Alastair's Blog

Return to:  Blog | Articles | Videos RSS feed

Cameron’s new alcohol strategy a chance to deal with a big and growing issue

Posted on 15 February 2012 | 9:02am

I must thank David Cameron … Calm down dear, wait till you see the end of the sentence … I must thank David Cameron for getting alcohol up the agenda just in time for my Panorama on the subject on Monday.

Mr Cameron is often said to model parts of his style and leadership on my old boss, and there is no doubt that though TB took a hit when a memo leaked, in which he said he wanted to focus on high-profile talking points ‘with which I can be associated’ – DC has not been put off by this. So yesterday it was car insurance. Today it is booze.

Reading between the lines, it would seem he is thinking about introducing for England the minimum pricing already mooted for Scotland. He also has in his sights the marketing of alcohol to young people. He might start by looking at the deals Facebook do with the alcohol companies.

Government clearly has a big role to play here. When Mikhail Gorbachev led Russia, he decided the country had a massive drink problem, and brought in all sorts of tough measures that did see a big fall in alcohol abuse. When I was in Germany recently, I was surprised that Britain was named by my (admittedly small) sample (a large dinner table of politicians, academics, businessmen and media) as the European country with the worst reputation for drunkenness.

Anyway, the programme goes out Monday evening, and the focus is more on middle-class alcoholics than the city centre smashing binge drinkers Cameron is talking about today I do make the point that it is as much the responsibility of individuals as government to decide how much to drink. But health problems related to addiction are on the rise. Supermarkets have replaced the pub as the main purveyor of booze. Home has replaced the pub as a place to get smashed. It is a big and growing issue. On that, I am in total agreement with the PM. All I can do is talk about it, and make a TV programme now and then. He has a new alcohol strategy in development, and the chance to improve things. I hope he takes it.

  • Using booze to deal with (or hide from) stress is a huge issue in this country and, in no small part, connected to depression and other mental health problems.  As a middle class, middle income professional, I recently had to tackle excessive drinking as part of recovering from depression and I was shocked at how many other problem drinkers also had mental health issues.   Fortunately, there are some fantastic services out there to help people that want to help themselves.  

  • Hi Alastair,

    I’m not sure Facebook do any ‘deals’ with alcohol companies anymore than they do with anyone willing to pay for ad space?

    I always thought what TB wrote about alcohol in his book was wonderful – about the need to be careful with how your relationship with alcohol changes as you age, from one ‘binge’ a week in your twenties to casually drinking half a bottle of wine a night in your thirties.

    Anyway, I’m split on the issue. I’m not convinced price will have an effect other than creating the situation we are in now where people ‘pre drink’ at home – hence the supermarkets overtook the pub as sellers of booze.

    There is obviously a greater cultural issue: stress, cultural acceptance and a celebratory attitude towards alcohol, insecurities and the need to ‘fit in’, machismo, British cultural heritage. It is also a black and white world, drugs:bad, therefore alcohol:ok.

    Changing those is harder, and would require a lot more time. I suspect there is little political value in it – there’s no real way to quantify the success of a ‘cultural shift’, nor attribute it towards the long-term comms work required to bring it about. I suspect there is more political, but less social, value in targeting price.

  • Anonymous


    I wholeheartedly agree with your stance on commending DC for putting this issue high up on the agenda. It is massively important for so many reasons and if I were to compartmentalise it into one effective sound bite it might be something like “Alcohol misuse is the biggest single threat to the social fabric of our society”.

    As an aside, I am a native Gaelic speaker, brought up in a culture of heavy drinking, went to University (more drinking), various jobs, marriage, children etc (more drinking) – It got to me! I finally surrendered exactly a year ago was admitted to rehab for 3 months. I am now sober for a year and my life has been transformed completely for the better. I could write on this subject at great length as I have a ‘sobering’ tale to tell of how alcohol took me to the edge of insanity but I’ll leave that for my memoirs.

    I look forward to the Panorama show on Monday.


  • ambrosian

    I suppose we should rejoice that Cameron has had a conversion of Damascene proportions. He used to be a director of a pub company that specialised in flogging cheap alcohol to young people in so-called ‘vertical drinking’ establishments (i.e. no seating so they could pack more in and people would drink faster).

