Monday, 2 August 2010

Illegal and unworkable

...but that doesn’t stop the Greater Manchester local authorities once again proposing to introduce a 50p minimum unit price for alcohol within the boundaries of the former county.

Calum Irving, from Manchester-based prohibitionist alcohol awareness pressure group Our Life said: “If you are a sensible drinker you will hardly be affected.
What utter drivel. Let us assume a family each week buy 8x440ml cans of 5% lager at £6, and two 750ml bottles of 13% wine at £3.49 each. If there are two adults, this would not mean anyone exceeding the “recommended” limits. But the proposal would mean the lager would cost £8.80, and each bottle of wine £4.88, thus increasing their weekly bill by £5.58, or £290 a year. Hardly small beer to someone on a low income.

I discussed this here back in March when it last surfaced. The authorities don’t have the power to do this, and anyway it would be illegal under competition law. It would also obviously lead to a vast amount of cross-border shopping for alcohol, including proxy purchases for friends and neighbours. And if you were going over the border to get your booze, you might well end up doing the rest of your weekly shop there, too. A better way of damaging the grocery trade within Greater Manchester is hard to imagine.

Ironically, it would hurt the poor most, as not only are they the biggest consumers of cheaper drinks, but they are also least likely to have access to a car. It’s only a quick fifteen-minute drive for me to Tesco at Handforth Dean, just over the Cheshire border.

It won’t happen, of course, but in a way I’d almost like to see them make a serious try, as it would end up being such a total disaster that it would set back the neo-Prohibitionist cause for decades.

The comments on the Evening News article I linked to make amusing reading.


  1. Top Shelf posting, Mudgie,again.
    I'me beginning to like you so much
    I might join you for a snifter or ten in one of your Stockport
    froth blowing sheds,but not on one
    of the Chris Bonnington clone
    soirees.Anyway you summed up in your article above, what many of us have warned the dont care non smokers for many a year.Just a reminder for those who did'nt give
    a shit when THEY came knocking on my door,when you get the knock
    dont ring MY BELL

    Deep Purple Line
    "Wait for the ricochet"

  2. “If you are a sensible drinker you will hardly be affected"

    l am a sensible drinker ... l drink when l like. The amount l drink depends where l am, what l'm doing the next day and the mood l'm in.

    l may drinK a glass or two but on the other hand l may decide to carry on and damage the bottle of JD.

    l call this sensible drinking and it doesn't involve the advice of idiots like Calum Irving.

  3. Great article, PC.

    And it's RedNev's pals pushing for it, too. ;)

    There has been quite a lot of activity from the bansturbators this week ... is it a full moon or something?

  4. I never tire of posting this.

    The Royal College of Physicians said in 2008 "The ‘passive effects’ of alcohol misuse are catastrophic – rape, sexual assault, domestic and other violence, drunk driving and street disorder - alcohol affects thousands more innocent victims than passive smoking."

  5. I am sure you saw it but Chris Snowdon reported a couple of weeks ago that Thailand has announced that they will be putting health images on cans and bottles of alcohol, 30% by size.

    They are not pretty. It includes a man apparently having committed suicide by hanging because of his drink problem and like the lung cancer advert on cigarette packets showing healthy and lung cancer ravaged lungs has a picture of a healthy liver and a cirrhosis ravaged example.

  6. Calum Irving is demonstrating conclusively (if proof were needed) that the public sector is infested with vermin and that spending cuts are not only necessary but desirable.

  7. Glad to see you firmly on the side of cheap grog, Mudge.

    You can be an honorary member of the Campaign, Sir.


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