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Minimum Pricing: Battle lines are drawn

By Editor
December 2nd, 2012 at 3:37 pm | 6 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

There is an article in the Mail Online today that will warm the hearts of every good liberal.

Whilst Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne MP has been gagged (as has Farming Minister David Heath MP,) on the topic of minimum pricing of alcohol, word has leaked out that Jeremy is clearly on the side of the angels:

“…friends of Mr Browne have told The Mail on Sunday that he disputes claims that the policy is certain to cut binge drinking – or reduce the number of pub fights.”

A source close to Mr Browne said: ‘Jeremy’s view is that the thug who has downed nine cans of lager is hardly going to think, “Oh dear, I can’t afford a tenth because of minimum pricing. I think I’ll go home to bed instead of starting a brawl.”

Needless to say his stance has meant that Tory Police Minister Damian Green has been given the task of speaking publicly in support of the policy. Jeremy is right of course. As is the assertion made on his behalf :

“Jeremy maintains that the middle-class woman in Oxfordshire who drinks a £10 bottle of Chablis every other night will not be affected because it won’t go up in price and she can afford it anyway,’ said the source.

‘But the working-class woman in Oldham who drinks a cheap bottle of Lambrini will be hit because it will cost more”

Well said that man. Is his, and other MP’s, opposition enough though? It would appear sadly that there is no ‘organised’ campaign against minimum pricing to date. It is not clear if this is because the supermarkets & drinks companies are following the strategy of appeasement, looking at the likely boost to their incomes such a policy will deliver regardless of the hurt it will cause their customers, or were genuinely taken by surprise. Perhaps they feel the policy is too absurd to worry about?

But history tells us that you need more than having right on your side and reasoned arguments to win against the relentless, rich and powerful lobbying health “charities”. With privileged access to policy makers, often funded by those they lobby, these fake charities rarely fail their paymasters in delivering the desired outcome in such “public” consultations.

There are signs of a resistance building. An e-petition against minimum pricing was created a while ago but has trebled signatures in the past 24 hours and an informative facebook page here (and an event to sign up to here) has appeared in the past couple of days (that from which we harvested much info – thanks!) .We have also seen the excellent Chris Snowdon step up to the plate with a must read report (co-authored by statistician John C. Duffy) “Minimum evidence for minimum pricing” and enjoyed his many and brilliant turns on the media. And of course we have the efforts of Pub Curmudgeon, Dick Puddlecote, Frank DaviesSpiked! ASI, IEA and TPA, (and many others) to count on. (We also hear tell of a newspaper campaign though can’t pin that one down right now).

Whether their efforts, combined with the fact that minimum pricing is illegal , fails the evidence test, is based on a flawed model, punishes the poor, the sensible and the moderate, and of course that public opinion is against it, is enough to win out against the might and money of the government’s own pet groups, on a mission to deliver Mr Cameron’s desired outcome, however remains to be seen. For now our thanks and appreciation to Jeremy (and many other MPs) for standing firm.

Ps if you want to get the minimum pricing widget (above) for your web site, click here (courtesy of the marvelous Pub Curmudgeon).

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Salmon and brazil nuts to be subject to Cameron’s fat tax?

By Angela Harbutt
October 6th, 2011 at 9:12 pm | No Comments | Posted in health, Nannying

HAT TIP… Regular readers of this blog will know how much I adore Dick Puddlecote’s blog . No matter how bad it gets, he always makes me smile. Yesterday’s  post is a particular peach.  In it, he hypothesises what food stuffs may be banned if “call-me-liberal-Dave” does elect to go down the same FAT TAX route as Denmark. Never mind taxing butter and cheese….

“…avocados appear to just miss the cut, but cashews fall under the tax. So do salmon, eggs, and dark chocolate”.

(I was so sure I had heard that dark chocolate was good for you?).

He also questions whether restricting saturated fats is really a sensible route to a healthier nation…

“…the jury isn’t just out on the health benefits of restricting saturated fats, it’s in the next town having a beer and a ploughman’s and discussing if such a move could end up being damaging. As these four recent studies argue…”

To find out what the studies reveal about why saturated fat ain’t necessarily the bad guy in this you will have to go read the post. Click on one of the above links – I know you will enjoy!

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ASH…We Really Must Do This More Often

By Angela Harbutt
June 24th, 2011 at 12:46 am | 12 Comments | Posted in Personal Freedom

A couple of days ago I wrote a small wee post on ASH . I thought it might be of  interest to those who read our blog and care about personal freedom and the nannying (and now “nudge”) state in which we live.  I was somewhat taken aback by the response (positive and negative). When Big ASH piles into the comments you know you have touched a nerve.

Anybody who thought that the debate on smoking was over, must surely think again.

Some of the comments were so astonishing that I was going to write a whole new post about them. Then I saw that Dick Puddlecote had done something already… “We Really Must Do This More Often” . To be honest, it wasn’t quite the post I had in mind, but it is really very funny and thought you might enjoy. And I will leave my  musings for another day. My thanks to Mr Puddlecote.

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