Drink strategy is all over the place

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SURELY a more effective way for the Government to deal with problem drinking, rather than a simple price increase, would be to dust off the statute book and see if the offence of being “drunk and disorderly” still exists.

And while ministers are at it, they might also look at “drunk and incapable” and advice for barmen and barmaids who are inclined to serve customers who are already drunk.

If these regulations were vigorously enforced, as they once were, then our city centres would be safer places.

And accident and emergency wards would not resemble battlefields at weekends.

The Government, which is in favour of a minimum price being applied to a unit of alcohol, point to the reduction that has been achieved in the number of people who smoke, as the price of cigarettes steadily rises.

But they overlook a couple of important factors which destroy their analogy.

Firstly, recent increases in the price of tobacco have come along with the smoking ban in public buildings, and this has been the tipping-point for most smokers who have quit.

The problem drinkers who regard it as a necessity to get drunk to have a good night out, do not want to give up.

And if they need to find a few extra quid for a “good weekend”, they will do so, one way or another.

The problem is one of culture, not price.

W Allan, via email

Food for thought, Prime Minister

Charity food banks are said to be distributing food parcels to 130,000 needy families across the UK.

Most of these families have young children and are really desperate. Many of the parcels are delivered by the Salvation Army, or the Trussell Trust Charity who are leaders in the foodbank area.

It seems David Cameron’s Tory-led coalition has made the rich even richer and left more needy people relying on charity.

Half term report: Cameron must do better, difficult to do worse.

Max Nottingham, full address supplied

Lockerbie truth will never emerge

The death of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi is the end of a chapter in a sorry tale of justice being found wanting.

Megrahi’s involvement or otherwise in the Lockerbie bombing has polarised opinion throughout the world but it’s the manner of his release from jail that has caused problems.

However expensive to maintain, would it not have been better to have transferred him to secure accommodation while his health deteriorated and prevented the disgraceful scenes at Tripoli Airport where he was welcomed as a hero? It must have been dreadful for the relatives of the Lockerbie victims to have seen that on TV.

There is also the suspicion that Megrahi’s release was part of a deal which the UK government made with Gaddafi over oil. It is likely that we will never know the whole truth.

Name and address supplied