Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Minimum Alcohol Pricing – Today’s Headline-Chasing Silver Bullet

This morning I thought of a superb policy idea. Something that will eliminate speeding and deaths on the road. It will save the NHS billions and mean that the police can stop ‘doing traffic’ and go out and chase ‘real criminals’ … and it’s stunningly simple:

Introduce a minimum price for petrol and diesel.

I mean, the stuff’s so cheap at the moment, I really don’t know why anyone hasn’t thought of it before. Perhaps, if that’s too radical, they could slap a load of tax on fuel – that would probably work as well….

”]20120323-084741.jpgYes, as as been trailed for some time – thanks in no small measure to the state-sponsored lobbyists’ earnest efforts – David Cameron is announcing a minimum price for alcohol. Clearly, increasing the duty on relatively price-inelastic alcohol every year has been such a success, and we all know that addicts to other drugs give up when the street price goes up, don’t we?

Ah, say the supporters, what about the cost to the NHS of binge drinking? I don’t suppose the creation of the NHS was intended to force us to abdicate the entire responsibility of our health to the state, but that has been the effect, opening the doors to such authoritarian nonsense as minimum alcohol pricing. If binge drinkers are costing us so much in healthcare then charge the repeat offenders for their treatment.

If it’s the cost of policing the resulting behaviour that’s the issue, then perhaps we should try locking offenders up? You know, like actually holding those responsible to account?

More fundamentally, this is just another example of the responsible being forced to pay for the reckless, and it will join a lengthening list of policies from the bank bailout to any given registration scheme. Something Will Have Been Done.

Yet perhaps the most depressing thing – but in no way surprising – is that I could have written a near identical post before 2010.

Which reminds me – has anyone worked out yet what David Cameron actually believes in?


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