Cheap booze, fake fags and clueless politicians.

We will kick off with this article from the Burton Mail which has been expertly fisked by Man Widdicome here.

Supermarkets encourage drinking with lowprices

BINGE drinking among young people is being encouraged by rock bottom supermarket prices, Burton’s MP has claimed in a House of Commons debate.
Mr Griffiths, chairman of the parliamentary beer group, which lobbies the Government to support the brewing industry, believes cheap drink prices in supermarkets are encouraging irresponsible drinking and destroying community pubs.

As Man Widdicome points out, supermarket prices are not rock bottom and the smoking ban destroyed the pubs.

During the Commons debate, a four pack of ASDA Smart Price bitter was held up as an example of cheap supermarket prices. I once drank 16 cans of Sainsburys Basics Bitter (similar stuff) and all it did was give me a sore throat. Beer like that is so weak you can't drink it fast enough to get drunk.

Sarah Wollaston (alleged Conservative) With a four-pack of bitter for 68p, the price was just 17p a unit.
Asda Smart Price Bitter, at 2.1% ABV, which works out to 0.9 units of alcohol per can or, after rounding, 19p per unit (not 17p as claimed), and tastes like dishwater. A decent beer, such as Thornbridge Jaipur, is £2.39 a pint in a supermarket. It costs £3.20 in my local.
Sarah Wollaston (alleged Conservative)I particularly objected to the labelling. It said, “Asda Smart Price”. I put it to hon. Members that there is nothing smart about charging 68p for four units of alcohol. That would send a woman well over the safe limit for a single day for just 68p.

If four cans of lager at 2.1% volume would take a woman well over her safe daily limit, then daily limits need to be revised. We're not talking pure alcohol here either. We're talking about a can of water with a tiny bit of alcohol in it, all of which you have to drink to get the alcohol. Unless you neck it, you can't really drink it fast enough to have much of an effect.

“Today a pint costs £3.10, £3.20 or £3.30 in a pub, whereas in a supermarket it remains at about 70p or 80p.
“That has encouraged people to drink more and more at home and discouraged them from drinking in a safe, supervised environment such as the community pub that is at the heart of many of our towns and villages.”
It astounds me that the political class actually believe this claptrap. When was the last time this moron went into a supermarket? Some of the weaker session drinks may be around that price if you buy a bulk pack. Most of what's on offer is a lot dearer. The John Smiths that I buy ranges between £1 and £1.40 a pint depending on the offers.

He also has the cheek to suggest that we should only drink beer when supervised, and to drink in our own home is somehow irresponsible. We are drinking more at home these days but it's nowt to do with the price. It's because the smoking ban has closed all the pubs. People like myself who smoke, no longer find pubs a welcoming place to be, so we drink at home with friends. Our friends are made up of smokers who feel the same, but also non smokers who don't bother with the pubs any more because their smoking friends don't go or the local has actually shut down through lack of custom.

The cheap price of supermarket booze is just an added bonus, although If I'm honest, I would rather pay pub price and take advantage of all the amenities that aren't available in my home.

Dr Wollaston called for an Act of Parliament to regulate the price of alcohol. She suggested England could followScotland’s lead in making it illegal for shops to sell booze for below 45p per unit.
Increasing the price for all will not solve any of your perceived problems. Those that want to drink to excess will find ways to ignore your nannying and do it anyway, sometimes with even worse consequences.

Look at the problems you've had from increasing the price of tobacco to silly levels. It hasn't stopped people smoking but it has increased smuggling and fake tobacco. (More later)

MPs just don't learn from the obvious though, do they.

“Alcohol is the single largest cause of mortality in young people, accounting for one in four deaths among 15 to 24-yearolds, far more than die as a result of knife crime.
Oh no that sounds terrible! But it isn't though, is it? Mortality in 15-24 year olds just isn't that high. And you're lying. Traffic accidents and other injuries are responsible for the majority of deaths in that age group, closely followed by violence and suicide.

I presume you are fiddling the figures, for example, counting a traffic accident where the deceased had consumed an alcoholic drink as being alcohol related. The same with violence and suicide if the victims had been drinking.

As for 'far more than die as a result of knife crime', knife crime is also low, even though the government and media like to hype it up as the next extinction level event.

Your stats, although you've made them sound emotional, are nothing but meaningless tripe.
“The full costs are hard to quantify, but the bill runs to at least £20 billion a year.”
Jeez! They're easier to quantify than that! Was that figure written on a sheet of bog roll after you wiped your arse with it?

And it seems you precious 68p pack of lager is no longer in demand anyway. Blokes have given up the pub and are drinking wine at home with the Mrs.

Men give up on the pub! Beer drinking drops by a quarter in just five years as men stay at home

All that effort Alcohol Concern have put into stamping out beer. They have had their funding cut and chief honcho walk off with his tail between his legs, yet ASH, the anti smoking group have managed to do it themselves by banning smoking in pubs.
Britain is shaking off its reputation as a nation of beer drinkers.
Consumption has fallen by almost a quarter since 2006 largely because many men have given up on going to the pub, research shows.
Not according to those parliamentary muppets who want minimum booze pricing.
Increasingly, they are drinking at home with wives and girlfriends, where they are more likely to share a bottle of wine, cider or spirits.
Eesh! I drink at home now rather than going to the pub but I haven't changed to wine because I'm with the Mrs. I'll stick to bitter thanks.

