Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The minimum pricing Trojan Horse

My article at City AM yesterday begins thusly...

"THE era of big, bossy, state interference, top-down lever pulling is coming to an end.” So said David Cameron in 2008. Of all the hostages to fortune politicians take in their years in opposition, this has the makings of a classic. It’s hard to believe that less than two years have passed since the bright-eyed coalition promised to “tear through the statute book” as it threw intrusive and illiberal legislation on the bonfire.

Does anyone now remember the YourFreedom website which asked the public to nominate “unnecessary laws and regulations” for the scrap-heap? That project bit the dust when it transpired that the public wanted to repeal the drug laws and relax the smoking ban. The website now exists only in the National Archives, so future historians can marvel at the golden summer of 2010 when deregulation briefly seemed possible.

Read the rest here.

Not had enough minimum pricing comment? Check out Devil's Kitchen here and here, as well as Liberal Vision. PR disaster for the Tories. It's taken our minds off the budget in the same way a dose of syphilis takes your mind of your athlete's foot.


Anonymous said...

From Dave Atherton.

I have just posted this on DK's blog for reference.

Hi DK help is at hand on Dr. Richard Smith He has a blog on the BMJ and has confirmed it as recently as November 2011.

"I was a member of the Royal College of Physician’s working party that in the early 80s proposed safe limits for the United Kingdom of 21 units a week for men and 14 for women with one unit being 8 grams of alcohol. We advised that a unit was half a pint of beer or a standard glass of wine. I achieved some notoriety about five years ago for telling a journalist that these limits were “plucked out of the air.” Now whenever there is a debate about the validity of the safe limits—as there often is—I’m rung by journalists for a quote. My clumsy statement has not made me popular with the Royal College of Physicians."


dearieme said...

Such evidence as there is - which doesn't seem to me to be very good - suggests that there is another safe limit: you really should drink a minimum of one or two units a day. Maybe that's more a "prudential limit" than a "safe limit" but "safe limit" is good enough for government work.

Anonymous said...

Got to love a good sense of humour...

from the above link to Dr. Richard Smith blog.

Competing interest: RS was speaking at the meeting and was offered expenses, but as he cycled there and back he didn’t have any. He did, however, get a free cup of (not very good) coffee.

Jonathan Bagley said...

His brother is Arthur Smith, the comedian.