Dick Puddlecote has already covered this (including a quote from me from an earlier occasion). Professor Gerald Hastings wants alcohol to to have its own version of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control:
“To deal with that, the route that was taken was to produce the (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.”
The framework is an international treaty that outlines specific commitments which governments sign up to – such as stopping advertising of tobacco, having cigarettes in plain packaging and taxation of tobacco. It was a hailed as a landmark for public health when it came into force in 2005, and hailed as one of the first global treaties to tackle a chronic, non-communicable disease. Nearly 170 countries have signed up to it.
Hastings said a similar treaty should now been put place for alcohol – but added that WHO could only act if its member countries asked it to do so.
He added it was not about “demonising” business, but recognising that companies prioritised the interest of shareholders – which sometimes came into conflict with “wider senses of value”.
On the issue of voluntary regulation of the drinks industry, he said: “That is like a farmer going to a fox and saying can we have a gentleman’s agreement not to eat the chickens? The fox eats chickens – big business goes after profits.
“We can’t expect it to do that and at the same time say also become a charity – it is not going to happen.”
He added: “Scotland has a noble record of being a champion of public health [regarding tobacco], it could do the same with alcohol.
“Scotland can start stirring this pot and getting things moving on it. I think there is an appetite for it – so if Scotland picks this up as we are hosting this major conference, I think that will have a dramatic impact and could not just make things a lot better in Scotland, but could change the world.”
The FCTC also included a clause on protecting workers from secondhand tobacco smoke, which led to the public smoking bans.
An FCAC (Framework Convention on Alcohol Control) would end up demonising the alcohol producers just like tobacco companies are now demonised. It was also end up demonising drinkers. It would lead to plain packaging of alcohol, and hidden displays. If they can’t can’t find an alcoholic equivalent of secondhand smoke from which workers needed to be protected, they could just invent one, complete with about 500 studies showing that alcohol vapour is lethal at 100 metres. Or they could demand that the chiiildren shouldn’t ever be allowed to see adults drinking. And since children are now allowed in pubs, they could demand that no drinking be allowed inside (or outside) pubs or restaurants, because it “sent the wrong message”.
In the UK, something like 20% of pubs have closed since the smoking ban drove away their smoking customers. The demonisation of alcohol will drive away the rest, and close the remaining 80% of pubs. And that is probably the intended goal.
I’m sick of these bloody people. When are people going to say they’ve had enough of little bastards like Gerald Hastings, and demand they be de-funded/fired/strung up?