Middle class guilt?

I’ve heard this bandied about, with no sense of what it means other than being a term of abuse used by those who should know better.

But maybe I have a variant of it.

After similar ideas were expressed in Scotland, Sir Liam Donaldson has suggested minimum prices for alcohol at 50p per unit. The government disagreed, saying it would

BBC news said under Sir Liam’s plan it would be £1 for a can or bottle of beer, and £4.50 for a bottle of wine. And this left me thinking, “Well that’s alright then.”
They went on to show a picture of a pub, with people drinking implying that it would hurt pub drinkers, and I was left thinking “How?” If anything this will help pubs compete with bargain drink from the supermarkets- as I can’t imagine any pub needing to raise prices to comply with this.

But this is where my guilt kicks in, because these measures would not affect me one bit. My only objection is in terms of price fixing and meddling in the markets.
I can’t comprehend the argument that this measure punishes anyone responsible, being it just takes out of the market extremely low quality booze, drunk more for the alcohol content than the taste.

I drink about 4 units of alcohol a week. I can’t remember when I last bought a cheep multi-pack of beer. I don’t remember buying alcoholic drink for the intoxicating effects rather than the flavour.

Am I a middle class snob? Or just someone with a sense of perspective, who’s sat down and done the sums? That probably depends on where you are coming from.

I do feel guilt at judging cheap booze that is enjoyed by so many as not worth keeping.



  1. Tristan

    I hardly drink at all, when I do drink I tend to drink for the taste so do tend to buy the slightly more expensive end of things (long gone are my student days of Sainsbury’s value vodka…)What I object to most is that it is not government’s place to dictate how people should spend their own money. Government takes enough of our earnings, as well as preventing us from earning more through subsidy and regulation which favours the already rich and powerful.It should not be trying to dictate what people drink, or what price they buy it for.If drunken behaviour is a problem, then deal with the effects it has on others.Drunken brawl? Prosecute.Damaging property whilst drunk? Make the perpetrator pay for the damage.Hold people responsible for their actions whilst drunk.

  2. Simon

    This proposal was the work of one man, and has been dismissed by the goverment. It was proposed for reasons of health, not crime, your talk of tackling brawlers and street drunks misses the point spectactlarly.Although to be fair to you, Gordon rejected it on populist grounds rather than through tuning in to your brand of liberalism.I’m just bereft at being unable to see this idea as “punishing” anyone. I am more in tune with your regulation and control message than any message of hurting people in the street.And that worries me.

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