I mentioned at the weekend that government were mulling over the idea of ordering mandatory health warnings on alcohol. It seems they have mulled enough and you have till the 9th of May to air your views.
There are three options:
Option 1 [helpfully termed the "Do Nothing" option): Whether we should allow the current voluntary agreement to continueThere are plenty of pointers to guide you in the right direction, not that Don Shenker, Ian Gilmore and their swivel-eyed chums will need anything more than their prohibition targeted temperance compass, of course.
Option 2: Whether there is any real prospect for a targeted and strengthened self-regulatory agreement with the alcohol industry to improve the coverage and consistency of unit and health information on labels.
Option 3: Whether a mandatory requirement with its associated costs, including those for small producers, is required [...]
The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies/governments are all lined up for option 3, and in the background, the EU are nodding enthusiastically too.
Should the Government find that it is not possible to enter a credible, voluntary agreement on alcohol labelling with the alcohol industry, we would consider a mandatory requirement through notifying draft regulations to the EU. It is a particular concern that a future EU requirement for calorie labelling on alcohol labels, which the UK Government supports, should be complemented by alcohol unit and health information being also widely available on labels.Hmmm. Doesn't look too much like a 'public' consultation so far, but I'm sure you'll be relieved that it is being conducted in strict accordance with the rules on such matters.
[...]the consultation exercise is designed to be accessible to, and clearly targeted at, those people it is intended to reach;So off you go then. Have your say.
What's that? You don't know where to find it? That could be because government tends to find the public a bit too inconvenient for public consultations. As a result, the modern approach is to target, and intend to reach, exclusively those whom government choose ... and the public don't figure too highly in that regard post 1997.
Still, there is a vague chance your view may be listened to, so if you wish to respond, just go here [pdf] and plough through the 71 pages. It mentions that you should have your 'research' to hand, though, so I hope you have been busy with that qualitative study.
Lastly, you'll be pleased to discover that any resultant legislation ...
[...] does not differentiate on the grounds of disability, transgender, religion or belief and sexual orientation.... which I imagine was a quite a significant worry, wasn't it?
The policy will not influence unjustifiable discrimination.
So there is nothing to lose. Go tell the government to stop being so dictatorial. I'm sure they'll listen intently, unless they completely ignore any dissenting view, of course.
Have I ever mentioned that mandatory health warnings on tobacco were the first step on the road to the situation we now find ourselves in?
A couple of buckets of water were lobbed down the drinks industry slope today.
UPDATE: On the same topic, here's a truly excellent piece from Tim Collard ... ahem, a Labour party member. For a brief moment, I thought I'd written it myself.