Last chance saloon?
Before he realised how many middle class votes he would hemorrhage as a result, David Cameron was steadfast in his support of minimum alcohol unit pricing. He was all too aware, like many of us, that Hospital A & E Departments are no longer full of little boys with saucepans on their heads but overflowing with drunks (many roaring, many more dangerous to themselves and others) - the inevitable conclusion for those who have been on it all day. When was the last time you were admitted to Accident and Emergency and were seen in less than four hours? A creaking at the seams NHS would not be quite so creaking if the one third of drink related patients weren't clogging up the system. And wanting to punch out the lights of the very people who are there to put them back together.
And maybe then if the proposals were to go ahead our Police force would be able to fight crime and feel a few collars, instead of spending every Friday and Saturday night mopping up our towns and cities of revelers who think a night on the town is not complete without killing or hurting anyone who gets in their way; if they've been caning it on cider that's cheaper than bottled water, what do you expect? And that's before they've even set foot in a pub.
But today the Prime Minister started back-pedalling. Not for the first time his principles go out of the window when his back benchers get uppity: David Davies, on this morning's Today programme, was distancing himself from Cameron by saying how such a pricing policy would hit the poor and 'those in the North'. I'm still reeling from that one. Where exactly is this dystopian North? And who does he think dwells there?
If Cameron misses this opportunity to start addressing our chronic drinking culture we may never get another chance. Think about that the next time you're in A & E dodging the missiles.