    On the other hand, some might think it’s just another piece of opportunism to distract attention from other issues like unemployment. And Tories might question how these kind of interventions can be squared with a belief in the free market and the small State and past condemnations of the ‘nanny State’.

  • Brian Marshall

    I am a probation officer and would say that over 80% of those that I see are there because of drinking.  In cases of violence, it is almost 100%.  In the last week or so, two individuals have arrived for an early-morning appointment and having had a couple of cans beforehand.  If alcohol was discovered today, it would probably be classified Class A drug.  

  • Robert

    I have made this point before but it’s worth saying again – society is shocked when drug dealers are seen standing outside school gates but seems not to bat an eyelid when forced by supermarkets to walk past socking great stacks of booze before getting anywhere near food and other stuff,

    And supermarkets routinely stack booze at aisle ends for maximum impact.

    As a marketing man Mr Cameron will be all too aware of these techniques to encourage purchase for consumption.

    For the posters who are in the process of trying to achieve sobriety – well done all – keep at it, do!

    Weirdly, the praise due to each is given in inverse proportion to the length of time since the last drink. For each “even” anniversary, be it two weeks, two months or two years – the best encouragement I found was to realise it will take staying dry only half the time to get another week, month or year of sobriety under my belt.

    It’s getting the weekly routines straight that’s really tough – dealing with friends and family who drink – letting them drift away if at all possible because their interests and urges clash with your absolute need to say sober. So not shopping at supermarkets that make life hell becomes an obvious option – if not second nature – their loss, simple as that.

  • Anonymous

    Lee Mack explains the situation much better than I can:

  • Anonymous

    Only British politicians could look at the situation where beer is ridiculously overpriced in pubs, and reasonably priced in supermarkets and think “Ah I know – we need to increase the price in supermarkets.” Yet another tax increase. Its no wonder Alastair looks towards the Soviet Union for an example.

    And hmmm 5% of people who consume alcohol smash up town centres – we need to ban alcohol (rather than “we need to ban smashing up town centres”).

    After this, what will happen – will people still get wasted by whatever means possible? Yes.

    Will town centres still get smashed up? Yes.

    Will more people take drugs? Yes.

    Will benefits rise? Yes. And people will still spend them on booze and fags leading people to say “Oh that lazy cow pretends to be poor but can still spend £7 on fags and £4 on a pint” (if those things were cheaper there’d be less things for anti-benefits people to complain about.)

    I expect it will be good for Ireland as poteen/moonshine becomes a good export – people in the English countryside might get into the industry as well.

    Life is hard enough in our sink estates. If we have high crime and low employment then we are going to want to drink. Leave our drink alone and sort out the crime and the employment.

  • Anonymous

    I like Alastair. I think he did a good job for Tony Blair, and I think he is doing a good job now for mental health and wish him well with that.

    However… I couldn’t help but chuckle at the problems he is having with Orange!

    When people who get in the way of capitalism and competition, then get screwed over by a company that is not under the discipline of capitalism – you’ve got to laugh!

    Under capitalism Orange and all the other scum would have to fight for the last penny, they would have to charge the lowest price possible or go out of business. No bonuses for ceos. Then at the lowest price possible they would all have to compete on service, or go out of business. If the helpline operators job and his boss’s job depended on whether Alastair got his phone or not – Alastair would get his phone.

  • Anonymous

    Honest question for you, as you will know the answer better than me – would increasing the price of alcohol have helped you / stopped you drinking?

    I know there is a deeper argument that the tax from alcohol could be used to fund support for alcohol related problems such as rehab and policing.

  • Michele

    On a tangent, Orange tried to increase prices to existing customers in 2009 but were stopped due to some terminology in contracts of those times that were being breached …. perhaps they’ve subsequently changed their wording?
    However, apparently the latest attempt to lift prices mid-contract is being looked in to by Oftel.

  • Michele

    By all means urge the ‘coalition’ to sort out crime and unemployment but there would be nothing wrong in hugely  raising tax on alcohol (especially as you’ve already mentioned all the bad effects and forward expenses it has).

    We’re heading towards summer yipppppppeeeee; my favourite cold drink is Coffee Beer from the Meantime 🙂

  • Michele


    Commiserations Robert, it must be awful and as you say, have very wide ranging effects.  Worth it though.

  • Libdem

    Nice one!

