Apparently the nation's doctors are taking the 'next logical step' in their bid for world domination by fielding candidates at the next general election. This something I have long recommended. A period of being abused on the doorstep and getting fewer votes than a man dressed as a chicken is just what these meddling quacks need to bring them down to reality.
Sadly, I doubt that many of them will bother to stand. The money's not good enough and they've been dictating the policy of successive governments without any popular mandate for years, so why bother?
There's nothing I can say about this that hasn't been said better by Graeme Archer at the Telegraph, so just go read his article...
[Minimum pricing is] a policy with the sticky fingers of the BMA all over it, too. I don’t know why we don’t just devolve government to the doctors’ trade union and be done with it; after all, they’re in such a high state of dudgeon over the health Bill (the BMA is not accustomed to being disobeyed by Health Secretaries) that they plan to field candidates at general elections. These candidates, it is claimed, will be “non-party” and “independent”, to which one might respond: independent of whom? Not of the BMA, whose party they effectively represent.
I looked up the BMA website, and – surprise! – the policy of minimum pricing is indeed one of the medico-comrades’ manifesto pledges. (The link to the alcohol policy is right next to the “Doctors taking action against Climate Change” page, which made me shudder and fear for what’s coming next.)
... I don’t know why the doctors feel the need to bother forming a party and standing for election anyway, since governments introduce every statist piece of social control they demand. I wonder if they’re ready for the rigours of an election campaign? There’s more to it than shouting “I don’t like the health Bill; now fund my ludicrously over-generous pension scheme” at bewildered taxpayers. The GPs might also be shocked to learn that most political door-knocking happens in the evenings and at weekends, and, no, you can’t get locums to cover that out-of-hours work for you. Still, I do like the idea of GPs being quizzed on their policy by interested voters: just how many units did you consume last week, doctor? And who gave you the right to make my sauvignon blanc more expensive?
Sadly, the answer to that last question is “a Conservative Prime Minister”. One of the reasons I did drag my sorry backside around council estates in the rain at the last election, delivering leaflets for the Prime Minister’s party and desperately trying to squeeze just one more Tory vote from the Labour-inclined burghers of Hackney, was precisely because more than a decade of a government that thought it knew better than I did how to live my life was enough.
Minimum pricing for alcohol fails, miserably, the leaflet test: we got rid of Labour, for this? That beer can be cheaper than water apparently troubles Mr Cameron. He should realise that the cheapness of beer is one of the few perks left to make life bearable for his over-taxed, over-regulated, fed-up fellow citizens. Better the sticky heap of Gin Lane, than the joyless futility of government-controlled alcohol prices.
Tim Worstall is also reliably sound on minimum pricing, an idea "so glaringly, inanely, stupid that it even has the European Commission on the right side of the point issue."
This is the most monumentally insane, stupid and illiberal nonsense that we've had imposed upon us in years. There have been things more illiberal, yes, but not insane at the same time...
I can reveal that I've once met Cameron, just after he came down from Oxford. I took an instant dislike to him and I'm able to say that the intervening years haven't produced any evidence that I should have changed my mind.
Minimum alcohol pricing is doing something that almost certainly shouldn't be done and then compounding the error by doing it in the most cackhanded way possible and illegally to boot. Just what is it that they teach in PPE these days?