Speaking at a conference, organised by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) on Friday (5 September) Peter Rice, chair of the Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), argued for the MUP [minimum alcohol pricing] policy, which sets a 'floor price' below which alcohol cannot be sold, based on the amount of alcohol contained in the product. MUP will particularly benefit harmful drinkers on low incomes in terms of improved health and well-being, he said.For "benefit", read "impose a form of price prohibition on".
"Tackling price is the most effective and cost-effective way of tackling the issue. It will affect the whole population" ... the chair of SHAAP added.Hold on, say that again?
"It will affect the whole population"But, but, this is not what we have been told before. It was supposedly brilliantly targeted to just those who abuse alcohol (only if they're poor, that is), not the rest of us!
No, seriously, this was a prime selling point.
90% of population 'would be unaffected' by minimum alcohol price
Lead author Professor Nick Sheron said: ‘Setting a minimum unit price for alcohol is an almost perfect alcohol policy because it targets cheap booze bought by very heavy drinkers and leaves moderate drinkers completely unaffected.’So what is the truth? Will no-one be affected or everyone be affected. That's quite a large margin of error, isn't it? It's almost as if - I dunno - they're making it up as they go along.
More to the point, though, what the hell are they doing wasting our taxes over there when there is no 'urgent' problem to solve? The BBPA recently reported that alcohol consumption has declined for the tenth consecutive year - an 18% reduction since 2004 - and alcohol-related crime is down 47% since 1995.
So even if we must all be punished for the sins of the few - which minimum alcohol pricing certainly will do, especially for the less well off - the sins are decreasing at the same time that bansturbators want our punishment to increase.
If the ECJ doesn't tell them to go boil their heads, even the left should start thinking seriously about why we bother with Europe.