The Design Council has announced that is has developed two new prototype beer glasses to combat the problem of glasses being used as weapons in pubs and clubs. Basically the technology in one case offers a resin layer in the glass that will prevent glasses from sharding when broken, while the other is layered like a car windscreen, making it hard to smash and less dangerous than the current type of beer glass. They won't look or feel different, so well and good.
Along with this though there are some statistics which made me gasp with surprise. It seems that there are 87,000 glassings a year. Not innocent injuries caused by contact with a broken glass, say in picking one up that you've knocked over, but actual violence using a beer glass. What? That is an average of 238 a day. Now I don't know about you, but I find that hard to believe. I have been going in pubs for well over thirty years and been in some bloody rough ones, but thankfully I have never seen any glass related violence ever. I don't doubt for a second that it happens - and when it does it tends to be front page news - but 238 a day? Really? Does anyone else find that an unbelievable figure?
This is compounded (according to Alan Johnson the Home Secretary - pictured) by an alleged cost to the NHS of 2.7 billion pounds. What? That would suggest that each incident costs the NHS £31,000. Really? Can this possibly be true?
Anything that makes glasses safer without resorting to plastic is fine with me, but do we really need simple measures that sort out a minority problem to be accompanied by such obvious distortion and hyperbole? Pete Brown has already shown that government use of its own statistics is, shall we say, selective, but now it seems the government is heading towards Goebbels motto of "the bigger the lie, the more the people will believe it."
And that just won't do.
Photos of the new glasses will be available later today.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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