Alienating the majority? (Geoff McCarron)
With reference to the article in The Shetland Times of 28th October, “Minimum alcohol price rule welcomed”, I wish to make the following comments.
Firstly, for the purpose of this letter, I am referring to those who take a drink only. It states that retailers, health professionals and the police have welcomed moves to introduce a minimum price on alcohol, and the Scottish government will shortly introduce such legislation.
Taking each of the bodies in turn, as retailers, you risk the chance of alienating the 90 per cent of your customers who drink responsibly, hardly a sound business model.
On the health professionals, the NHS was conceived and set up for the benefit of all universally, regardless of race, creed, income, sexual orientation and income.
Just by making alcohol more expensive will certainly not make more people give it up. Look at hardcore drugs for example and you see that with much more strict laws, usage is still growing.
As for the police, it would appear that they just want everyone to stay indoors 24/7 although it is their duty to police the laws of the land and protect those who pay for them through their taxes.
Going on to the Scottish government, do they seriously think that this law will stop the type of behaviour that they are trying to cut out of everyday life? The vast minority of people who abuse drink will continue to do so; simply charging more for it is no answer.
Education is the answer, but the minimum pricing rules are quite simply lazy legislation. If this is the best idea that they can come up with then I think that they are in the wrong job. It is gormless, scattergun legislation which will punish those in the majority for those in the minority.
This is simply not fair and equitable. Once again, the liberalist nanny state do-gooders are making the majority who handle drink responsibly subsidise with their taxes, the minority who don’t.
Looking at another angle, it could be argued that this rule may promote crime as some may turn to such ways to obtain the means to cover these increases. Nothing like joined-up thinking … and this certainly is nothing like joined-up thinking at all.