The drinks industry depends for its profits on people drinking harmfully or hazardously who between them consume three-quarters of all the alcohol sold in Britain, a committee of MPs will say today. Accusing ministers of a "failure of will" over controlling the industry, they will point out that if people drank responsibly, within the limits advised by medical organisations, sales of alcohol would plummet by 40 per cent.
But health warnings about the dangers of excessive drinking are drowned out by an industry that peddles myths to promote its sales, according to the MPs. In a scathing analysis of the stranglehold which the drinks industry has over the Government and the nation, the all-party Commons health select committee will accuse ministers of cosying up to the firms that dominate the market.
It calls for tough measures to curb alcohol consumption, including a minimum price of at least 40p per unit compared with supermarket prices that are as low as 10p a unit, a rise in duty, independent regulation of alcohol promotion and mandatory labelling.
The idea of a minimum price, aimed principally at supermarket promotions where beer can cost less than water, was first raised by the Government's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson last year but was immediately rejected by Gordon Brown because, he claimed, it would penalise moderate drinkers.
The health committee will flatly reject this argument as a myth fostered by the alcohol lobby, saying that at 40p a unit it would cost a moderate drinker consuming the average six units weekly (three pints of ordinary bitter) 11p more a week than at present. A woman drinking 15 units a week, equivalent to one and a quarter bottles of wine, could buy her weekly total of alcohol for £6.
Kevin Barron, chairman of the committee said: "The facts about alcohol are shocking. Successive governments have failed to tackle the problem and it is now time for bold government. Even small reductions in the number of people using alcohol could save the NHS millions. What is required is fundamental cultural change. Only this way are we likely to reduce the dangerous numbers of young people drinking their lives away."
One in 10 of the population consumes almost half (44 per cent) of all the alcohol drunk. Consumption has soared in recent decades and three times as much is now drunk per head as in the middle of the last century. Alcohol is estimated to cause 30,000 to 40,000 deaths a year.
It is calculated that a minimum price of 50p a unit would save more than 3,000 lives a year. But the response of successive governments had "ranged from the non-existent to the ineffectual", the committee will say.
Simon Litherland, managing director of Diageo GB, the world's largest beer, wine and spirits firm, said: "This report represents yet another attempt by aggressive sections of the health lobby to hijack alcohol policy-making."
Public health minister Gillian Merron said: "Alcohol is an increasing challenge to people's health – we are working hard to reverse the trend and are constantly seeking better ways to tackle it."
Why is this idea important?
The Lobby groups of Britain have far too much sway and power over the nation and policy.
The "Pathways To Problems" report was hidden and released through under the radar with the Mephadrone ban.
Let's be straight here, with alcohol sponsoring half of our MPs, and with massive lobby groups that we're all supposed to ignore, it is a direct infringement of my civil liberties, and everyone's in the UK that these groups hold such sway.
No free country should have any industry source at the centre of policy making. This video from the Centre of Crime and Justice Studies goes some way into lifting the lid of what really goes on:
Cannabis has been deemed unlawful for 80 years due to tobacco and alcohol lobbies, not to mention, pharmaceuticals! If we wish to debate the health facts of this statement, I, and many others, would be very happy to do so. The misuse of drugs act has been drawn up from a health stance, and it has been irrefutably proven through copious amounts of citations, studies and scientific advice that cannabis rates one of the lowest risks to human health, so what is the misuse of drugs act actually achieving, and what "message" is it perpetuating?
So, let us make no bones about it, things DO NOT ADD UP, and we do know why, so I would like to see an end to outside influence in MY government.
The Speaker Of the House; John Bercow: On 6th July in Portcullis House. New Parliament: New Opportunities Speech.
Mr. Speaker addressed the idea very eloquently, politely and very self preserving, that outside interests were perhaps self-serving in this day and age and undemocratic: "If independently judged, and MP's pay should be independently judged, then perhaps MPs should be paid more… and for that to be accompanied by a ban on paid outside interests."
This sentiment is the most democratic thing I've heard in years and I applaud John Bercow. I would whole heartedly welcome the idea of more pay for MPs and to stop all outside interests in parliament, this is the only true way democracy can resume. End lobby group influence, end outside interests, restore my right to free and democratic governance with fact based policies and not self serving ones that we know to be unjust as found here; a Freedom Of Information Act that can be found via this source:
Restore civil democracy and not industrial!