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

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Alcohol pricing

Whisky bottlesSo the Government plan to increase the prices of all alcohol to reduce consumption. Or at least a version of the plans that they had previously announced.

Great plan; let's all don the sackcloth and ashes and take the blame for a few troublemakers.

I really think that the humility of the public has been vastly underestimated by politicians up to now, and sticking 50% on the price of booze is going to be a real vote winner.

Explain to me why a pensioner in Uist will have to pay a lot more for the occasional bottle of whisky or for a pint in the (far distant) local, to reduce the consumption of Buckfast in Lanarkshire.

The solution is clear: the internet will ensure cut price deliveries from a variety of retailers, driving the local shops out of business, and ripping the heart out of local communities.

The press release about schools I referred to in the last post was called "Protecting rural ecomomies (sic)". It looks like the plans for protecting local ecomomies are for communities to have semi-derelict schools with tiny pupil numbers, but no shops.

Joined-up thinking at it's best.

Perhaps there might be grants available like the Rural Petrol Stations scheme to keep the local shops open?

Anyway, the fun is really going to start when an SNP politician is caught with a few drinks on board, making an arse of themselves.... The clock is ticking.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Billy, instaead of going to IKEA, will now start heading to Carlisle or somewhere else just South of the Border where, no doubt, a large Tesco's alcohol shop (like they have in Calais) will be being built as we speak!

Anonymous said...

Don't you and the misses order your cases of vino online Angus? So much for supporting local shops.
Hypocrite comes to mind as does knobhead.

Angus said...

neighbour has a 'u' in the UK.

The missus and I order some vino online, normally because it is not available locally. The rest we buy in the local supermarkets.

Anonymous said...

Angus, I am astonished to read that you buy wines in rather than go with what is offered on the island byt the local shops.

You must be the only person on the island who does that and as such you must hang your head in shame an walk the streets of Stornoway naked and barefoot wearing a placard proclaiming your badness.

Oh by the way 1:05 just in case you hadn't noticed That was a gentle piece of sarcasm for you. I assume that you buy everything on the island and from local shops (not the supermarkets) so that the money all stays on the island (well apart from the bit that goes off the island)?

Local shops have to compete for my £ as much as any one else.

Anonymous said...

Pub prices won't change at all and unless your pensioners are in the habit of knocking back 3 litre bottles of Jack Frost several times a week or 24 packs of Stella for £7.99 they won't notice a price hike either.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the whole point of this proposal to ensure a minimum price per unit. Surely if done sensitively this won't affect the price too much apart from for the bargain basement stuff that people who are looking to maximise the bang for their buck drink? Is that a bad thing?

Anonymous said...

What a ludicrous post. I would applaud this move whichever party had instigated it. Presumably you would be happy to see the centres of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Stornoway etc descend further into the no-go areas they've become at certain times of the night (and day in some cases), as long as you can enjoy your imported wines at a quid or two less a bottle? (50% on the price of booze? Where did you get 50% from??).

The court pages of local rags all over the country, including those of the Sy Gazette, are testimony to the waster society that booze - or at least booze in the hands of those who can't handle it or themselves - has helped create. Drugs get a disproportionately large amount of coverage in the media, but alcohol does far more damage. I doubt if the nurses who regularly get a fist in the face from some teenage airhead at 3 o'clock on a Sunday morning in A&E would be very impressed with your post.

It was funny (funny peculiar) to see on tv last night representatives of the booze/supermarkets industry claim that raising the prices on alcohol would be ineffective and that 'education' was the way to control the neds. That's odd, I thought their definition of education would be the endless adverts for 2-for-the-price-of-one 30p-a-can horsepiss lager or £6.50 PaintStripper Vodka available now in your local supermarket. The hypocrisy of these people is staggering, but they're not exactly the kind of people who have to walk home alone at night cos they can't afford a taxi and the last bus has passed, are they? You're very unlikely to see any of these people in A&E with glass stuck in their head, but they are obviously willing to put up with the 'collateral damage' their activities create - for others.

Have a good look around Tesco Stornoway next time you're in - all the booze used to be in the one place, but now it's popping up in other parts of the store. Somerfields were even less subtle in their days here and used to have cases of cheap lager stacked up to eye-level (literally) right by their tills. Your post will be meat and drink to the booze industry.

Anonymous said...

12:41 I've been here three years now and have never felt that SY Town centre is a no go area. The nearest it might be is when it is full of oiks from the nicolson at lunchtime (why can't they be kept in school)but that's all. Anyway with all the lovely cctv that we've got, the rozzers should have an easy task of nicking the drunks.
I also don't think that any of the nurses regularly get a fist in the face (NB violence of any kind is to be abhorred [unless it's by the police because then it must be justified]).

I think that I'm going to buy a big van and ship the cheap booze up. I wonder if HIE will give me a loan to set up a new transport and healthcare business?
I could have an alocohol detox unit built so that we can undercut the charges that the Health Board receives from the private sector for the service.

Anonymous said...

12:41 I think its a bit unfair to refer to all teachers as oinks!

Anonymous said...

I think "neighbo(u)r" that it is about time that your employers knew what you were doing whilst "on duty" supposedly looking after the youngsters.
I wonder if they would be interested in your past intemperance. Bet you didn't disclose that on the application form...

Anonymous said...


Side Wall/Open space An Lanntair 1p.m. Wednesday cold and damp.


Squatting huddled together Male & Female grasping in one hand a can of Tennents and in the other a fag. Consumed chippy wrapper and box discarded in fron of them.


Nicolson School uniform - or evidence of.

