Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Raise A Glass To A Rare Outbreak Of Westminster Sanity

Things have been awfully busy this week with around £350k pa worth of tenders from four different sources requiring some attention, plus planning for a trip to Sussex tomorrow for a meeting on even more promising business. All this alongside a curious incident surrounding a towed vehicle which has taken up an inordinate amount of time. Believe me, though, the latter is a story of odd random human behaviour coupled with astounding public sector obstruction and incompetence that begs to be written about here at some point (it may even rival the fox palaver).  I'll try not to disappoint.

But for now, it's impossible to let this BBC article pass without brief comment.
Plans for minimum pricing on alcohol in England and Wales may be dropped because Conservative ministers are split over the proposals. 
David Cameron supports minimum alcohol pricing and the government has been consulting on a price of 45p per unit. 
BBC political correspondent Louise Stewart says several cabinet ministers, including Theresa May, Michael Gove and Andrew Lansley, do not back the plans.
Sky have got wind of it too.

It's significant that Theresa May has been mentioned for the first time as a dissenter. Remember that this is a Home Office initiative and - considering May is the Home Secretary - she announced the consultation back in November.

If even she is getting cold feet - and the health lobby's greatest friend Nanny Beeb is reporting so -  it looks like this really could be the beginning of the end for the stupid idea after rumoured reports from other sources. 

Perhaps MPs finally looked at each other in a rare moment of clarity and asked a bog standard, common sense question which they should have thought of before wasting everyone's fucking time.

Charge your glasses, Ladies and Gents, and raise a toast - along with the thousands flooding Twitter with jubilant messages - to a brief respite from government harassment.

Unless you're Scottish, of course, in which case you've got a few more months before the EU tells provincial Holyrood dickheads that their misplaced smug idiocy is illegal.


Jay said...

Now if only the same thing begins to happen with plain packs. Not holding my breath, though.

Junican said...

It may be that the Home Office is fronting minimum pricing, but we all know which Dept is really behind it all, don't we? I wonder what the opinion of the Health Sec is? Of course, he may have no opinion since he is obliged to do what the Health Zealots in the Health Dept tell him to do. It would also not surprise me if it turns out that Ms May is also only voicing the opinion of the Police. But what has Lasley got to do with it?

Junican said...

A bit more.
Ordinary MPs are like children in a classroom. They have no say whatsoever. Ministers are like prefects - they have no say either, but they impose the rules mercilessly. The PM is like the headmaster. He is, on the face of it, in total control - as seen from below. The reality, however, is that there are one or more hierarchies above him. Those hierarchies are hidden from view. Occasionally, the curtains open a little and one can peep inside.
Revolution occurs NOT when the school children rebel; it occurs when the prefects rebel. Unfortunately, the rebellion usually turns out be a damp squib because the result is only a change of headmaster.
That is the reason that our political system stinks. The REAL culprits for our national problems are never revealed and never castigated.

Ivan D said...

The press leaks are worrying. If the politicians still want to be seen to be doing something illiberal to please the healthists, they may well go for the line of least resistance in the hope of appeasing those who cannot be appeased. When I see a root and branch reform of the DH with the likes of Black made redundant, then I might start to believe. Cutting funding to medical establishment lobby groups and NGOs would also help together linking academic funding with quality and honesty of output. Much of the public health junk only exists because someone received a grant to produce it.

Carpe Zytha said...

Us value drinkers have a stay of execution on our beloved cheap grog. The nutters are still out there in political parties, beardy weirdie pongy beer clubs that want to control what we drink. 2 fingers to such types, but they have not gone away.

jaycas said...

All over the Beeb's 'Today' programme this morning with Vivien Nathanson and Sarah Woolaston shrieking like banshees. The reason for the back pedalling seems to be that Osborne is worried about the tax receipt reduction (if turnover goes down) and favours hiking up duty in the Budget instead. So, no moment of sanity but a brief glimpse of the motive for anything the Govt does - money.

trashbunny said...

Good news, but I fear a sting in the tail. Could the leak about the implementation of plain packaging have been a deliberate ruse to take some of the heat off the ditching of minimum pricing. Or, if a decision on plain packaging had really not been taken, does this make it more likely now that pp it will be introduced to placate the public health banshees? Soft on drink -tough on tobacco!

myykk said...

Well, if Dave drops it, all the health fascists need to do is wait a couple of years for enough idiots to put Milibean in power - then we'll get minimum pricing, along with road charging (a DOT obsession), plain packs (if the Tories do drop this - which currently seems unlikely), Leveson style press censorship and much more besides (such as making rape trials non jury to get higher conviction rates to satisfy Hattie Hatemen and her harpies).