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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Friday, 23 March 2012

The End is Nigh Now

O, shut the door! And when thou hast done so, come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help.
The worst fears of all reasonable minded people look set to have finally come true. In a giant pincer movement not seen since the Ardennes in 1944, the government is poised to deliver several knockout blows to the drinking classes.

It’s reported today that David Cameron has personally given the go-ahead to introduce a minimum alcohol price of 40p a unit in England. If that wasn’t enough, legislation will also be introduced to ban supermarket multi-buy offers. Both of these measures are staggering in their depth and stupidity.

Now, it’s no secret that I don’t expect David Cameron and his Eton chums to run the country very well. Rises in unemployment, poverty and social unrest are unwelcome, but predictable. However, presumably they have some sort of political philosophy guiding them. Or should have.

I’ve always been led to believe-and often been told so by those of a blue persuasion, that the basis of their beliefs is less state intervention and a commitment to the so-called free market. Today David Cameron stands stripped of any such political compass and is revealed not only to those outside of his own party, but to those within, as an empty vessel devoid of ideological integrity.

The effects of these planned draconian measures would be considerable. For example, Tesco and Sainsbury were offering a two-for-£20 deal on a 20-pack of Strongbow cider. This works out at 21p a unit. However, minimum pricing would raise this to £37.50. Likewise 20 cans of Stella-44 units of alcohol-would go from £10 to £17.60.

Of course, it’s not only beer. Asda’s 3-for-£10 wine offer would be now solely for those wines under 11%.  So how does one defend the indefensible? Well, expect to hear how it will lead to 50,000 fewer crimes this year and other outlandish, unsubstantial claims. And how many times will the catchphrase “beer is cheaper than water” be repeated?

As to the cost of all this; well, the government says the average drinker will 'only' have to pay £23 extra a year. As we know, the government’s idea of what an average drinker is doesn’t match reality. The real figure is likely to be much higher-well over a £100 in many cases. The government also says the supermarkets won’t pocket the extra cash, but use it to lower the cost of other goods. But, of course, they won’t be forcing them to do so.
It’s enough to drive you to drink. If you can afford it.


Cooking Lager said...

Very well put.

A pity CAMRA is supporting it.

John said...

Just an excuse to tax the poor. This government will not be happy until they see us bleeding in the streets.

Paul Bailey said...

Ah, but Cameron thinks there's votes in this latest piece of nonsense, and like the rest of his ilk will do anything to court popularity or show his support for fashionable or trendy ideas, no-matter how daft or half-baked they are. In fact like most of todays' politicians he will do anything in order to cling on to power.

He will do this even if it means betraying his own party's political principles.

Barry said...

I was honestly shocked to hear this was being introduced. I can see what Paul means but this just seems so crazy. The PM has ignored all the facts and let every responsible drinker in the country down. It really is another nail in the coffin for the drinks industry.

Anonymous said...

First they came for the smokers...

Curmudgeon said...

Of course this provides a golden opportunity for the party of the working class to attack Cameron for a patronising, élitist attack on the poor.


Penny said...

What really concerns me is the extra money that this puts in the pockets of the large supermarkets. Is that really a function of government?

And whilst Labout may not be making a stand on the issue, at least Gordon Brown did listen to his cabinet and resisted introducing such measures.

And, it has to be said, that if you live in Scotland, then Labour are your only hope; as they are the only party now opposed to minimum pricing.

Curmudgeon said...

It won't necessarily put as much money in the pockets of supermarkets as you may think, as the bottom-end products are likely to simply disappear off the shelves.

Anonymous said...

David Cameron turns out to be a twat.Surprise surprise.

Martin Ward said...

As a lifelong Conservative supporter I find this development particularly depressing. After years of campaigning against the smoking ban and riling against Labour's nanny state, I feel betrayed and quite bitter.

That we introduced such a measure and not Labour wil be hard for many in the party to understand.

Tandleman said...

Cookie. Supporting this thin end of the wedge idea is foolish in the extreme. Who knows where it will end, except in tears.

Tyson said...


Sadly, CAMRA are more interested in appeasement and counting membership numbers rather than political campaigning.