Monday, 7 November 2011

Even zealots have their price

Responsible marketing of cheap booze in Tesco earlier today
Strolling up Mount Pleasant in Liverpool today, I noticed this double window display of cut-price booze in the Tesco Express window.  Then I thought of Tesco's "commitment" to a minimum price for alcohol, a commitment which consisted of doing nothing except issuing grand statements and waiting for the government to introduce a minimum price.  Don Shenker, until recently Chief Executive of fake charity Alcohol Concern, said: “We welcome this announcement [in relation to minimum pricing] from Tesco and see these measures as important first steps towards more responsible supermarket alcohol sales."

We now have minimum pricing of sorts but it's still business as usual for cheap booze at Tesco's.  When Alcohol Concern refused to support the government's Responsibility Deal Alcohol Network, Mr Shenker said:  "By allowing the drinks industry to propose such half-hearted pledges on alcohol with no teeth, this government has clearly shown that when it comes to public health its first priority is to side with big business and protect private profit.”

Funny - when I looked into that Tesco window and remembered how Mr Shenker welcomed Tesco's initiatives (such as they were) on alcohol, I thought exactly the same thing about Alcohol Concern.

By the way, Don Shenker left Alcohol Concern recently when, due to a cut in government funding, his job became part-time.  Clearly a part-time percentage of his former £70,000+ salary (largely paid by the tax payer) wasn't enough to live on.  What was he spending it all on?  Not champagne, I hope.

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