(Graphic from BBC News.)
This week’s news is minimum drink pricing, because you can’t keep a controversial public health policy down.
- While Holyrood has forced the Scottish Government to delay the introduction of minimum pricing north of the border, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer has suggested that Westminster implement a similar scheme to combat problem drinkers (PDF link). Sir Liam Donaldson’s recommendation – charging at least 50p per unit of alcohol – has met with resistance from the Prime Minister, but he’s determined to fight on. Unsurprisingly, the drinks industry believes self-regulation to be the solution, but there are those beginning to wonder if something drastic should be done. Then again, there are those beginning to wonder if a new age of puritanism will actually help, and there are those who can always see the upside.
- Of course, all of this breaks in the 24 hours ahead of St. Patrick’s Day (a.k.a Amateur Night) which is as good a time as any to celebrate 250 years of Guinness.
- Over in Indonesia, it’s not how much they’re charging for booze: it’s where they’re serving it as the Buddha Bar in Jakarta faces allegations of religious insensitivity and corruption.