You will be hearing a lot of cant and nonsense about this scheme in the next few months as the Department of Health/British Medical Association PR machine turns up the throttle. The tone of the discussion can be gauged from a meeting hosted by ChaMPs in 2010 when the usual lies were presented as facts. For example, they said that the price of alcohol has fallen in real terms since 1980. In fact, alcohol has risen by 20% in real terms. Either they don't know what 'real terms' means, or they are willfully misleading the public.
|No, it's not.|
The interesting thing about this meeting is that the attendees were quite aware of all the drawbacks of minimum pricing. They worried that the policy...
Could stimulate adverse publicity. Alcohol is still socially acceptable.
Yes, "still". But not if they get their way, because the anti-smoking blueprint of denormalisation remains their template...
Help culture change and cover the whole population (like the tobacco agenda)
Need to find ways of making alcohol less socially acceptable and seen as a public problem. (Lessons learned from Smoke Free).
It's interesting to note that, in contrast to absurd claims that minimum pricing will "save nearly 10,000 lives a year", this meeting found that...
Evidence of a positive impact would be hard to find as alcohol has such a long term impact on health.
Several of the criticisms of minimum pricing made on this blog and elsewhere over the last two years also feature...
Would there be a risk that harmful drinkers move on to replacement risky behaviours? They many neglect buying healthy food in preference to alcohol for example. Could increase the gap in health inequalities
Is there risk it will encourage more people to experiment with home brewing?
Legislation in itself will not impact on attitudes of high level drinkers and doesn’t tackle the reasons why people drink.
They were also worried that their cost estimates, though vastly inflated, did not appear big enough.
Cost benefits quoted don’t sound very impressive (12.9 billion over 10 years saved against 20 billion per year cost).
Their answer to this problem acts as a golden rule for the whole campaign.
We need to be careful which statistics and messages we are using if we are to convince and not undermine.
And I'm sure you will.