Letters: Minimum pricing will not make drink problem vanish

Minimum price aims to tackle drink abuse
Minimum price aims to tackle drink abuse
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IT was only a matter of time before the minimum pricing policy for the sale of alcohol faced a legal challenge. Is it not the case that such a policy is a form of restrictive practices?

Is it not true that the Resale Prices Act 1964 made minimum pricing illegal? And single market regulations in the UK must comply with EU law which outlaws restrictive practices.

Everybody is aware of the antisocial problems that have arisen out of the sale of alcohol, especially for the underage drinkers. The reality of the situation will not be resolved by a minimum pricing policy, it will only help aggravate the situation.

The blame cannot be targeted at the drinks companies alone; the responsibility must also be on those who buy and consume alcohol.

Many young and impressionable people are easily influenced by powerful and aggressive advertising which plays a significant part in encouraging the drinking of alcohol, so that may be a positive place to start a campaign about excessive drinking.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Panto stars past it .. oh yes they are!

I READ about the next pantomime at the King’s Theatre, which is Mother Goose. Yet again, no big names have been lined up for the starring roles.

As usual we have Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and, doing his second job of the day, Grant Stott of Radio Forth. They have been there for years now and are past their sell-by date. I only hope the new chief executive of the King’s and Festival theatres finds some exciting new talent for the starring roles in 2013.

Think back to the days of Stanley Baxter – great shows, great talent and packed 

I say put these three out to pasture and give our citizens some new blood.

Joe Taylor, Montague Street, Edinburgh

Let law strike rich tax evaders first

It must have come as a great shock to politicians, bankers and the ruling classes of this country to suddenly discover that their moral character has been laid bare for inspection by the working classes.

We may be short on manners but we possess a quick and true perception of the moral character of the people who take advantage of us.

If there be faults and vices in a man’s character, whatever his rank or riches, he may be sure he will be exposed by the honest, subservient workers of this land. How can we ever have the slightest esteem or respect for the rogues who have lied, cheated and stolen from us for so long?

They have the audacity to assume that if they return a small portion of their ill-gotten gains we will be naive enough to forgive them. Now they want to hammer the honest working classes who they now accuse of stealing from them by trying to save a pound or two with little cash-in-hand jobs about the home, and who they would like to prosecute to the full letter of the law.

Let the law now strike down those people who created, bent and operated the laws of the land to suit themselves, and ensure they be made to repay, with interest, all that they have deviously misappropriated, by tax evasion, false accounting, fraud, theft or guile.

Frank Wood, Belhaven, Dunbar

The Bible has much to teach us

I ASSUME that Jack Fraser (Letters, July 18), would agree that the rules of the road arise from “an absolutist interpretation, which must be taken literally” of the Highway Code.

Why, then, does he object to what he calls “an absolutist interpretation of religious books” in his support of same-sex marriage?

He would profit from reading the Bible in its entirety, when he would discover that it is the Word of God, given for our spiritual guidance and encouragement. It tells us inter alia that this world will not continue as at present; that there is a coming Day of Judgment when we shall all give to God an account of our lives.

When I was a child, I learned a verse from ‘A Psalm of Life’ by the American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.

Well worth pondering.

Donald Jack, Summerside Place, Leith