The beer blogosphere is awash with opinions on the latest news from north of the border. Yes, it seems the SNP, taking a leaf out of Westminster’s book, are eager to prove themselves true Caledonian clowns. I’m an advocate of measures favouring the on-trade, but what we have here is just plain bonkers. As others have pointed out, there is a big difference between banning loss-leading and imposing minimum pricing.
Minimum pricing is an attack on the working classes and the enemy of all drinkers. It’s lazy thinking, ill thought through and a green light to bootleggers. And typical of politicians everywhere, they even lack the convictions of their beliefs. After proclaiming they were raising the off-trade age limit to 21, they got nervous after student dissent and scrapped that idea. Except that local authorities can bring it in if they feel the need. Which would create a two-tier system between different regions? Very clever.
Mind you, opposition to this madness does put you in with some strange bedfellows. The Portman Group? They’re only marginally saner than the Scientologists. And SAB Miller? The spokesperson for that bunch of money grabbing, purveyors of crap had me in stitches as they tried to portray SAB as some sort of “free trade” champions. Apparently they have a deep concern for the drinkers of Scotland. Hilarious.
Still, it’s bad news. And talking of news, what did the BBC do yesterday? Yes, headline the story with (yet again), stock footage of real ale being pulled through a handpump. Great. Nice one, Auntie Beeb.