Take the Global Alcohol Policy Conference, for example. This taxpayer-funded event was held to give veteran temperance crusader Derek Rutherford a good send off and to pay homage to the Scottish National Party (which supports minimum pricing).
Most of the conference's Powerpoint presentations went online this week. I have only looked at a handful, but they drip with the kind of swivel-eyed extremism that can only come from living in an echo chamber. Anti-market, anti-individual and pro-government, the consumer is never counted as a stakeholder.
These people are obsessed with things they do not understand. Business, for one. Advertising, for another. They are obsessed not merely with the drinks industry, but with industry in general. And with so-called 'neoliberalism' (ie. anything that is not socialism).
Here are a few of the slides from the conference. As you read them, try to remember that they were put together by grown men, many of whom have letters after their name. They are academics. One of them has an OBE. These grown men doubtless spent hours preparing their presentations to ensure that the thoughts in their head were accurately and clearly transmitted to the audience. They were happy - proud, even - to stand by them in front of other educated, adult human beings. And now they want the general public to see them.
|Gerard Hastings accuses a drinks company of 'grooming' teenagers.|
|It looks like a see-saw but is presumably meant to be a set of scales.|
|Oh no, free trade!|
|A childish message amateurishly executed.|
This is how your taxes are spent. Good grief.