Monday, 16 August 2010

Cheap booze crackdown “doomed”

Interesting report in the Daily Mirror (of all places) that an internal Home Office report has shown little support for the government’s alcohol pricing plans. In fact, more people thought that a ban on “irresponsible promotions” should be confined to the on-trade, which rather goes against the promotion of the pub as the home of responsible consumption.

It is clear that, in the minds of the general public, by far the biggest alcohol-related problem in society is late-night disorder in town and city centres, which is overwhelmingly associated with on-trade consumption. If people want to wreck their livers in the comfort of their own homes, that is seen as their own problem, not a wider social issue.

While “pre-loading” does take place, it must amount overall for only a tiny proportion of off-trade alcohol purchases, and to penalise the responsible majority for the sins of the minority would be unreasonable. However, that did seem to be the stock-in-trade of New Labour policy on many fronts for thirteen years. And, if drunks out and about in town centres have been pre-loading, somebody has still sold them more drink in the on-trade, unless they wandered out of the house ratarsed.

It’s always someone else who is an irresponsible drinker, and once people realise they’re being expected to pay more, indeed a lot more, for their slabs of Carling and 3-for-a-tenner Aussie Chardonnay they’re unlikely to be too keen on the idea.

9 comments:

  1. If pubs keep putting up the price of pints then I suspect more and more will close. Prices approaching £4 a pint are not a joke.

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  2. I think what might kick the town-centre drinking barns into some kind of order is a couple of high-profile prosecutions for selling more drinks to already drunk patrons.

    Using existing legislation is preferable to another raft of daft, unnecessary rules and regulations.

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  3. "I think what might kick the town-centre drinking barns into some kind of order is a couple of high-profile prosecutions for selling more drinks to already drunk patrons."

    In theory, yes, but we all know what would happen would be that the people to be prosecuted would be relatively responsible middle-aged drinkers who might have had six or eight pints but who weren't likely to do anything worse than wend their way home with a bit of a wobble.

    The town-centre shot-swigging yobs would be left unscathed because it's too difficult.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anon @19.22...£4 pint ???

    The noticable increase in the price of a pint ,according to most dipstick landlords ,is due to a
    marked reduction in footfall(less people coming in, in simple terms.)
    Now as you all know, CAMRA,the BBC,
    Guardian , Labour MPs and other
    Trot talking heads will blame the
    sub prime mortgage crisis in the mid USA,Tescos,Cut price DVDs,
    rainfall and all sorts of pitifull excuses.When the £5 pint arrives it
    may be a good time to have a cosy
    chat with the above mentioned shysters.In the meanwhile pubs
    will close and the working class will be forced onto the sofa with a 6 pack, a bit like the DDR I knew in the 70s.


    Suffolk Punch

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't think minimum pricing can be done by legislation if I believe the view that it would be illegal to do so under EU law (and I honestly can't comment one way or another) but I fear it will happen on a semi-voluntary basis where pubs will need to show that they implement minimum pricing to have their license renewed.

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  6. "once people realise they’re being expected to pay more, indeed a lot more, for their slabs of Carling and 3-for-a-tenner Aussie Chardonnay they’re unlikely to be too keen on the idea"

    Cookie will be steaming! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anon @19.22...£4 pint ???

    Yep, £3.65 for a pint of Guinness, and that was some months ago, I have since not returned to that establishment. But many others don't just put a penny on a pint but more like 20/30p each time. Its too much.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I paid £3.90 for a 3% ABV beer at Brew Wharf the other week. We only had the one pint there...

    ReplyDelete
  9. "I think what might kick the town-centre drinking barns into some kind of order is a couple of high-profile prosecutions for selling more drinks to already drunk patrons."

    You would have to catch them in the act for that to work. If you asked a drunk in town, which pub served him last, they are more likely to implicate the venue that refused them, rather than served them.

    ReplyDelete

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