Another u-turn by Cameron on minimum alcohol pricing and this time he is right to bin this policy.
This ditched tax, along with the proposed 'fat tax' and 'bedroom tax' will only hit the poor. Those former members of the Bullingdon Club wouldn't notice a hitch in wine prices but the little old lady on a fixed income who likes a sherry before dinner and the dwindling few who pop into the pub on the way home from work would have shouldered this tax.
Some in this government are sounding like a shrill nanny. The state knows best and we are going to regulate you either way by tax or draconian policies. They sound too much like Labour, yet with a tinge of the sneery upper class looking down on those who drink cheap wine, alcopops and cider.
The UK, and particularly Scotland, has an unhealthy approach to alcohol so perhaps the solution is via education. Why do some kids get plastered on alcopops? Why do the middle classes - and this is a growing health risk group - who sit at home most evenings downing a bottle of Chablis? Increasingly, why do women open a bottle as soon as they get home from work and gradually work their way through it? Why are our town centres reeling with vomiting middle-aged women, falling off kerbs in high heels and too short skirts putting their health and life at risk? I know some of it is down to pressures of family life and work but the continentals don't do it. You don't see Parisian or Roman men and women disgracing themselves after a night out in their capital cities. Yet in London on Friday and Saturday nights you see hoards of men and women falling over, brawling, vomiting and behaving disgracefully whilst the tourists watch in amazement. Why do publicans continue to serve drunks, is it because they are a dying breed themselves? It's a British thing. These are the problems that need to be addressed.
Most people when they buy alcohol in a supermarket are not pre-loaders looking for the most booze they can load their trolley with for the cheapest price, but pensioners in council flats looking to save a few pennies, they are doing so because they have to be careful with their money.
I'm glad Cameron is doing the right thing and not bowing to the anti-drink lobby. He now needs to get to grips with the 'bedroom tax' that will penalise divorced fathers on low incomes who will not be allowed to have a spare bedroom for his visiting children and the 'fat tax' which again will hit the poor, not the middle classes who prefer to buy over-priced organic produce delivered to their door.
Talking of 'fat tax' has anyone noticed a number of our most popular brands have become bland due to reduced sugar or salt? Bran Flakes, Heinz Baked Beans (buy Crosse and Blackwell, their taste indicates they're still pretty well loaded), Heinz Tomato Soup and most pizzas. All in moderation, I say, and don't tamper with the taste any more. Cheers.