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Douglas Daniel
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It's interesting that the BBC - who were quick to break the story yesterday evening - have yet to update their article to reflect the truth. Also, despite having time in the 15 minute long lunchtime news to cover the story, BBC Scotland somehow didn't have time to run an updated version in the half hour Reporting Scotland after Salmond's letter was released to the media. The result? Anyone who saw the lunchtime news is left thinking the SNP willfully or incompetently let our only tax varying power go to waste, and anyone who didn't has no idea that our Scottish Secretary of State is either an incompetent fool who writes letters to the media before checking his facts, or is a conniving git who has willfully tried to smear the Government. Either way, it shouldn't be up to the MacBlogosphere to try and tell people the truth. Then again, what can you expect from a corporation that says Scottish questions are not allowed on a programme filmed in Scotland in front of a Scottish audience, but Welsh questions are allowed in Wales in front of a Welsh audience?
I just don't understand Labour's stance on this. I saw Jackie Baillie on TV the other day, holding a bottle of Buckfast and banging on about minimum pricing just increasing profits for supermarkets. There are two things that really bug me about their stance: 1) As a North-East loon, I can't say I came across "Buckie" much in my youth. Amazingly, I never drank alcohol until I was 17, but until then, the few people I saw of my age drinking alcohol were drinking cheap cider, not "Buckie". It wasn't until I moved to Glasgow that the sight of broken Buckfast bottles became more regular. Their focus on Buckfast/high-caffeine alcohol makes me think that they either think Glasgow is the only place in Scotland with an alcohol problem, or they are just taking it for granted that what happens in Glasgow happens throughout the rest of the country. Either way, they are completely missing the point, and I can't help feeling like it is another example of Labour only caring about their heartland. 2. What is it about supermarkets making a profit out of a measure to save lives that is so offensive to whatever the Labour ideology is? Are the trying to say that supermarkets making a profit is such an abhorrent idea that it should be avoided at all costs, including human lives? It's opportunistic, pure and simple. Even their London counterparts think minimum pricing is a good idea, so I just cannot see any reason for their opposition except for the fact it is an SNP proposal and with 6 months until the election, they just can't risk the SNP getting plaudits for introducing this initiative. The only other possible explanation is that they genuinely DO want to keep poor people "dosed up" on cheap booze, and adding to a dependency culture. The whole thing is just ridiculous.
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Nov 11, 2010