Alan Johnson is leading for the Government in trying to convince us that it is curbing the worst excesses of alcohol retailers.
Apart from the fact that the Government has failed to take on the drinks industry with any degree of principle, Alan Johnson's criticism of some retailers as irresponsible, smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order.
In a news item in the Telegraph today he is quoted as saying:
Johnson is accused by the Health select Committee, the Royal College of Physicians and Alcohol Concern for not going far enough to regulate alcohol sales, rejecting a series a strongly evidence based proposals including minimum unit pricing (which might not be popular in an election year therefore deemed 'not sensible'). Johnson appears happy that Football clubs and national sport squads run around with drink brands emblazoned across their shirts at a time when there is a growing epidemic of problem drinking amongst their key audience: young people. Even for alcohol brands to continue to sponsor high speed driving events (mixed messages anyone?)
“Alcohol-related crime costs the UK billions of pounds every year and while the vast majority of retailers are responsible, a minority continue to run irresponsible promotions which fuel the excessive drinking that leads alcohol-related crime and disorder."
But he is also charged with overseeing the control of illicit drugs, the (ever growing) market for which he has chosen to give in its entirety to organised criminals and unregulated dealers, thereby losing any control of the trade whatsoever, pushing up the street price, fuelling the majority of acquisitive crime and bringing misery and mayhem to some of the most deprived communities on earth.
Sending out the wrong message?
In the grand scheme of things who do you think is being more irresponsible?
Should you wish to let Mr Johnson know what you think, you can contact him at:
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
- Supercasinos, drugs and alcohol prohibition: more than a whiff of ministerial hypocrisy
- Transform Submission to the Department of Health Consultation on Alcohol Policy October 2008 (pdf)