I've kept a weary eye on a lot of the commentary, but many seem to have missed the undercurrent entirely.
The health lobby, for example, are rather disappointed, they wanted something much more draconian ... but then they would because they're cunts.
However, if they'd only departed from their soundbite construction for a few minutes and instead thought properly about the proposals, they would see what's actually happened here and be so ecstatic that they might even pop open a bottle of cranberry juice in celebration.
This isn't the be all and end all of anti-alcohol policy. It's just the first step on a long temperance journey towards alcohol denormalisation, chillingly alluded to in this short and seemingly innocuous paragraph.
They say banning shops and bars from selling drinks for less than the tax paid on them will cut crime and set a "base price" for the first time.Yes, that's right. For the first time.
And this is precisely what it is. It's a precedent; a potential enabling act for eternal government control of the price of alcohol. Just like the Soviet policy, but this time in a 'free' country.
The coalition aren't as astonishingly fuckwitted as the idiotic SNP who thought a brazen contravention of EU competition law was a clever way to go about it. Nope, this is far more subtle.
You see, once it is accepted by a bovine public that the state has a right to set a 'base price' for alcohol, they can change that base whenever they choose. OK, it's currently deemed illegal under EU law but don't expect that to last when this very light touch is presented to our righteous troughing overlords in Brussels. That's when the trumpeting and international oneupmanship can begin in earnest.
That's when the 'next logical step' will come into play and - just as 'gateway drugs' lead onto the hard stuff (apparently) - the aperitif of duty plus VAT will only encourage career wankers to experiment by pushing for something harder and more heady. When this small snifter doesn't produce the right buzz for the righteous, and it won't, calls will go out (not from the likes of us, natch) for something further to be done and the 50p, 60p, or even 70p unit and beyond is then only a circle jerk away.
Of course, much of public opposition today has rightly centred around the collective punishment aspect. Many have chipped in by objecting to being punished financially for the poor choices, or bad behaviour, of the few.
And this is where they, also, have missed the whole point of the exercise.
They seem to be under the impression that the whole process is being set in motion to discourage anti-social binge-drinkers, park bench youths or alcoholics. That would be to under-estimate the comprehensive hatred these people have for anyone who lives outside their ideals for a perfect life.
Take proper cunt Ian Gilmore, for example, who has been making himself exceptionally busy today. He let the cat out of the bag somewhat in 2007.
Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, gave his full support to the focus on the health costs of heavy drinking. “We really need the spotlight more on health. While crime and antisocial behaviour is important it’s too easy to concentrate on that because it’s somebody else causing the trouble.He's not talking about people who bother others with their drinking, nor the person sadly destroying their life George Best style. Oh no - he won't stop until every man jack of you keep to below a weekly unitary intake plucked out of a moron's arse. Nothing else will do.
“When you look at health it’s more uncomfortable because there’s a very significant percentage of the population already drinking at potentially hazardous levels.”
This is why we've heard the collective punishment defence termed 'very weak' by professional fake charity advocates, and why a representative of the Lifeline Project popped up this morning on Radio 5 to churn out unsubstantiated stats to Nicky Campbell such as "we are all drinking too much", and "one in three drink more than the recommended weekly limit". It matters not that alcohol consumption - and the consequences thereof - is declining ... their jobs depend on the existence of a problem, so they will create one.
As such, in the absence of a real menace, you'll do.
They don't want to counter merely those who cause harm, they really do want to punish everyone. It's part of the plan. In fact, it is the plan.
Considering the above, there's only one way to react to even such a seemingly benign measure such as is mooted. Resist it in its entirety, because this administration - like the last - really is that devious and antipathetic to the life choices of its own people.
I'll not leave you on a downer, though, because there is always a silver lining.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said that the Government definition will do nothing to alleviate the pressure on pubs and allow supermarkets to continue to sell alcohol below-cost.Stop that sniggering at the back!
“Today’s decision means pubs will continue to close as they are undercut by supermarkets selling canned beers at pocket money prices,” said chief executive Mike Benner.
Sorry, Mike, but you ceased to be relevant to these tossers in around 2006 when instead of roaring in defence of pubs, you caved like a newly-born Bambi. They couldn't give a monkey's chuff what you think anymore.
Oh yeah, and nice adoption of Alcohol Concern's 'pocket money prices' soundbite, you irresponsibly short-sighted twat.