    I thought there was a criminal offence of ‘drunk and disorderly’. If I’m correct then the police have chosen not to use the law fully, probably because they would be snowed with offenders. So, the answer is simple really, encourage the police to do their job properly and arrest anyone causing drunken trouble.

  • Ehtch

    You could write several volumes of the history, human adaptation to it by genetic chance (some asians have a naturally low certain liver enzyme, unable to process much alcohol), and it’s place in recent mankind from the last few centuries to the present day. Last couple of decades could have a volume on it’s own, with the introduction of mineral and vitamin-less alcopops. Old fashion beer and ciders had impressive amount of vitamins in it, and beers also even choline and betaine which helps the liver function. With choline, that is why a plateful of fried eggs the morning after a heavy session is a good idea, it is packed with choline which is a lipotrope, which helps prevent fatty liver and clean the liver out.

    But the only thing to change bad drinking habits is to keep banging on about it’s nasty effects. The best advice from big brother I have ever heard is the recent one – after a boozy session, give it a miss for the next two night. Or, if have had three pints in a pub, miss the next night. That sort of thing. Give the liver and body chance to recover.

  • Michele

     Why don’t you go out one night and check the cells of your local cop shop?

  • Ehtch

    Nice one reaguns, but how about some proper geordie accents, oot on the toon, as per Sid the Sexist, where blooming employment levels is ganning thro the floor like – where’s me pint?

  • Renee Clark

    One size doesn’t fit all – people drink for different reasons but what doesn’t help is the amount of drinking that seen in the soaps – it is seen as being glamorous (the very large glass of wine in hand) and a way of relaxing (ok in moderation).     

  • Michele

     You seem to be ignoring the extra part of the offer from pubs which explains why drinks are more expensive on their premises.

    The only solution is to stop booze being sold at supermarkets.  I’m actually fed up of their grasping at every other business’s share of the market, whether it’s beer, wine or hardware or magazines or DiY. 

    We need to remember that drinking was traditionally a social thing to do …. says she glugging a Fitou at home 🙁

  • Janiete

    I can’t imagine regular readers of this blog would take Cameron’s concerns about excessive drinking with anything more than a pinch of salt. It mustn’t have bothered him too much a few years ago when there was money to be made:

    It’s a real shame his initiative is merely a convenient distraction from today’s unemployment figures because it is a very serious problem affecting an awful lot of people.
    Over the last 20 to 30 years we seem to have become far more tolerant of binge drinking and drunkenness in general, perhaps as alcohol has become cheaper to buy. Alcopops, introduced in the 80s, seemed to mark a shift in marketing specifically to young people. I don’t know if there’s a connection but this group now has a far more relaxed attitude to alcohol than people I grew up with.
    My sons don’t believe me when I say we went out, had a drink to enjoy ourselves but did not intend to get drunk. If we did it was an embarrassment, a sign of immaturity. There are no such hang ups among today’s youngsters as they go out to get wasted, take advantage of promotions involving multiple ‘shots’ and play drinking games, probably designed by companies wanting to profit from foolish and dangerous excessive consumption.
    Maybe the relaxation of drinking hours has contributed to the problem although I thought shifting responsibility from the landlord to the individual might foster a stronger sense of self control. I don’t remember a public health campaign at the time but perhaps we should have hammered home a safe drinking message, as we did towards the end of our time in power with some very good material aimed at young people. One of the first things the coalition did was to cut the funding for what they called ‘nanny state’ public health films like these. Is there another U-turn on its way?

  • Ukian 5897

    Looking forward to your documentary on booze. I stopped in 2008 after decades of heavy drinking and just literally all of a sudden one night decided i did not like the feeling booze left me with the following morning.  Hope your documentary gets good support…  No doubt all the tories will be in HoC bar getting drunk

  • Michele

    There have been some  good documentaries recently on the likes of Beeb3, describing new facilities for drunks (instead of clogging up ambulances and A&E departments).

    People are taken to cleaned-up places like empty railway arches and left to sleep it off on campbeds.

    I do think one of the worst results from the ladette culture (TV Friday nights mid 90s onwards?) is girls matching chaps in the willingness for a quick one outside the bar with someone they met a few minutes ago.  Is that ‘equality’?

    So there we are, I’ve rubbished drinking at home on the cheap and now I’ve rubbished drinking out …..

