Letters: Minimum price for alcohol is much too hard to swallow

According to Martin Hannan (News, November 1) we live in a democracy. If it is in fact true, perhaps he can explain a problem I don’t seem to understand.

What gives the SNP government the right to tell anyone what we will and will not have to pay for any commodities we wish to purchase?

A minimum price for alcohol? Where does the extra money end up? Bloated supermarkets will become even more bloated.

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Let’s not hear the argument that it is all to do with the health of this nation. If that’s the case, when can we, the great unwashed, expect to see minimum prices on chips, cheese, butter, full-fat milk, deep-fried Mars bars, rib eye steak, sausage, bacon, fried bread, eggs, black pud, et al?

Obviously the one meal that won’t be considered for this pricing would be curry.

When the great leader and his second-in-command start spouting “the majority of Scots want this or that” they don’t know what they are talking about, as the majority of Scots did not vote for them.

J Taylor, Essendean Place, Edinburgh

Measure will help change culture

AS a pub and real ale campaigning consumer group, CAMRA abhors the current supermarket practice of selling low quality alcohol as cheaply as possible.

CAMRA therefore commends the determination of the Scottish Government to tackle the scourge of supermarket alcohol loss leader promotions. It is surely no coincidence that, as supermarkets have increased their market share, alcohol-related crime and disorder and hospital admissions have also increased.

A minimum unit price of around 45 pence will end the sale of alcohol below cost without unduly penalising responsible drinkers and without any impact on the sale of alcohol within pubs.

The current ratio between the price of supermarket loss leader promotions and pub prices is around 5-1. The Scottish Government’s proposals will reduce this ratio to around 3-1 and in doing so will help encourage a culture of responsible alcohol consumption within well-run pubs.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA National Chairman

Fireworks sales must be banned

IN our health and safety obsessed world, how on earth are fireworks still being sold to the public, instead of only being available for organised events?

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A ban on the sale of fireworks to the public would surely result in substantial savings to fire, police and hospital resources.

S Robertson, Barnton, Edinburgh

Bill of no rights is not the answer

IT concerns me when those such as Clark Cross believe that a UK “Bill of Rights” would enable the UK to take the European Convention of Human rights into account within the framework of UK law, and end the scandal of foreign judges overriding the decisions of British courts (Interactive, November 7).

Although its opponents won’t admit it, this is precisely what the 1998 Human Rights Act was designed to achieve.

However, isn’t the reason why we have so many instances of the European Court’s involvement in UK Courts’ judgements precisely because we, as architects and original signatories of the Convention, have consistently failed to adhere to the rights enshrined in it?

In Scotland our legislators ignore even the fundamental right to equality. Paradoxically, inequality is even being built into our laws by our own government.

In the UK we’re all allegedly equal, but not if we’re a same sex couple who want the simple dignity of being married. Nor a new tenant denied the right to buy like other tenants.

Is Clark Cross seeking a standard of common legal decency and fundamental rights lower than that enjoyed by the rest of the Convention’s signatories? In effect a Bill of no rights.

At this time of year, shouldn’t we be asking if this is what those who fell in appalling conflicts sacrificed their lives for?

Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae, Edinburgh