Campaigners get off to Oslo start

How scared should the drinks industry be when its main combatant has chosen to name itself after a forgettable Norwegian pop band?

How many other group names were considered by the Alcohol Health Alliance (A-Ha to you and me) before

it arrived at

its eventual moniker? INXS might have been a bit more appropriate. Incidentally, we understand that purveyors of cheapie superstrength lager and cider are fighting back with a pressure group of their own. Working title: The PET Shop Boys.

Who's the daddy?

What are they teaching them in schools these days? Well, at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust they're teaching Diploma students a bit about the pecking order in this country. Chief executive Ian Harris told a group of students: "Dan Jago is probably the most important man in England." Take that, Gordon Brown! (I assumed it was Simon Cowell. Ed)

Move over, Darling

With the looming threat of a massive duty hike it's great to see the drinks trade banding together to fight the common enemy - the Chancellor. But what's this? Key figures from the brewing trade have visited Westminster to ask them to raise taxes on their latest competitor: cider. That's right kids - when in trouble, call for legislation. We're sure that nice Mr Darling will make those nasty upstarts with their over-marketed apple juice go away.

Drinkaware unaware

Dateline: Nov 21, 2007. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has summoned an emergency meeting of stakeholders as the nation is engulfed by a tidal wave of alcohol: toddlers in creches are falling asleep in the middle of the day, many of them can't string a sentence together, and those who can speak appear to be repeating the phrase "double vodka" again and again.

"Mr Brown met drinks manufacturers, doctors and academics in Downing Street as the government unveiled plans to crack down on excessive consumption of alcohol," said a press statement. "The PM challenged alcohol producers and retailers to take part in the effort to deal with unacceptable drinking or face tougher action in the future."

Trade leaders trooped out of Number 10 with no doubts about the government's resolve. Except for the Drinkaware Trust. A diary mix-up meant nobody represented the trade-funded charity at Brown's mini-summit.

No word of a lie

A man named Johnny Liar has won Jennings' World's Biggest Liar competition. Well of course he has! He's actually called Liar. Poor runners up Mike Naylor and James Mason didn't stand a chance. The man was clearly born to it. According to Jennings, there was something "fishy" about John's tale of catching a nine-foot cod after hitting it over the head with a barrel of Jennings. Now hang on a minute. Did he win because his lie was the best, because he's called Liar or because he used strategic product placement to ingratiate himself with the judges? Enough of all these lies - we want the truth!

In praise of Chelsea tractors

We all know about

suburban mums clogging up the


with four-wheel-drives because they love them so much they

use them for every school run - but even they don't love the cars enough to brew a beer in their honour.

Wye Valley Brewery does - it has launched an ale to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Land Rover .

"Land Rover represents all that's best about British ingenuity and engineering excellence. From its humble post-war origins, the Land Rover marque has grown into a world-beating range of vehicles, renowned for outstanding ability and endurance," the brewery said.

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