a dangerous game to play. Already he has got antialcohol campaigners raising a glass of malted milk to him. Andrew McNeill of the Institute of Alcohol Studies had heard of neither Lord Stoddart nor his Bill, but was inspired when I drew his attention to it. The institute has recently published a report calling for the government to ban special offers on beer, wines and spirits, and demanding a regulatory body to govern the production, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks. …

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