An outfit called the Portman Group, funded by the drinks industry to persuade us to drink less - stop laughing at the back - hired PIPC, a global management consultancy, to go through 485 alcoholic drinks and see how many transgressed its rules about linking drinking with violence, sex appeal, etc. Among 32 miscreants they identified Skull Splitter. So management consultants solemnly decided that people buying a bottle with a rather fanciful Viking depicted on it were more likely to commit mayhem than someone drinking, say, Wifebeat . . . sorry, Stella Artois.
The brewery refused to back down and is being taken to the Portman Group's independent complaints panel, which is manned by “ordinary people” - a teacher, a vicar, a lecturer and so on. This is no guarantee of common sense, because of the sort of ordinary people who push themselves forward for such jobs. Meanwhile, I am told that if I, or you, or that guy shouting to himself on the top floor of the bus, care to make a similar complaint, the same, solemn procedure will be put under way. Automatically, and no matter how frivolous it may be. A busybodies' charter.