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The truths they don't want you to read....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Immoderate drinking

I'd like a drink, and be snappyThe joyous news that the Scottish Government have nothing better to do than to demand compulsory labelling on all alcoholic products so that drinkers 'know how many units' are in each drink/bottle/can may lead to better informed drinkers.

But only in the sense that the dawn patrol, students and under-agers (especially under-agers) will be hunting out those drinks that have the maximum units per £.

It's one of these campaign that no-one is against - publicly - but one that deserves the appropriate amount of abuse for it's sheer banality and it's ability to distract from the real issues.

As drinks labelling is a reserved power, unless Westminster decide to do something, then nothing can happen. As the sole purpose is to ensure safe drinking (for which read 'reduce sales of alcoholic drinks') I don't see the big drink companies voluntarily labelling one set of cans for lager for delivery to Scotland and having a different set of cans for England, whilst their competitors ship the supplies direct from the continent or even England, label free.

Buckfast with a label saying 'This gets you blootered, fast, pal'?

As most of the drunks I see in Stornoway are coming out of pubs, are the pumps and optics to be labelled? If I ask for a Black Russian, am I going to get a label telling me the number of units the bartender has just put into my glass? Are we going to see bottles of Champagne with the number of units detailed?

The hell we are.

The target is clearly the pile-them-high sell-them-cheap customers, and not the civilised drinkers like you, me and all politicians.

But no-one is asking the real question, which is 'Why do people drink to excess?' No attempt to reduce poverty; no initiative to provide alternative facilities for youngsters; no thoughts about restricting advertising.

Any serious policy - as opposed to a cheap headline - would start by banning alcohol advertising in and around sporting activities and force Rangers and Celtic to find other sponsors.

And there lies the rub.

Difficult decisions require you to upset some people; and until you do, you never achieve anything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good point particularly that last sentence