Here's the facepalm lunacy as reported by the Sweaty Daily Mail:
Supermarkets would be forced to charge a minimum of £10 for a bottle of wine under plans outlined by Scotland's pub bosses yesterday.As ideas go, there haven't been many as barking since Stephen Milligan thought an orange and a bin bag might make a fun combination.
The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has urged ministers to dramatically hike alcohol in a bid to save bars from closure.
Its proposed £1 a unit 'minimum price' would send bills soaring for families. A can of standard lager would cost at least £1.76 and a bottle of whisky would rise to £28.
Under the SLTA proposals, the price of 12 cans of 1664 lager, which sell for £7.22 at Tesco, would hit £26.40. Under the SNP's 45p-per-unit plan, the price would be £11.88. For a bottle of First Cape Chardonnay, the current £3.49 cost would rise to £9.38 under SLTA proosals and £4.22 under SNP plans.
How anyone can believe that a minimum price policy would only be directed at one type of drinks retailer under current competition laws, is anyone's guess. And I don't know the prices of pub beer and wines north of the border, but even in the affluent south it's not hard to find a decent bottle of white on sale over the counter for around £8, and pints in the region of £2.
The SLTA proposals would mean a pint of Fosters couldn't be sold for less than £2.15, and a pint of Heineken, £2.84. That's Wetherspoon's year-round deals buggered straight away, let alone thousands of other offers in Scottish pubs which are desperately scrapping for market share by cutting prices.
Additionally - as Belinda soberly notes - it's a quite insane policy even if one forgets that Scotland has no border controls whatsoever to stop the huge increase in cross-Hadrian trade which would inevitably arise.
Minimum pricing will be good for nothing but creating mayhem in a country where many people can't afford shop alcohol prices. As recommended by the SLTA, it will do communities even more damage, without any likely impact on the closure rate of pubs. The recommended £1 per unit might persuade people to be grateful for a minimum price of 45p, in which case the licensed trade will have done the SNP an ill-deserved favour.Indeed.
I'm minded of the attempted kidnap scene in Life of Brian where two groups of freedom fighters beat each other senseless to the bemusement of Roman sentries. Instead of a unified front to repel dangerous and absurd health lobby authoritarianism, here is an obscenely myopic organisation using supermarkets as a 'human shield' in the vain hope that they might be left alone.
I think my antipodean mucker Crampton said it best last year. And it is increasingly holding true in light of such rampant stupidity from entities such as the SLTA.
The hospitality industry lobbies for more restrictions on supermarket-bought alcohol to boost sales in bars; small brewers push for more punitive tax rates on big brewers... the only winners are the healthists who get support bit by bit for more regulations on everything. It's like a bunch of folks on the scaffolds complaining that the other guy's noose isn't quite tight enough. Y'all might instead direct your attention to the hangman sometime and try helping each other cut those ropes.Quite. You have to wonder where these idiots have been for the past few years, and when they're finally going to realise that they are perceived as part of the problem, instead of this romantic fantasy they have of health obsessives somehow being sympathetic to them.
UPDATE: Yet the SLTA can, at times, be so very sensible ... like here. Go figure.