The Dear Jake letters

The response I received from Jake Berry MP regarding minimum alcohol pricing was little more than a stock reply that addressed none of the issues I raised.

Not to be put off, I've gone back for round two:

Dear Mr Berry
 
Thank you for your stock reply to my email. It must have been a stock reply as you did not address or even acknowledge any of my concerns.
 
You make it clear that the Government fully intends to introduce minimum pricing and that you are totally behind this.
 
In your reply you quote 1.2 million hospital admissions due to alcohol at an estimated cost of £3.5 billion. In my original email I explained how alcohol relted admissions are calculated by attributing certain accidents and ilnesses to a percentage of one admission regardless of weather alcohol was actually involved.
 
I would also be greatful if you would supply your source for the cost estimates, as I demonstrated in my email that alcohol consumption was declining year on year.
 
I have read many reports from the anti-smoking group ASH on the cost to society of tobacco consumption. They inflate thier figures by including things like the cost of smoking breaks at work. This is not a cost but a private matter between employee and employer. It helps to inflate the figures though and keep the public money rolling in.
 
I would bet that your alcohol figures are calculated in a simillar decieving manner, although without access to those figures I cannot analyse them properly.
 
I give another quote from your reply that was also covered off in my email:
 
""The crime and violence it causes drains resourses in our hospitals, generates mayhem on our streets and spreads fear in our area""
 
That's all very well for a sensationalist piece in the Daily Mail but let's be realistic. If you want a solution then it must be proportionate to the actual problem. Why can we not come down hard on those who break the law and act in an anti-social manner? Why do we have a modern propensisty to punish the entire society for the acts of the few?
 
Being drunk is almost acceptable mitigation in courts these days. Surely it would be better to hand down a stiffer sentence where alcohol is involved rather than accepting it as an excuse? That would leave the rest of us responsible people to enjoy alcohol without Nanny State interference.
 
According to your Public Health Responsibility Deal, The DoH will work with the alcohol industry in a range of areas. We both know this to be untrue. The government and it's sock puppet charities only intends to work against the alcohol industry. Look at the tobacco control plan. Was it Lansley who said you want to work towards a situation where the tobacco industry does no trade in this country? Well it is going the same way for alcohol. If the industry wants to survive then they would do well to tell you to butt out rather than working with you towards thier own destruction.
 
It won't end with alcohol either. The soft drinks industry has just become the new 'Big Tobacco'. This article in PLOS Medicine:
 
 
directly compares the soft drinks industry to Big Tobacco and suggests identicle means to deal with it.
 
Your alcohol strategy also wants to spend public money helping people 'maintain a healthy lifestyle'. An individuals health is no concern of the Government. We are adults. New Labour introduced the idea that the population should be treated like children, but quite frankly I am shocked that the Conservatives would choose to carry on such a policy.
 
Yours
Bucko

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