Thursday, 16 February 2012

Minimum Price for Alcohol Isn't Necessary.

First, let me state some facts: I have never smoked, ever. I also rarely drink.

So, you'd think it was strange if I was against the anti-smoking laws and against minimum pricing on alcohol.

With the smoking laws, I think its too draconian. It would have been far better if public establishments were allowed to make up their own policies on smoking. Once the policy is made, its up to employees as to whether they work in a smoking or non-smoking environment. The phrase is informed choice. A normal adult should assess the risks in any activity they partake in and then decide themselves if they do it or not.

The same goes for minimum alcohol pricing. The problem is binge drinking. However, I don't see much of it on Havant high street, nor do I personally binge drink. So why should I, or any of the people in Havant be punished for a problem they aren't causing?

The answer is nanny knows best: we're all being treated like kids, because there's a section of the population that refuses to grow up. You see it in schools and even in families: collective punishment. If one of you can't behave, all of you get to suffer. 

However, we already have a law covering alcohol abuse. Anyone in public who is drunk and incapable should be liable to a being drunk and disorderly. So why aren't people that binge drink and cause trouble (the supposed reason for bringing in a minimum price) charged with that existing law? Why do we have to have yet another law that punishes everyone instead of specifically targeting the law breakers and trouble makers?

Now I have heard that alcohol pricing might fall foul of EU anti-competition laws, effectively installing a tariff on alcohol that restricts it's sale and is therefore restricts free trade. It would be an interesting court case.

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