Monday 3 December 2012

Why Are The SNP So Quiet On Alcohol All Of A Sudden?

Something momentous happened today in Scotland. Something so absolutely brilliant that we should surely be expecting SNP politicians to be bouncing off the walls with excitement.

You see, the Scottish government's monitoring of their alcohol strategy showed that there has been a massive reduction in, well, just about everything.

The BBC reported it in their usual fashion.
Scots drink deaths fall but rates still high, says NHS
Which isn't quite what the report said.

Consumption is down; those drinking beyond guidelines is down; alcohol deaths are down; hospital discharge rates are down; liver disease rates are massively down; drink driving rates are down; drunkenness offences are down; and rates of kids drinking are down.

And what did the official Scottish government media briefing say about all of this? Triumphal, surely?

Nope. There was no mention of it whatsoever. Seriously. Absolutely nothing.

This, remember, from an SNP government which has been infesting every available media outlet for the past couple of years - Nicola Sturgeon front and centre - telling us all that Scotland really needs a minimum alcohol price as the 'alcohol epidemic' is out of control. Not a snifter of interest on her Twitter feed about this, though.

Now, could it be - and it's just a hunch, this - that "a decline in the volume of alcohol sold per adult, which fell by 5% from 2009-11" is a massive obstacle to the SNP's minimum pricing plan?
Researchers at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) said that in 2010 a floor price of 45p would have saved 50 lives in the first year, and 225 lives a year within a decade. 
Now a 50p basic price was needed to have a similar affect. That would cut overall consumption by 5.7%
It's hard to claim that future 5.7% reduction as the result of inspired lawmaking when your current stats show almost the same without any further interference, now isn't it? 'Cos they're now looking at at least 8% to 10% in the first year before they can boast anything much of interest (we're watching closely now thanks to Cameron, you see).

I've tweeted Nicola tonight, but she was a bit busy discussing arts on STV at the time. I'm sure she - or Scottish Health Minister Alex Neil who has been equally silent - will rejoice at this excellent news sometime soon. After all, they could hardly have missed it in the last 24 hours of their pristine silence.

Yep. Won't be long now.


Steve Wintersgill said...

No doubt they'll simply ignore it for a few years and then, if they get minimum pricing through, ignore it some more then have ScHARR produce a bollocks piece of 'research' to demonstrate how successful a policy it's been.

Dave said...

Because the SNP are a bunch of drunken wankers.

winston said...

miniplenty malquoted chocolate rectify

Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was
to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present
week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a
warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some
time in April.

Ivan D said...

It's probably because his oiliness despite all his many faults is good enough at politics to make sure that his loud and rather less astute deputy was moved away from health before she did any more damage. Cameron should take note but he is the man who wanted to rename the NHS the "National Public Health Service" and he is too dogmatic to follow suit. By not talking about poor policies with little public support, the SNP increase their standing whilst Dave with his plain packaging consultations and support for minimum pricing bleeds votes to almost everyone else. The SNP pushed minimum pricing through before anyone actually read the Sheffield garbage so appeared to be "doing something" based on evidence. Now that holes have appeared in public, it makes no political sense to champion it elsewhere. Even dyed in the wool Conservative voters who I know are considering voting for almost anybody else. How thick and stubborn can one man be?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Very apposite quote, Winston.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

It's certainly a decent theory you have there.

c777 said...

And Salmond is not aware of the EU stance on minimum pricing?
Their against it.
He wants his independent Scotland to join the EU.
Go figure.

Pa broon said...

I'm a wee bit confused.
I don't think minimum pricing will work but, it hasn't been put in place yet anyway. How could Sturgeon etc claim credit for the fall on a policy that hasn't been put in place yet?
Does that not explain the silence?

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I meant that if the rate is falling by 5% already, minimum pricing - if/when it is implemented - will have to have one hell of an impact for the SNP to claim a 5.7% decrease over and above the current trend.

I don't think they want to trumpet this too much simply because they will try to pass off a similar decrease - after the minimum pricing law - as being solely due to their efforts, rather than something which is happening regardless.

Legiron said...

It's not my fault consumption is down. I'm doing my bit here.

I suspect though, what this means is really that 'bought from shops and pubs' is down. Man with a Van does imported booze too. Minimum pricing will boost his business enormously.