You do not often see a government placed in greater peril because of a tax cut on beer. But it depends on how you put it, doesn't it:
The suggestion that cutting bingo tax and beer duty will "help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy" is so patronising it looks like a crude attempt at satire: indeed, the only comfort on offer for the Tories is that some social media users genuinely believed it was a parody. The fatal pronoun is "they": it looks like a conscious attempt by well-heeled Tories to distance themselves from the great unwashed, who are presumably all getting hammered in bingo halls. This is the real "plebgate".
See, there is no need of that. While it is true that there have been few actually fully honest sentences ever written about beer, well, this is still a majestically stunned one. All good politicians know that there is nothing one can do with beer but buddy up to it. Even when you can't stand the stuff.
So, what the hell was the spin doctor thinking when the line was written for UK Tory party chairman Grant Shapps? He or she wasn't thinking. That is the point. For large organizations entirely focused on what most people think of them, it is amazing how little actual study is done by them on what most people like and are like. Once I gave a presentation on something I know a lot about that has political implications. I do this from time to time. A couple of days later I got a call from an assistant to a political leader on how they could learn more. She admitted they knew zippo. It was shocking. And sad. My offer to freely discuss more was not taken up.
Beer is like that other topic. There ought to be written in large red letters on the walls of political boot camps everywhere "DONT MAKE FUN OF BEER BECAUSE YOU MUST LOVE BEER". Then again, you would also think that wall might also have "NO VOTER IS PART OF THEY" written on it, too. Which means this is a pretty good reason for a government to fall, right?