  • Anonymous

    I’m a bit surprised AC has come at it from quite this angle – whether or not he has a programme to promote.  To me it is quite clear that the government has no interest in public health.  And there is a disconnect between a prime minister scrambling for a suitable bandwagon – which happens to be alcohol abuse in this case – and his health secretary, whose policy has been to undermine regulation of food and drink and leave it to vested interests to make suggestions.   Ambrosian makes a similar point on here.

    Cheap alcohol in industrial quantities would be a problem for any country if its population were sufficiently depressed to want it.  It’s not surprising that those outside the UK see us as a country with a drink problem – the UK has been busy developing one for about the last 20 years.  I am not convinced that upping the price of alcohol is going to make the difference, unless you make it almost unattainably expensive – and then people will make their own.

  • Ehtch

    But also, but might seem barking mad to those non-scientific, if you get home after work the following day feeling like you are gasping for a drink, have a low dose evening primrose capsule, available from tescos and other supermarket outlets, the 500mg capsules, that is all that is needed, and that should help in an hour or two to take the craving off. Old driuids used to use borage plants in a tea to have the same effect. But don’t take it with anything sugary or full of carbs, take it with a cup of these days simple tea with a bit of milk works best. It is all about, supposedly, the manufacture of PGE1, an immune system factor, and it relationship to alcohol and craving in the brain.

    Remember, only choose 500mg capsules, and only one – too much could thin the blood too much and cause other problems. I’ll reiterate, only one 500mg Evening Primrose capsule.

  • Ehtch

    Maybe that is why cider drinkers also in old time get away with it – they tend to be farmers that have some chucks around, so overdose with fried eggs in the morning, or even crack some into a glass, to make them feel better and healthier. We have lost something.

  • Anonymous

    Andrew Neil was talking about that very thing today – talking about how places like New York and a lot of European countries don’t have the same trouble.

  • Anonymous

    I just think life is hard enough on the bottom rung without people being able to have a cheap drink.
    I suppose right wingers will welcome it as it is a tax on consumption rather than production.
    But why should everyone have to pay more, just because a minority damage themselves and others due to alcohol.

    Coffee beer sounds rank, but then it could be one of those combos that sounds odd but works! Cold Chinese Milk Tea for example, or Chocolate Orange Vodka!

  • Anonymous

    Classic Sid Ehtch! Ho man, al that cooolition like… they divanaaa what they’re deein man… they’ve nee chance of voootes in the toon!

  • Ehtch

    Anyway, buigger this hysteria – well done to “England” in winning two out of two in the fifty over smash in Abu Dhabi, with Cooks using the same bat as I have used since eleven years of old, when I bought one of them first, via mam and dad’s back pocket, from brilliant Bill Edwards shop, when he had one opposite Swansea train station, as well as the one he had down off St. Helens road, just down the road from the ground. Gray Nichols!

    Bill used to sell bats dirt cheap to touring sides in the past, if their GDP wasn’t up to it, if you get what I mean.

    Song for England cricket, hope this works – seems to be working when I do it with the welsh rugger team, but just for them, COUGH!, hahhemm,

    ok. bit yankie old, this is much much more recent,

  • Dave Simons

     I agree entirely – Cameron’s  ‘concerns’ about excessive drinking amongst ex-Bullingdon Club members should, like tequila, be taken with a pinch of salt.

  • Robert

    Michele – one of the better achievements in life, really, second only to caring for my father in his final years. An opportunity to repay with love my parents’ help in my becoming sober.

  • Anonymous

    Not for me, no. I was too far gone. I had the money and was in a living hell where every waking minute was dominated by the overriding compulsion to have another drink. So effectively, there was NO decision making process involved.

    My fundamental core principles on which alcohol pricing would be based …

    1) Supermarket prices for alcohol are too low. Raise it.
    2) Pub prices are about right.
    3) A general maxim that raising alcohol prices will dissuade SOME people from drinking is worth it.

    Certainly, hypothecation of tax from alcohol towards rehab facilities and alcohol support groups I’d welcome. After all, rehab quite literally saved my life!

  • Harrogate-sanctuary

    Great to see that the costly booze issue is being highlighted once more. It appears, as ever, to be directed at the young, binge drinker. I am so glad that you are showing that it is not just the Ladette and Lad culture with the problem. I watch every day women and mothers, professional and many of them so twee fighting a lonely battle with booze. Too terrified to go to their GP or share for fear of the repercussions. A & E front liners cry for prevention, but if your Mother is out of her tree, or your Father, what role models have you got? There are societies and support groups for other diseases, MS, Cancer, Dementia, why stigmatize problem drinkers, particularly women. So I am on my solo campaign for middle class women to come out of their wine cellars, and get the help they truly need.

