Saturday, 14 August 2010

Scottish Labour opportunist over minimum pricing

I got up very early this morning to check my emails and the news. Recently I joined Twitter and I have found it to be useful for following the Scottish news. If you are on Twitter you can follow me @ Anyway drinking plenty coffee and checking out sites such as Newsnet Scotland where I can get news that is more balanced and not blatant unionist propaganda like the Scotsman is. I read the Scots Independent on the train yesterday and my journey seemed not so long or boring.

I also bought some cans of beer at the supermarket at a very affordable price. Then this morning when checking the SNP website for news I noticed that the SNP have welcomed reports that the Labour coalition partners in the Welsh Assembly Government are seeking devolution of licensing powers to Wales in order to introduce a minimum price for alcohol. Seemingly the Welsh Assembly Government intends to make a formal approach to the UK government for the devolution of powers in relation to alcohol licensing. And it is the case that the coalition is united in Wales on introducing minimum pricing on Alcohol. The SNP have said that "The Welsh Assembly Government joins a chorus of expert voices in health, public order and the licensed trade who believe that the selling of alcohol at rock-bottom prices is one of the biggest problems facing our society and that we have to take action to stop it now." Well this is in sharp contrast to Scottish Labour who have opposed the SNP initiative on alcohol pricing and put party politics above health.

SNP MSP Michael Matheson, a member of the Scottish Parliament's Health Committee has said that "the SNP's minimum pricing plan will save lives, cut crime and help re-balance Scotland’s damaging relationship with alcohol, and I call again for Scots politicians of all parties to stop playing politics with the nation's health and get behind these proposals."

And you can read this in full on the SNP website if you click here.

So far so good apart from the fact that Labour in Scotland seem determined to oppose minimum pricing. My knowledge on the Alcohol Bill is limited I have not read it but what I think is the case is that minimum pricing will affect the cost of a unit of alcohol. To me a unit measurement of alcohol is equivalent to half a pint of beer. And if minimum pricing is the best way to tackle Scotland's alcohol abuse then so be it. I trust the Scottish Government know what they are doing so I am slowly accepting the fact that the Alcohol Bill is in everbody's interests in Scotland, for it to get passed.

OK that is enough on my diary today so until I post again.

Yours For Scotland

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