Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why Labour has turned on cider drinkers

When the Conservatives announced plans to increase tax on "problem drinks" in March 2008 I thought of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act and its strictures against "sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats".

Such attempts to single out a particular areas of society for harsher treatment are inherently unattractive. And they don't work either. I fear that, however much we disapprove of it, young people will always contrive to find ways of enjoying themselves.

Still, when the Tories come up with a foolish, populist idea there is a better than even chance that Labour will copy it. And I suspect that this Tory plan was one of the parents of Alistair Darling's huge increase in the tax on cider in today's Budget.

And could it be that the fact that there are so few Labour seats in cider-producing areas encouraged him to go down this road too?

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

First, it is reported tonight that the small producers will be exempt.
Then the price of large plastic bottles of strong cider in even those Supermarkets in the upper half of the quality league is ludicrously low, encouraging the kids to drink (you only need one who is or looks old enough, and they can all get their hands on it).