You will recall that Chocolate Orange Dave has oft grumbled about supermarkets alcohol pricing policies . You remember his “20 tins of Stella for a fiver” line surely. Now it looks like he is going to do something about it – planning to introduce a ban on supermarkets selling wine, beer and spirits below a national “minimum price“.
If true , one has to start to question seriously the philosophy – or lack of it – of this man and his government. Far from rectifying the mistakes of the previous regime. They seem intent on a repeating them. We are already being told that government is actively considering banning branding on cigarette packs - providing an open door to counterfeiters to increase their market share of sales, damaging the activities of legitimate business and doubtless losing tax revenue into the bargain.
Now we are told that they wish to further “fiddle” with business by telling those most able to sell a product at the lowest price – that they can’t. So much for stripping away legislation that hinders growth. Government policy seems to be all about the new controls it wishes to impose. In case Dave hasn’t realised it yet, its not the supermarkets or the alcohol producers that are responsible for so-called binge-drinking - that’s the responsibility of those individuals who choose to drink to excess. No-one elses.
What is especially concerning is that a government appears to be emerging that is happy – nay determined – to interfere in areas of life where it has no right to be..whether that’s poking and prying into our “levels of happiness” or determining how we should spend our hard earned cash.
This all smacks of a government running around trying to put out small individual fires and “be seen to be tackling” social problems without any underlying principles to guide them.
You can’t bang on about social responsibility and individual responsibility and the big society and localism and goodness knows what – and in the same breath seek to impose national rules that will penalise the responsible and the poor because of the actions of the irresponsible few.
In case you care: Happiness Index DOWN