From MOTHERWELL TIMES:
Controversial fortified wine brand Buckfast isn’t to blame for thousands of crimes across Scotland, according to Abbot David Charlesworth. In what is said to be his first interview about the wine the cleric, who heads Buckfast Abbey in Devon, says it is “not made to be abused”. He says he is annoyed that problems caused by social deprivation are, in his view, being laid at his doorstep.
The abbot’s defence contradicts a constant tide of criticism over many years from politicians including former First Minister of Scotland, and Motherwell MSP Jack McConnell, who said the drink was “a badge of pride amongst those who are involved in antisocial behaviour.” Critics have also included the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, Dr Robert Gillies, who sharply criticised the Buckfast monks for being involved with a product “that contributes to the misery of the nation”.
Owning company J Chandler & Co has regularly shown it is prepared to take robust legal action to secure what it considers to be its trading rights. The company regularly argues if Buckfast didn’t exist anti-social drinkers would merely choose another brand.
I'm split right down the middle on this one (not a pretty sight). On the one hand, as a sensible drinker about as far from being an addict as it is possible to get without being teetotal, I get really annoyed about having to pay more for my beer because my government uses tax on alcohol to (supposedly, although I don't believe it works in the slightest) to put people off becoming alcoholics. So, I am very much against having my pleasures eroded by our notoriously nannying state. But, on the other hand, Abbot David Charlesworth's argument against the promoting of his order's tonic wine to the "underclass" of Glasgow and elsewhere is exactly the same as the one employed by the National Rifle Association of America whenever people mention that perhaps gun ownership in the States should be restricted in order to avoid further schoolroom massacres and the like. Being both a natural liberal and a natural moralist can complicate my life at times.