  • Libdem

    If you’re suggesting the cells are full then the answer is still simple or do you mean get arrested for drunk and disorderly?

  • Libdem

    Don’t think it’s as straightforward as just raising the tax. There would be the problem of ‘illegal’ imports as before with the white van fleet, similar to the illegal cigarettes. A study a few years ago found, I think 80% of cigarette stubs near a football ground were illegal.

  • Richard

    Prohibition made no difference. £1, £2, £5 extra on a bottle of Scotch will not stop “middle class” ( or middle income) people who are or will become alcoholic. I am sure it would not have stopped you, Al.
    The amount of illicit alcohol, vodka in particular will always be there for those who preload and go out on a binge.

    The proliferation of huge night drinking “clubs” in town and city centres has led to the centres of population being taken over at nights and the culture of drink and drugs prevails.

    Tough Legislation on drugs has not worked: neither will it re alcohol. There must be radical rethink on the legalisation of drugs so as not to criminalise the vast numbers we are at the moment.

    Most of all it requires education at parental level and the generations we are breeding need to be given hope and guidance. They need nurture and jobs: not debt and hopelessness and a  general disconnect from society.

    (As an aside, allowing these easy infernal LEGAL “payday loans” at 2000%+ is a third all too easy slippery slope for people to embark down, alcohol and drugs being facilitated by them!)

  • Anonymous

    “You seem to be ignoring the extra part of the offer from pubs which explains why drinks are more expensive on their premises.” Not sure what you mean by that bit Michele?

    I believe in anything that makes stuff cheaper, and am against anything that makes stuff dearer. This is why I was disillusioned with the labour party when I found that a lot of their policies would make things more expensive like cars for example. I can’t for the life of me see how the poor or working class benefit from things being more expensive, speaking as a sometime member of those groups. When I worked in warehouses and factories, driving there in my car and having a few pints on friday made the whole experience more bearable.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, normal cigarettes are £7 odd per packet aren’t they, yet local chip van in estate near me supplies a lot of boxes to people who can’t afford £7.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed I (like Tony Blair) do not believe in deficit spending and stimulus, however I do believe in law and order. Lets meet in the middle and create construction jobs to build more jails, and public sector jobs to put yobs in them.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, I take your points, the main two apart from your 1, 2, 3 that seem to be:
    Raising prices wouldn’t have helped in your case, however rehab saved your life so tax on alcohol (if used for such things) could be seen as a kind of insurance that all drinkers pay which can then be used to assist in those cases where alcohol causes problems.

  • Ehtch

    For those who do not know who Bill Edwards was, here is some info – a quite a character he was in the cricket world is an understatement, especially down this neck of the woods. He even used to have his own willow tree plantations in West Wales, he told me once.

  • Michele

     Not sure what I mean?  How so? 
    My post is labelled as addressed to yours that starts by claiming drinks are ‘ridiculously over-priced in pubs’, goes on to that some people are right to choose  bulk-buying in supermarkets (which have many many other items on sale that the loss-leader alcohols are all about) while other people are wrong to want the supermarket  type of offer to be curtailed.

    A couple in a pub buy two drinks at a time.  That takes someone presentable to serve them, someone presentable to clean up after them, someone presentable to wash their glasses, clean comfortable surroundings, heat or air-con,  light and possibly music or a Quiz Night, many many add-ons to the actual drink.  One of my locals has tasting nights for both beers and wines.

    Compare that input to the bald offer of a supermarket purchase and then compare price; the reasons for cheapness are all too plain and the supermarkets are destroying many small businesses.  The other side of their sales is the tanking-up their customers do even before stepping out at night, getting drunk while getting ready – it’s bizarre.  Wonky lippie before their first snog!

    The cheapest is not always the way to go; for someone with all the economics reading to overlook the employment differences – not to mention the ugly fulfilment of 24/7 licensing at supermarkets – seems bizarre.

    I do recognise that a drink at home can seem safer and it has a history of being more middle class than t’pub but it’s gone out of hand.

  • Michele

     Extra tax may not be a deterrent but it might help the national coffers.