Anon 12:41 rather proves your point

They were no more than 16 so from whom did they obtain their lunch box less the greasy fry up?

Anonymous said...

9.05 raises a question...who is responsible for the Nicolson kids at lunch time. Presumably there is a duty of care taken on by the council to look after our children while they are at school. But during lunchtime no-one is supervising them. Can a parent therefore sue the Council if their child comes to harm during the break?

Anonymous said...

The scene in Tesco this lunchtime was a joy to behold. Legions of 'oiks' were marshalled into an orderly queue and only allowed in in small numbers. All had to sport baskets and were closely watched by members of staff and....two young ladies from the Northern Constabulary. On the other hand, and as previously mentioned..why are they not kept in school thus saving the police and Tesco this kind of hassle? The argument is that the canteen isn't big enough to cater for so many oiks. Suggestion: could they not use the subsidised staff canteen in the Whitehouse?

Anonymous said...

The reason that they cannot be kept in school at lunchtime is that there are no facilities to cope with the amount of pupils there are in the Nicolson. If there was a larger canteen I know the school would be keen to keep them on the school's grounds.

And going back to the alcohol pricing - I doubt that even the increasing of the price of alcohol will have effect on those that want to drink. The drinks they should be targetting are the alcopops and cheap price cider etc which the young people, and some older people too (!), drink to get drunk. If the price is raised or not, there is no stopping someone who wants to drink to get drunk. I feel that if there is a drastic increase in prices we'll just end up seeing more people stealing etc in order to get their alcohol fix.

Anonymous said...

Small Co-op in Stornoway today: the three ends of the shelf units directly opposite the tills - contents:

1) cheap whisky, gin and vodka.
2) coke, sweets, general toothrot for kids.
3) chocolate and lots of wine.

Behind the tills, filling every shelf from side to side - wine, spirits, tobacco.

The actual shelf space in the small Co-op taken up by booze and tobacco is more - a lot more - than that taken up by bread, fruit and vegetables.

Is it any wonder this is fast becoming a country of lardasses and winos?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4.41

There is too much vested interest by local junk food suppliers and vendors to see any change to the current riot zone the town becomes at lunch time. I would take a bet that influence by these business folk on their peers in the Kremlin will ensure even when there is a new Nicholson the runts will be allowed to roam.

The only solution is for the town businesses to simply ban under 16 year olds from their premises. Perhaps if a few more parents were in town to see what actually their little darlings get up to it might change opinion too.

And the school - complete lack of concern and attention to their duty of care - even the two bouncers at the traffic lights are ignored by the stream of kids heading into the town centre.

Want fags under 18 - first stop the pup vending machines, second your mate working at the fag counter in the shops or petrol stations - your court Toad I think.

Booze - join the Dawn Patrol at the door to the small Co-op and ask older folk to buy your carry out. There is an organised scheme where for a small cut in the carry out over 18s will buy and supply to the younger crowd.

To blame: Poor School Management, an uninterested Police Force, greedy traders and finally indifferent parents (just a few).


Anonymous said...



Our class town centre is about to receive a class shopping chain store - Peacocks. Not sure if they are worse or better than Primark and Matalan but one thing for sure they are cheap and cheerful like Stornoway is becoming.

Still one bright spark is there will be less choice for the midday shop lifters given they are clothes rather than music etc that used to ne nicked from Woolies!

RANTER - they used to be religious zealots too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.27am - Please learn to spell NICOLSON correctly if you are going to go on a rant about it. Clearly, you didn't pay attention to the high quality teaching given in the school. The school, at the moment, cannot provide the facilities to cater for the pupils at lunch time, as anon 4.41 pointed out. I doubt anyone whould want their children given sub-standard treatment, I'm sure they would be up in arms about it. If parents do wish to keep their children in the school canteen at lunchtime they can make sure the money they give them for lunch goes into the card/fingerprint system that the Nicolson has had in place for some time now. Thus preventing their little "darlings" from going downtown to the "local junk food suppliers".

I do not agree that poor school management is to blame for the problems caused by the pupils downtown at lunchtime - I say we should look at the parents. How are they raising their children if they feel it is right to intimidate others in town and ask their elders to supply them with booze and fags? The majority of the pupils that go downtown are not as bad as people make out, it is a handful of pupils that give the rest a bad name.

Anonymous said...

8:27 An interesting point. The school may not be able to cope with all the oiks at once but has it looked at staggering meal times?
The school I was at stagerred lunchtimes through out the lunch break and kept us all inside school grounds.
Surely it can't be beyond the wit of the school managers and the council to do this can it? Aye OK. Stupid question.

3:31, it is the sheer bloody number of them that is a problem. Maybes we could Rentakil in?

Anonymous said...

I am now in my forties and went to the Nicolson. I remember back in the day, we used to spend our lunchtimes escorting old ladies across roads, picking up litter and singing sweet Gaelic lullabies for the entertainment of passers by. There was no shoplifting, no drinking, no drug taking and no violence. I'm sure that everyone of my generation will regret the drunken shambles our community has become.

Anonymous said...

Am now in my 60's and dont qite remember it as anonomous 4.36 recalls.

However what I do remember is that
Many of town based kids went home for lunch, majority of bussed in kids went to Canteen, (did they get free ticket?) and hostel kids went, I think, back to respective hostels or canteen.
Accordingly there were not the same numbers with the time to roam the streets.

In any case there were not the same (any?) fast food outlets open at lunch time, and the ability to extend the lunch hour by judicous management of free periods did not exist.

We were no better or, I hope,worse behaved than todays teenagers,

Anonymous said...

10:24 I think that 4:36 was (gently) taking the proverbial.