Monday, June 6, 2011

Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie wakes up from being ‘drunk on stupidity’ and does a U turn on minimum pricing for alcohol, Scottish Labour still pished!

Dear All

You would think that when parties develop policies that they would have good arguments to support them which goes beyond who leads the party.

The new leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats is Willie Rennie.

He leads the Lib Dems in Scotland with only five MSPs at the Scottish Parliament.

After a disastrous election, he has become the leader of the party when Tavish Scott stepped down and returned to the back benches.

Rennie has signalled a policy u-turn on the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol.

Willie Rennie said the plan, opposed by his party in the last parliament, was necessary to fight Scotland's unhealthy relationship with drink.

Have new arguments come to light?

No, he has just changed his mind.

He now plans to seek the support of party members at the next Scottish Liberal Democrat party conference.

And they will say yes, as I think their tactics will be principled opposition as used by the Tories.

The Scottish government has vowed to bring the plans back to parliament and with their majority that piece of legislation will pass into law.

Before the Scottish Parliament elections in May, the minority SNP government was unable to win over the opposition to minimum pricing because it was unionists against nationalists.

Rennie said:

"Alcohol misuse continues to blight the whole of Scottish society, wrecking individual lives and harming families and communities. The UK government has announced plans to ban below-cost selling of alcohol south of the border. This will not apply in Scotland. Instead, the majority SNP government plans to reintroduce a Minimum Pricing Bill and I will work positively with ministers on this."

As well as minimum pricing the SNP Government should also raise the age of buying drink in off sales and supermarkets to 25.

Rennie added:

"I have seen and heard the terrible impact when I am talking to people on doorsteps. I believe that radical action is needed and will therefore support moves to introduce minimum unit pricing in Scotland."

Also Rennie should be a little more radical and adopt Challenge 25 which is used by some responsible supermarkets such as Asda.

The previous Scottish government wanted to set the minimum price per unit of alcohol at 45p.

Since the defeat of minimum pricing in Scotland, the UK government has announced similar plans for England and Wales, under the proposals which would see a can of lager cost at least 38p and a litre bottle of vodka no less than £10.71.

And Stormont ministers in Northern Ireland have also backed similar plans, which could bring the cost of the cheapest bottle of wine up to £4.20.

Unionists’ parties such as Labour and the Lib Dems have seen what the terrible price of ineffectual opposition has cost them.

Drunk on stupidity!

Unfortunately that won’t be affected by a minimum price.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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