So let's address some of the idiocy, shall we?
Firstly, if anyone mentions alcopops - as the dozy IAS bore on Five Live's phone-in did Friday - they are either woefully ignorant, or have an agenda which will certainly not be met by minimum pricing.
At time of writing, the very best deal at Sainsbury's for Smirnoff Ice was a two for £5.50 deal on 700ml bottles of the stuff. At 5% strength, this means they are selling it at just under 79p per unit. It would take a doubling of the proposed entry point for alcopops to be remotely threatened.
You see, talking of agendas, Cameron has swung open the stable door and invited every anti-alcohol nutter (and others, more later) to bolt and advance their glib and ill-conceived ideas.
Within minutes of Theresa May being stuck on the end of a broom handle to pump out this shit, Alcohol Concern were practising in front of a mirror how to introduce the hideous social calamity of married couples sharing a bottle of wine of an evening to a wider audience; police woodentops were delighted at the opportunity to call for advertising bans; and commenters near and far to assert that charging for NHS services was a damn good plan. The fact that many of the latter were up in arms earlier in the week about the temerity of the government to even consider the very same thing in the Health Bill was quite hilarious.
I remember watching a programme once where Cameron was portrayed as not too interested in politics during his college years. I think it must have been entirely accurate since he seems to have the political nous of a fruit fly. With one day of madness, he has opened a can of worms which will crawl all over him for the rest of his tenure, while simultaneously causing the UKIP recruitment team to hire another couple of members of staff to cope with their phones ringing off the hook.
Conservative Home were right behind him, though ... not. While Labour politicians couldn't believe their luck in managing to still get their daft control policies through even in opposition.
Just to top the quite astounding mistake off, it was almost certainly announced on Friday to stop the press destroying them for the budget. Surely, someone - anyone - might have advised Cameron that if you want to buy the public off you should choose to do it with something popular.
It's not like he wasn't aware that it would be received very badly either, as his own Number 10 PR stated quite clearly.
I know this won’t be universally popular. But the responsibility of being in government isn’t always about doing the popular thing. It’s about doing the right thing.And there is the next problem, because this is the first time that a politician has explicitly come out and admitted what we have known for quite a while. That public consultations are anything but.
They have always been a bit of a sham, a sly way of pretending that Westminster are listening to us. But Cameron is saying that it matters not what any of us think - if responses turn out to be 100% against the idea, he's doing it anyway.
The only thing cast-iron about this guy is his steely incompetence. Well, maybe with a bit of arrogant contempt for the public thrown in.
Lastly - and probably most importantly for many - never think that this is just about punishing the less well off. I know many have stated that it is a move which will uniquely disadvantage the poor and leave others unaffected, which is valid insofar as the stated terms of the proposed legislation, but real life will certainly not work like that.
If bog standard spirits, for example, are forced to charge close to premium brands, does anyone really believe that the premiums won't be protected? If Asda own brand white rum rises in price, so commensurately will Bacardi; if Tesco's own brand wines are made more expensive, the premium gap will be preserved by more prestigious labels increasing in price accordingly.
It would be quite incredible if the Department of
No matter your income level, you will be paying more for your chosen tipple thanks to Cameron's doe-eyed simple-mindedness. And if anyone truly believes that 'moderate' drinkers will only pay £5 to £6 extra per year, I'd advise them to stick to the child area of the library next time. They'll be in the company of equally credulous minds that way.