Sunday 15 March 2009

English drinkers to be fleeced too

Just as you thought minimum alcohol pricing had been kicked into the long grass in Scotland, the idea now raises its ugly head again in England. The clinically obese Sir Liam Donaldson, “Chief Medical Officer” for England, is demanding that a minimum price of 50p per unit should be set in England. No matter that this will greatly increase costs for ordinary families who enjoy the occasional tipple, it will supposedly improve public health.

What a load of bollocks. Most people use alcohol entirely responsibly, and this proposal will simply increase their costs. But it will do nothing to curb problem drinkers, who are the least price-conscious of all. This is snobbish, prohibitionist nonsense and Sir Liam should be sacked from his official position immediately. It won’t affect Sir Liam and his claret-swigging mates, so what right do they have to impose this on the poor?

The government may have dismissed this for the time being, but we should be under no illusions that it will keep coming back. Not for the first time, something first mooted in Scotland will eventually be inflicted on England – just look at the poll tax and the smoking ban. And watch out for plans to severely curtail the amount of booze and fags people are allowed to bring in across the Channel.

This idea is superbly dismissed here by the ever-eloquent Raedwald:

If these cloistered fools ever once asked themselves why people drink to excess they might just find that it's the escape that many have from the suffocating, cloying, overweening, intrusive, impertinent and unwelcome interference of Labour's Nanny State in the minutae of their lives rather than the cost per unit that's the more important factor. But that's a lesson these idiots will never learn.


  1. Obviously this is a shit idea, but whence comes the rumour that the EU will do anything about this?

  2. I am not surprised by these loony proposals. My wife, who's smoked since her early teens, predicted as soon as the smoking ban came into force that drinkers would be the next target. Not surprisingly, given the shower running the country, she has been proved right.

    Contrast the attitude of our nannying government to that of Bavaria. I've just been looking on the official website for Munich, as I'm planning a visit there later in the year. The section on "Beer Gardens" proudly boasts that a litre mug of beer is the minimum amount available, and that people will happliy consume two or three such mugs over the course of the evening. It then goes on to state that "beer is regarded as a basic part of nutrition in Bavaria, not actually alcohol."

    Imagine a city in Britain promoting such a line on its official website? the likes of Sir Liam Donaldson and his cronies would have a blue fit at the mere thought!

  3. Whilst it's a worry about people who abuse, this is not the way to deal with it. Raise the price of legit alcohol and the pissheads will turn to cheaper nastier alternatives. You and me will also suffer when buying a tipple to have with dinner. It'll be dropped like a lead balloon is my prediction.

  4. I'm surprised at all the knee-jerk responses to this. The ultimate effect will be to prevent (or punitively tax via fines) the supermarkets for their anti-competitive practice of selling alcohol below cost. It won't affect the price of a pint of beer (or even a bottle of WKD) in a pub.

  5. I doubt whether much (if any) beer is actually sold by Tesco's below cost.

    It may not affect the price of a pint in the pub, but it will hit huge numbers of working-class drinkers.


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