How a minimum unit price for alcohol was scuppered

Gilmore and Daube have described How a minimum unit price for alcohol was scuppered in the BMJ.   The government buried evidence that it had commissioned because it would have displeased the alcohol industry and its lobbyists.  A country is no more than its economy.  The government’s consultation was a sham, as you can read in Jonathan Gornall’s investigation, Under The Influence.  After all, the prime minister’s advisor has links to the alcohol and tobacco industries.  Other reasons include,

“- the remarkable access of the industry to policy makers; the industry’s ability to spin the problem as being the fault of a small minority of users rather than an inherently risky psychoactive substance with a propensity to induce dependence; its promotion of voluntary alternatives to regulation; and its use of non‐peer reviewed “junk science” to counter the evidence.”

The article concludes,

Public health organisations must hope that this further exposure of the alcohol industry’s lobbying and public relations activities will encourage politicians to take the evidence based action that can bring so much benefit to the community. “After all,” as the prime minister’s predecessor Benjamin Disraeli famously said, “the first consideration of a minister should be the health of the people.” “

Government dealings with the alcohol and tobacco industries that contribute so much expense to Britain’s collapsing international health service show how cheaply ministers can be bought or deceived by lobbyists and bad science.

However commentator, Alain Braillon, thinks,

 “that the present inertia cannot be explained by lobbying but only by gross corruption…Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum (to err is human, but to persist in the mistake is diabolical).”

But Britain is a very corrupt country.

Reports on the ability of industries to steer governments make it clearer why UKAS must have a peer to add credibility to its sales efforts.  “Cutting bureaucracy” by it shifting it from legislation to accreditation.  Sweeping government bureaucracy under each corporate welcome mat to internalise it within many organisations.  Stuff like that.

Comments on these BMJ alcohol articles are open.  You may wish to draw attention to the harm accreditation will do to the NHS and other industries through the power of the inspection cartel and its influence over governments.  Few in the NHS have realised this yet.  

Submit a rapid response on accreditation v. systems thinking by clicking here.


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