It's been widely reported that the Tories are thinking of increasing tax on beer by up to 7p a pint to curb binge drinking.
I believe this is the wrong approach and will not make the slightest bit of difference to binge drinking. People who binge drink tend to be young and affluent. They have much disposable income and they dispose of by pouring booze down their throats and then pissing it up the wall.
A massive tax hike on beer will, however, have a huge impact on those for whom drinking beer is an occasional treat.
These people have already been largely driven from their pubs who are keen to bring in the money of the wasteful youth - people who moan about the cost of housing, but drive £25,000 cars, take 3 foreign holidays a year in far off locations and will only wear clothing with the right "label" (why don't they try something really radical, like saving up).
Their quiet little retreats have been turned into noisy standup drinking dens full of drunken men and women and foul language shouted at high volume above the din of pumping dance beats.
They've seen their country pubs turned into gastropubs aimed at the middle classes who chatter incessantly about Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson. They've had the pleasure of drinking their one pint of bitter a week with the accompaniment of a cigarette or a puff on their pipe by the health nazis and now the one last thing left to them is about to taxed out of their price range.
Welcome to the brave new world. A playground for kidults. No jacket, tie or manners required. Over 65's not welcome.