    However, given that we won’t have a truly national health service soon it would be interesting to see how Lansley’s successor would distribute it.

  • Michele

     Yep, I was suggesting cells could be full and wonder what your ‘simple suggestion’ is?

    You as a D&D?  Not something I choose to contemplate.

  • Michele

    I wonder whether alcohols beng required to have price labelling showing the breakdown of the SP (packed item + tax) would have any effect?

    Most people hate tax, if they/we realised how much we were paying unknowingly and voluntarily every time we buy a  tipple it could affect some of us (and even be tax avoidance we could appreciate).

  • Libdem

    Have you never been in a vodka bar reaguns? They’re brill, all sorts of flavours to choose from you know like Mars bar, twix, maltesers oh the list is nearly endless, and all for a pound a shot!

  • Ehtch

    Still like this vid of “the kraut” BMW MINI’s from last month’s Monte. However, they did pants on last week’s WRC Swedish, only one in the top ten, ah well,

    In Sweden last weekend,

  • Anonymous

    Reaguns – I detect a whiff of mischief making perhaps? Of course, all alcoholics set out on a path of self-destruction with, foremost in their mind, the comforting knowledge that a safety net is there for them at the end!

    It is unfortunate in my case that I fell prey to the addictive legal drug that is alcohol. Personal responsibility is important but then again I never intended to get hooked on the stuff. It is dangerous, powerful, insidious, mind altering and needs to be Controlled.

  • Anonymous

    I like that idea. And not just on alcohol, petrol would be another – I know when I got my first pay packet my hatred for all politicians was crystallised into my only philosophy at the time – an anti tax one!

  • Anonymous

    Yep been in one called “revolution” thats where I got the Chocolate Orange Vodka! We were trying to force the most minging shots on each other but most of them turned out quite nice!

  • Anonymous

    Thought thats what you meant, the “extra part” being the extra cost of staff and so on in bars.
    Its not going to be as cheap to sell booze in pubs as in supermarkets of course, but I can’t see how it can be this much more expensive. And if the government wants to intervene I believe it should do so by cutting tax for bar-sold alcohol rather than raising it on off license alcohol. I believe in the Laffer / JFK / tax cutting / supply side arguments and I think people like Prescott, Cameron and Owen Jones have been accidentally making that argument for me!

    They’ve all effectively said that raising price of alcohol will lower demand. Correct. Therefore lowering the price of any good will increase demand. Therefore supply siders are correct.

    Some bars such as wetherspoons manage to sell cheaper booze. I think there are many ways to innovate on this. Why are bottles dearer than pints when pints take far more labour.

    Its not as clearcut an issue as some, you are right that there are employment effects, and as a few have mentioned there are the downstream health effects.

  • Libdem

    More cells, night-time courts  but then again we’re really only talking about the d&ds aren’t we.

  • Anonymous

    No not making mischief, just wanted to hear your opinion on whether you thought raising the price of alcohol would stop you or others from drinking it.

    I like a drink myself though don’t consider myself an alcoholic. I would do without a lot of things in order to have a pint though if it came to that. I have done, if I think of what I could have bought with all the beer money I’ve spent, so perhaps if my circumstances in life were worse I might be an alcoholic and I don’t think increasing its price in supermarkets would stop me.

    You can see my views on it in my other posts above, I think I’m against the idea of increasing the price, though not 100% sure.

  • Ehtch

    Incredible win for England yesterday – chasing 223 and getting it with only one wicket down. Now that is a thrashing in my books. Series win too. Hope they get back up to speed again for the five day version.

  • Ehtch

    Going off into a snow drift at over 100mph did it for Dani Sordo in the BMW MINI, knocking the wter pump belt off, then causing the engine to overheat. In the second part of this vid. By the way 190kph is about 120mph, on snow as it is on tarmac!

  • Graham, Cwellyn arms

    Why doesn’t
    the Government charge the business rates for supermarket alcohol sales the same
    as they do with pubs where they pay rates on expected turnover so the more
    alcohol the supermarkets sell the more business rates they will pay They may
    then think it would be better to sell less alcohol with a higher profit margin
    and pay less rates In a nutshell the more alcohol they sell the more rates they
    pay and the less profit they will make (more money for the government). Whenever
    they show people falling over drunk in the street the next picture is always a
    picture of someone either drinking in a pub or someone pulling a pint in a pub
    why don’t they show some pictures of all the cheap alcohol on the supermarket
    shelves. These people falling over drunk in the street usually get drunk at
    home with cheap alcohol from the supermarkets before they go out but pubs get
    the blame!     

