Alcohol-related deaths in Scotland have fallen, but the rate is still one of the highest in western and central Europe, an NHS report has said.
Mortality rates have come down by 25% since 2003, but were still nearly twice as high as in England and Wales, according to the publication.
Source: BBC (no less).
As I have been banging on about for some time, the official statistics have clearly shown a significant decrease in both alcohol consumption and binge drinking for a decade now – without any state intervention (that includes England). This crucial fact has been ignored by the mainstream media in all its reporting about moves to introduce minimum alcohol pricing, so it’s a tiny miracle that the BBC of all organs has broken ranks and mentioned it (albeit in a purely Scottish context, and with obligatory “but”s to soften the blow).
At this stage, however, the establishment media need to continue the pretence that there is real justification for introducing legislation, hence the pussy-footing around major problems which will come from the European Union and the drinks industry. According to the BBC the EU is not keen on minimum pricing because it is “disproportionate”, when the truth is it’s far more serious than that. The drinks industry will also be a formidable obstacle and will take the government to court if necessary. The whole thing could get very messy indeed.
The establishment are now looking for justifications and porkie-pies:
Clare Beeston, principal public health adviser at NHS Health Scotland, said: “The analysis supports the well-established relationship between alcohol affordability and consumption, and some of these improvements are likely to be the result of the recession rather than permanent changes in consumption patterns, which history shows tend to reverse when the economy improves.
Although, as the figures prove, the decisive decline began years before the recession.
Are we witnessing a strategic withdrawal from this ridiculous policy, with a piece by piece acknowledgement of insuperable external difficulties preventing legislation? A withdrawal that will allow both the UK government and the Scottish Executive to bin the plans while still claiming the high moral ground?
Since MPs and civil servants will have know about the situation for at least four years now, one can only conclude that this policy is a PR stunt, a charade to convince the electorate that something is being done (even though the electorate couldn’t give a damn).
I await the next piece in the mainstream media hinting that the policy will not be implemented.