Thursday, 16 November 2017

Carlisle – Calais without a passport

Scotland has a drink problem. Alcohol-related diseases, domestic violence, road accidents and other social problems are fuelled by booze to a level higher than other countries. Something must be done, obviously.

The Scottish government, famed for its keen grasp of basic economics, is reaching for minimum pricing as its solution. At a minimum price of 50 pence per unit of alcohol, the retail price of some currently-inexpensive strong drink will double.

Of course this will only apply to alcohol purchased within Scotland.

Obviously it will not occur to any canny Scots that there are fair-sized cities just south of the border, where the price of alcohol will not increase.

Nobody will order cases of wine from English wine merchants.

There are no border patrols to prevent the import of English booze, so absolutely no-one will take up a lucrative new career running alcohol.

Similarly no cash-and-carry warehouses will be set up in northern England to exploit the situation.

Since there won’t be trucks full of liquor crossing the border in a northerly direction, no cheap alcohol will conveniently fall off the backs of lorries in the vicinity of unlicensed premises.

And in future all the whisky drunk in Scotland will be made in Scotland, driven over the border, sold, bought and driven back first.

I do hope the police force and the inspection authorities are currently underworked or that there is lots of money available for their expansion.

No? Didn’t think so.

On second thoughts, maybe I’m confusing the government’s alcohol-limitation programme with a job creation scheme.