    Hope this



    Rhyd Ddu

    the foot of snowdon” abuse


  • Riggers386

    Some say supermarkets shouldn’t sell cheap booze.

    I say supermarkets shouldn’t sell ANY booze. I was in Australia a few months ago, and you can only buy alcohol at a ‘grog’ shop (wine shop or similar) or at a pub.  Psychologically, there’s a world of difference between making a special trip to a booze shop, rather than picking up a 4 or 6 pack ot the local Tesco, whilst you’re there.

    In addition, simply raising the price of alcohol will not stop boozed-up teenagers from hurting themselves/others, causing damage or annoyance etc., etc… The ridiculous standard fixed £80 penalty for a public order needs reviewing. Presently, that doesn’t even cover the cost of arresting and detaining them. Raise it to £500, with a court appearance (plus costs) and publish the names in the press, as used to happen.

    As things stand, the kids who end up with one of these fixed penalties treat it as if it’s a badge of honour.

  • Michele

    Very frightening Panorama, how on earth can someone drink 1.5 lts of vodka a day?  Isn’t it about 80% alcohol?

    I’m glad my resistance is a lot lower than it used to be, if it wasn’t I might have permanently-blue teeth 🙁

  • Kate

    After tuning in last night to Alastair Campbell telling the world he`s a recovering alcoholic only to add he still drinks is madness. Trust me, that man is conning himself and giving off dangerous signals to alcoholics that drinking is a safe option. The fact that the programme only lasted 30 minutes didn`t give enough time to give the correct facts. Alcohol kills, it`s legel and so affordable. I would be willing to chat to Mr Campbell as I am a recovering alcoholic. I await his reply. 

  • Ehtch

    Blimey! They have only gone and done it again, and Pietersen smashing 130, before getting out from an airshot, as he does. HEY! not one of them, non-cricketers, you filthy beasts. And anway, he got hold of it but it was caught in the covers – now I told, go and wash your minds out! But some things said in cricket are a bit Carry On film, though, aren’t they?

    Song for Kev, his misses in action, her best video, when she was singing in her group I am meaning, for goodness sakes! What is happening to society Vicar?

  • Ehtch

    got it totally total wrong there – that wasn’t from last weeks Swedish Rally, it’s from couple of years back or something, when Dani Sodo was driving for Peugeot. Ah well. must check youtubby post dates more must check youtubby post dates more, write out a hundred times Shuggy!

  • Ehtch

    By the way, pistachio nuts have an incredible amount of choline in them, and the right “type” of choline, called phosphtidylcholine, whch eggs are near 100% of the type of choline in it., bettr known as brain food, which hospitals refuse to serve in meals to their patients, as I found out with my dad. Had to sneak in past security a couple of hard boiled eggs every other day, and give him a good feed on liver and onions when I got him home. The glow in his cheeks soon re-appeared with me in charge of things, and he is doing well.

    Have I lost you? I am talking liver lipotropes here, and betaine as it’s close cousin, full in gluten products, but a gluten-free diet I follow, due to strange immune reactions which I have from eating bread, and modern day processed grown and manipulated wheat. Dizzy spells disappeared. But I have been told it takes about five years to get rid of those proteins embedded in yopur body when you can feel as mk1, new born. By the way, had to give up beer, with it’s barley related proteins, so these days drink cider, from apples, with its polyphenols which supposed to be good, appart from the alcohol of course.

  • Ehtch

    Brilliant briliant brilliant clip of last week’s Swedish, much better than before, please post Alastair, very classey it is,

  • Neil


    My name is Neil and I am a recovering alcoholic.

    I recently submitted a possible business concept to a local Social Enterprise Group. It may be the seed of an idea as to how the Herculean task of altering the underlying thinking behind the UK’s increasing alcohol problem, might begin.

    How I contact you or one of your associates via this medium I have no idea, but perhaps there is some way. My email is provided.

    Yours in Sobriety,


    P.S. Take your shrinks advise, forget it.

  • Once addicted to alcohol, alcoholic would not change from their habits of drinking even the price of alcohol is about to increasing.