In a hysterical tide of witch-hunting and scape-goating a minority group is being singled out and persecuted. The budget announced a 10% above inflation increase in duty on cider.
The increase on ciders above 7.5% is going to be even greater. Possibly this is fair enough - it's hard to believe that these 'white ciders' have ever seen an apple. They only really exist to get you pissed in the most time and cost efficient manner possible - good only for binge drinking if the anti-freeze has run out.
It might also be fair enough to whack an increase on any cider served over ice. This has practically become the signature drink of the trendinestas of North London. In much the way that sticking a slice of lime in a bottle of insipid beer transformed it into an aspirational talisman for 80's yuppies. Hitting that demographic where it hurts is fine by me.
But cider in all its forms, from West Country scrumpy in earthenware jugs to Champagne-like Normandy cider is a wonder to behold with a fine and honourable tradition.
This isn't just about cider - its another example of the phenomenon of the madness of crowds - the same small-minded, smug, knee-jerk, need-to-be-seen-to-be-doing-something reaction that blames the evils of broken society on teenage mothers, hoodies, owners of pit-bulls , shoot 'em up gamers or whoever is the next folk-devil of the day. You could be next ...