Thousands suffer from these plans

editorial image
Have your say

WELCOME to the weekend.

A time to relax, recharge the batteries – and enjoy a glass of wine or pint of beer.

That’s right, I enjoy a bit of what I fancy.

And the weekend is the perfect time to pretend I am rewarding myself with a nice glass of red wine.

But for how long?

Mr Cameron says we are all very naughty and drink far too much. In fact, so naughty that he wants to make it more difficult for us to overindulge. Well, more expensive at any rate.

He is looking at introducing a minimum price for alcohol to clamp down on our binge-drinking excesses.

But wait a minute.

I don’t binge drink, nor do I get up to any of the unsavoury antics of binge drinkers.

I don’t pee in shop doorways, argue with strangers in the street or become obstreperous when a policeman asks me to move along quietly, sir.

Rather, I open a bottle of wine while I help (or hinder) my wife in the kitchen.

Finish it over dinner.

Then I go to bed and sleep like a baby.

How is such a mind-numbingly mundane domestic routine to be construed as anti-social?

Yet I – and millions like me – will suffer if the toffs in Whitehall get their way.

For they have committed the age-old mistake of generalising from the specific.

Because some people who drink cause trouble, they argue, the root of the problem is alcohol.

And to deal with this once and for all they will price it beyond the range of irresponsible people.

Now, how does that work?

Because you earn a lot of money and will be able to afford more expensive drinks bills, you are a sensible bloke?

Meanwhile, if you don’t bring in a lot of cash, you are likely to be a nuisance in drink?


The other side of the argument is equally stupid.

All the examples of troublesome drinkers involve people out on the razzle.

The reasoning goes that if somebody has to pay, say, £5 a pint they won’t get drink so much that they get fighting-drunk.

Have these people with these daft ideas ever met a group of lads or lasses out on a Saturday night?

Have they ever seen them happily spend £20, £30 or £40 for a round of drinks?

Do they really think that these legless lasses and loutish lads are going to curtail their drinking habit because it costs more than last week?

Get real. Money is no object once the beer goggles are fogged over.

They’ll just go without something else, like paying the board to mum and dad or ask gran for a loan.

Meanwhile, our political masters will retire to the heady firmament of their ivory tower and believe they have changed the world through the only thing they understand, money.

This has nothing to do with cash.

It is a social, not a monetary phenomenon.

Mind you, what do you expect from people who are either millionaires or well on the way to becoming one, who mix with millionaires and pander to the whims of millionaires?

None of these will bat an eyelid at being asked to pay a couple more quid for a pint.