Today we finally see the beer duty escalator debated in Parliament. I am pleased about this for many reasons. The most important reason is because at the last budget most press reports gave the erroneous impression that beer duty was not going to increase. We knew, of course, that beer duty increased by 2% above the rate of inflation.
The main reason, in my view, that alcohol duty is so easy to increase is because the general public are constantly fed the idea that alcohol is bad, and we, the general public, are bad for enjoying it. We deserve to be punished. We are, in fact, very, very, very naughty indeed.
Alcohol is bad for you, irrespective of what you do, so we are told. We are constantly being informed that it is likely that there may be no level of alcohol intake which doesn't cause health problems of some type or another. Statistics, you see, tell us this.
I'm always a little sceptical of statistical studies which place the blame squarely at the feet of just one thing. Fat, sugar, white flour, chocolate, coffee, red meat, pork, processed chicken meat, fruit and vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides, fruit and vegetables riddled with nasty organisms. The list is so long it makes me wonder if in fact life may well be a terminal illness.
I believe statistics show that people who do something specifically bad are also more likely to do many other things which are specifically bad. They are also less likely to do enough things that are specifically good. I balance my alcohol intake with exercise. I balance my cured pork intake with a good level of vegetables and fruit. I balance my over-indulence listening to stupid politicians on BBC News 24 by avoiding watching X-Factor.
I have long believed that health is provided by a balanced lifestyle. A nice mix of not too much of anything, but plenty of everything.
Exercise is good, providing you don't overdo it and have a sports injury1.
I did a little video.
Craft Beer Adrenalin Junkies from Hardknott Brewery on Vimeo.
1I managed to incur an injury known as a tibia plateau, whilst skiing, some years ago. I am very pleased to report that I now feel like I'm skiing just well as I ever have. Or perhaps, as badly. Either way, I'm very pleased to have fully recovered2, at last.
2So, if in future I complain about my knees, I'm probably making it up.