The research comes from Mintel, which suggested the high cost of beer in pubs was a major reason for men staying at home.
Of course it is. There is no mention anywhere in the article of the smoking ban. It just doesn't exist. The death of the British pub is all the fault of the nasty supermarkets who are doing things the same way they have always been doing them.

The Government didn't ruin pubs by banning smoking in them. Smoking has always been banned in pubs. Oceania has always been at war with...

Many have switched to buying from supermarkets, which have been selling beer at a loss for many years.
More lies, told often enough that the public now believe them.
Mintel said alcohol sales figures are at odds with the idea that Britons routinely spend their lives binge drinking and tearing up town centres.
So are general eyeball observations but we have a huge industry reliant on the lie for their incomes.
Mr Forsyth said: 'Alcohol drinking has become so expensive and the gap between on and off trade so huge, that for many drinking out is now a luxury rather than a standard night out.
'Indeed, today, more than two in five on-trade drinkers see drinking out of home as too expensive which has meant that a once regular night out occasion has become more of an occasional luxury.
Interestingly above I was just saying that bunging up the price of supermarket booze will do nothing to stop sales. If what Mr Forsyth is saying then high prices in pubs clearly have reduced consumption. If true, I wonder who exactly is now consuming less. The terminal alcoholics and the violent knobs who can't handle their booze, or the decent folk who like to go for a pint on a Friday after a challenging day at work but can no longer afford it?

When I worked in pubs it was always those living off the generosity of the taxpayer that could afford to buy as much booze as they wanted, while those in work had to watch their budget.
Mintel said there are ways that brewers could try and halt the decline.
Its research found that against a background of a nation raised on fizzy drinks and alcopops, some 57 per cent of those aged 18-24 would like the option to buy sweet tasting lagers.
If we could just have a simple repeal of the smoking ban, brewers wouldn't have to flavour their beer with Haribo Starmix to temp the kids. Adults would start drinking it again - in pubs.
A similar proportion of young people said they would be interested in low calorie lager.
Yeah. Right.

At least the comments have spotted the obvious. Pub trade down = smoking ban. Big Brother has not pulled the wool completely over thier eyes yet.

of course drinkers drink at home its cheaper and they can smoke, i blame all the whining non smokers for the death of the great british pub, serves you right if you have no where to go in future as they have already killed off the bingo halls,,,,

- keith,,,,,,,,away from the lies and dishonesty of the uk governments, corfu, 21/12/2011 13:18

Something has to be done NOW to save our British way of life, not one more pub should be allowed to close, Get smokers back in their some how before they are all gone.

- John, Harrow, 21/12/2011 12:42

The smoking ban has killed the pubs,everyone knows that,have quit going to them myself.

- Lee, Yorkshire,UK, 21/12/2011 12:34
So up or down, alcohol consumption needs to be hit hard by minimum pricing, according to our esteemed in Parliament. So what will the net effect of punitive beer taxes be? Let's do something that politicians refuse to do, and look at another area where this has been tried. Did it work?

TENS of thousands of people in East Lancashire are smoking illegal cigarettes, according to an investigation.

Did it F...

A former top cop at Scotland Yard, who investigated the situation in Blackburn, said that counterfeit cigarettes were freely available.
Of course they are. People are sick of paying high taxes for their tobacco so they are turning to man in van. Of course this article suggests that all the tobacco that is not bought in legitimate British shops is counterfeit. None of it has been brought back from abroad, either legally or smuggled. That just doesn't happen. Oceania has...

Also, the fake tobacco funds organised criminals and terrorists.

And he said the ‘easy’ sales of fake tobacco taking place in the back streets of the town are funding organised crime.

If you buy it you are no better than a terrorist. None of it is ever sold by someone who brought a few packs back from their holidays.
County Council figures suggest an estimated 50,000 people in Lancashire smoke illegal cigarettes.
So all this regulation is working out for you then?

Officers said duty is not paid on 99 per cent of shisha and that most of it doesn’t carry the correct health warnings.
Health warnings? I don't think the shisha smokers give a shit.

Mr O’Reilly said: “My investigations showed how easily available counterfeit tobacco is in alleyways, the backs of cars and streets in Blackburn. People need to be aware that the some people bringing this into the country also traffic hard drugs, firearms and deal in terrorism. The money goes to fund other organised criminal activity which ruins people’s lives.
Hard drugs, guns and terrorists. What a great way to scare people into conformity. Refuse to pay our silly taxes and you must be funding terrorism. I'm surprised they didn't mention pedos.
“The message to the community is that the money paid for cheap cigarettes is actually costing them in other ways.”
That may be the message but it's bollocks, and I don't think people are listening anymore. If you want this problem to go away then why not charge a reasonable amount of tax on tobacco.
Make it unnecessary to go abroad for your tobacco or purchase it from the guy down the pub, people will start to buy the proper stuff in shops again. Good for the economy, good for smokers, and if 50k people in East Lancs alone are smoking cheap bacci, probably good for the treasury as the tax take starts to go back up.

But we can't have that. Ash said so.


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