Apparently fakecharity Alcohol Concern Wales want to have a “national debate” about the future of alcohol sales in petrol stations. This stems, they say, from continued concern about the high level of drink-related road accidents. But is there actually evidence that any such accidents have been caused by drivers who have bought alcohol from petrol forecourts and consumed it immediately afterwards? Also, in many areas of rural Wales, petrol stations may offer the only shop for miles around, so banning them from selling alcohol would be a significant detriment to local communities.
Of course, when such organisations call for a “debate” that is the last thing they want – they are seeking to impose their views on others. We saw exactly the same a year or so ago when health organisations staged the so-called “Big Drink Debate” which was really just an exercise in making moderate drinkers feel guilty. And isn’t the real motivation behind turning the spotlight on petrol stations just yet another niggly, salami-slicing, superficially reasonable-sounding bid to restrict the availability of alcoholic drinks?