Gray days for Grayling

Another day, another gaffe from everyone’s least-favourite rent-a-quote. We are amused!

Chris Grayling’s week looks like going from bad to worse with the revelation the Scottish Conservatives oppose the kind of minimum pricing plan for alcohol unveiled by the Shadow Home Secretary on Wednesday.

Following his denunciation and sudden about turn over the appointment of General Dannatt to the Tory defence team and his revisionism over comparisons of Moss Side to “The Wire”, which Left Foot Forward took him to task on earlier this week – he now appears to have been completely unaware of his party’s health policy in Scotland.

In his conference speech he said:

“Let me tell you how we’re going to tackle binge drinking and anti-social behaviour. We’ll start with the problem of 14-year-olds hanging around with bottles of super-strength beers or ciders. It’s much too easy for them to get very drunk quickly and cheaply.

“So let me today give you more detail of our plan to introduce big increases in the tax on super strength alcohol. We will increase the price of a four pack of super strength lager by £1.33. We will more than double tax on super strength cider. And our planned increase on alcopops will raise the price of a large bottle by £1.50.”

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing in the Scottish Parliament Mary Scanlon, however, does not believe “blanket minimum pricing” is the solution to binge drinking.

She says:

“More needs to be done to understand why people drink to excess. The recent Audit Scotland report found that three out of four people with a drink addiction have an underlying mental health problem.

“It is important that the Scottish Government stops relying on blanket minimum pricing as a single tool solution. Alcohol addiction and drink binging is a complex problem, requiring a coordinated response.”

Mr Grayling’s office declined to comment.

4 Responses to “Gray days for Grayling”

  1. Rory

    This website really is just about partisan mud-slinging isn’t it?

    The more I read it, the more I think the Guardian was right to call it a New Labour website.

    I do think though that Grayling’s policy is just a re-hash of the kind of meddling in people’s everday lives advocated by the Social Democratic parties.

    It would have been nice if LFF had mentioned this instead of offering us this drivel.

  2. willstraw

    Er…No.

    We’ve critiqued the Government on plenty including
    (i) Trident e.g. //www.leftfootforward.org/2009/09/replacing-trident-with-astute-could-save-45-billion/
    (ii) its energy policy e.g. //www.leftfootforward.org/2009/10/e-on-chief-no-new-nuclear-before-2020/
    (iii) its proposed reforms to the electoral system e.g. //www.leftfootforward.org/2009/09/alternative-vote-is-even-less-proportional-than-status-quo/

    Plus holding the BNP to account e.g. //www.leftfootforward.org/2009/08/bnps-anti-muslim-lies-exposed-by-new-report/

    And exposing media manipulation e.g. //www.leftfootforward.org/2009/09/mails-quango-deception/

    But it’s the week of Conservative Party conference so you would expect a bit of a focus on their policy announcements (or lack thereof).

    I think if you went back over the full range of articles since our soft launch on September 14th, you’d find a good mix of different stories.

  3. Rory

    I think it highly unlikely that this website would ridicule the Labour Party in the same way if a split emerged between its Scottish and UK arms.

    Mr Grayling may well be deserving of this treatment (and I do find the mock poster amusing). But as far as I can see he is not being mocked on grounds of policy but for ‘administrative incompetence.’

    I do not being right or left wing makes one inherently incompetent.

    It would be hugely refreshing to see a senior New Labour figure ridiculed in this way, but I won’t hold my breath.

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