I like to think of myself as a freedom fighter. Actually we all see ourselves that way here at AIL; fighting the good fight as our democratic freedoms come increasingly under assault by a rag-tag bunch of lefty do-gooders.
I should back up a step and tell you who I am. Charge your glasses ladies and gentlemen…no seriously, grab a glass and a drop or two of the hard stuff, and raise your glasses. It’s a tradition here at AIL Australia every time I step into the room. Actually, I say tradition, but I’ve only been here thirteen weeks, but my staff certainly seem keen.
My name is Bradman St Peters, Managing Director of AIL Australia. Yes, as in Alcohol Industry Lobby Australia. Yes…those campaigns; ‘Putting the AIL in ALE’, and the successful TV spot we ran during last year’s AFL Grand Final – ‘We’re what AIL’s you’.
You may have also seen that libellous Two Sides current affairs report ‘Beyond the AIL’, but we don’t like to speak of it. Truth is, as court proceedings are on-going, we’re all still under a gag order.
With the introductions out of the way I’ve got a few things to get off my chest. Trudy, my now former PA would tell you ‘about 30 kilos’, but the truth is, I like to think my five foot three frame can proudly carry the weight.
Here at ‘Bradman’s Brewery’, as I like to call my office, I think it’s important to remember there is always at least two sides to every story, something the pack of hyenas at Two Sides might like to keep in mind next time they take aim at AIL.
Did you know alcohol has never been cheaper? I challenge you to walk into any pub or club in Australia. Look at those pensioners, and their beaming faces. Where do think that money they are dropping through the pokies comes from? Sure, most of it comes from the money in the envelope that they put aside for next month’s electricity bill, but some of it came from the savings they made on that cheap cask wine on sale at their local bottle shop. For that you’ve got my industry friends to thank. Our opponents like to blame those low prices in part on the wine glut. Glut! They make it sound like you can possibly have too much of a good thing?
Here at AIL, we’re all about personal freedoms and choice. Truth be told, we don’t care what alcohol you drink. AIL and my Alcohol Industry brethren are committed to assaulting your senses with a never ending, constantly changing parade of brands and beverages. Let it not be said that we restrict your choices. That we’ll leave to our opponents.
Don’t even get me started on the issue of alcohol-warning labels. Are my opponents seriously trying to tell my AIL brothers and I how to ‘do a label’? You can’t be serious. What do you think we’ve been sticking on our bottles for the last 150 years? Have you even seen the label on the latest bottle of Cross-eyed Mountain Lion Pale Ale Special Edition? Notice the way the Lion’s blood-shot eyes follow you around the room? Don’t tell me we don’t know how to do a label.
Illustration by Andrew Henderson