In an interview with The Times, Iain Duncan Smith accuses the supermarkets of “being as close to immoral as you can get” by selling alcohol so cheaply and of “creating alcoholics”.
I'll give him a little benefit of the doubt and assume he's ignorant. Supermarkets don't "create alcoholics" and if you, as supposedly a responsible politician are going to make such a statement, you should know what you're talking about first.
Alcoholism is a terrible affliction which is psychological. It's not a "disease", but about how someone feels about themselves and they happen to choose alcohol as a crutch to deal with it. It might be about their own chemical imbalances, genetics or about how they were brought up, or a combination of those.
The former Tory leader says that the political parties are “in the grip of cowardice” for failing to advocate a big jump in the cost of alcohol for fear of alienating the voters before the general election. He says the tax should be ring-fenced for spending on the treatment of alcohol-related illnesses.
We already collect more than enough in alcohol tax to deal with its social problems.
“We are into unpopular territory, but to deal with something like alcohol that is damaging the fabric of the nation we need to raise prices. There is a direct connection between the price of alcohol and consumption.”
Again, he's either ignorant of the economic studies which show that price elasticity is not directly related to price of alcohol or he's deliberately a bastard for ignoring it.
Thousands of lives and billions of pounds could be saved each year if people drank less. “Alcohol is every bit as dangerous as illegal drugs, you can argue that it’s more dangerous than heroin because it’s easier to get.”
So, alcohol is as dangers as illegal drugs? So, what's it going to be? Criminalise alcohol or decriminalise drugs? Could one of his constituents please get this clarified?
As for money, well the state actually benefits from alcohol being drunk in terms of taxes. For the drinker, well, they mostly enjoy spending that money or they wouldn't do it (alcoholics excepted).
Mr Duncan Smith says the price of alcohol is one of the main contributing factors to the problems in society. The middle-class social drinker should have to pay as well as binge drinkers and alcoholics. “You need an across-the-board tax. We don’t say that smokers are being punished, we say we’re taxing cigarettes for health reasons.”
Look you stupid bag of toss.... we already pay the tax on our booze. We pay enough for all the damage we do to ourselves. That's the end of the state's involvement. If I decide to take a few years off my life because of a little too much of the Batard Montrachet then that's my problem.
A middle class drinker sat at home drinking is not a social problem. At all. Nor are most binge drinkers. You want to deal with the people who cause trouble? Get them arrested and prosecuted and let law abiding citizens live their life.
I'm fucking tired of the Tory party. They tried to modernise, to look less like the "nasty party" and ended up as a horrible mess of unprincipled, twisted viewpoints comprising the worst of Labour's economic authoritarian against the working man and their own old blue rinse social authoritarianism. They had their opportunity to go classic liberal and blew it, choosing electoral expedience over principle and competence.