Whisky. Horrid. Had some once. Never again. Some people like it so much that it kills them.
Attempts to find political solutions are charged; the agenda can change.
I'm reminded of an upset from 2009 - here's a quote from The Guardian
'Professor David Nutt, the government's chief drug adviser, has been
sacked a day after claiming that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous
Over two days, starting on the anniversary of the forced abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots, Scotch Whisky Association and others v The Lord Advocate and another
whether the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 is
incompatible with EU law and therefore unlawful under the Scotland Act
Over the road in the House of Commons, the merest mention of the ECJ can
provoke boorish jeering and it's a relief to be in a more enlightened
Should alcohol be subject to a minimum price of 50p per unit, which
producers claim would make them less competitive? Or, as counsel asks at
the beginning: 'Why not tax?' It's pointed out that Buckfast Tonic
Wine, already more than 50p per unit, fuels a lot of crime.
There is passing mention of people who can afford 'a decent Burgundy
from Waitrose' but the focus is on the one per cent of drinkers who are
'hazardous and harmful drinkers in poverty'.
You don't have to walk far from the court to meet street drinkers.
Beyond the issue of price, tackling drunkenness involves looking at
poverty, unemployment, deprivation, family breakdown, homelessness and
Once you've done volunteering stints somewhere like Crisis you don't
just see a street-drinker shape: you look into a face and
wonder if you've met that person.
William Hogarth's engraving from 1751, Gin Lane, depicts the plague of
cheap spirits. The Gin Act of 1736, which raised taxes and attempted to
impose licences on the legions of gin sellers, was widely flouted.
This is Lord Neuberger's last hearing as President but it's business as
usual. There is no epoch-marking verbal posy presented to him by
counsel - not while I'm in the courtroom, at least. Instead, there's a
beginning: Philip Simpson QC finishes bang on lunchtime, saying: 'This
has in fact been my first appearance before the Supreme Court or indeed
the House of Lords and it's been a privilege to address you in this
'Mr Simpson,' says Lord Neuberger, 'it may have been your first
appearance here but you have timed your ending of your submissions
The President has set a swift pace and in the afternoon proceedings end with an hour in hand.
'The Court is now adjourned,' says Lord Neuberger.