Increasing price of alcohol won’t stop binge drinking

COMMENT: Bandstand event is a victim of its own success

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As if there’s not enough misery in this country already, the government is about to make it even worse.

There’s a plan to introduce a minimum price for alcohol. Increasing it to 40p per unit is supposed to help ‘turn the tide’ against binge drinking.

So because someone likes to drink five cans of Special Brew with his cornflakes, wander around town shouting at seagulls and then swim a few circuits of the Commercial Road fountain, it means we all get penalised.

It’s a bit like the teacher who keeps the whole class back for detention because Joe Bloggs threw a paper plane out of the window.

Increasing the price of alcohol isn’t going to stop binge drinking. We already have higher prices than a lot of our European counterparts.

And you don’t tend to get Parisian women fighting in the street, running down the Champs Élysées with traffic cones on their heads, or urinating against the Arc de Triomphe.

If people are going to get smashed before going out for the night, then they’ll do it, regardless of the price.

And the alcoholics who won’t be able to afford a pack of Tennents Super will just take a trip up to the local DIY store and buy some meths instead.

Meanwhile there’ll be mini moonshine distilleries popping up in people’s sheds.

Home secretary Theresa May said: ‘People who like going to their local pub have nothing to fear.’

Thanks for that. You’ve clearly not been to the pub in a long time. You buy a pint of lager, a large glass of wine, a packet of dry roasted, then hand over your £10 note and realise you’ve haven’t even got enough change for a game of pool.

A pint of beer in the House of Commons bar costs £2.40, about £1 less than in many pubs in this area. Of course this is subsidised by us, the good old taxpayer.

The Commons bar isn’t free from a drunken fracas or two, as seen earlier this year when Labour MP Eric Joyce planted a Glasgow kiss on a fellow MP.

Now I’m not saying it’s like Guildhall Walk on a Friday night, but will they be increasing prices because of the disorder? Me thinks not.