Dear Lord this is dreadful:
As a professor of marketing who has been doing research into the social and commercial aspects of alcohol consumption for some time, I have tended to sit on the fence on the issue of minimum pricing. However, at a time like this I cannot but feel disappointed that the government has not taken the initiative to try something that might work.
That it might not work, or that some people may suffer more than others from a price increase is not something I dispute. The point is that, whatever the figures tell us about some recent reductions in the consumption of alcohol in the UK, most of us have had experiences of the impact of excessive alcohol that cannot leave us in two minds regarding the need to do more about it. Therefore I would follow the utilitarian argument: that even if a few suffer as a result of minimum pricing, it would still be worth it if the community as a whole can benefit.
Of course many would argue that minimum pricing is an experiment and that we do not have the evidence it will work. In the sense that it will not solve all alcohol-related problems, that has to be true. But it is a concrete step to understanding what might and might not work. If it doesn’t work, then I am sure the alcohol companies will present the appropriate evidence.
Not just the few might suffer so that the many might benefit malarkey.
But she seems entirely ignorant that Scotland is going ahead with minimum pricing and England is not. Therefore it is the current solution, without English minimum pricing, that provides us with the experiment to look at the efficacy. We get to look at the changes in consumption in each country.
Blimey, don’t they teach experimental design at Birmingham?