I am a big supporter of minimum pricing of alcohol. I have long been persuaded by the hospital staff, doctors, policemen and ambulance drivers that we need a revised approach to alcohol and it's availability. I am most definitely not against drinking, and love a pint as much as anyone.
But there are three points I would like to see addressed.
We need a minimum price - the evidence from the medical profession on the number of lives this would save is overwhelming, and absolutely beyond doubt.
Secondly the approach of the supermarkets is not acceptable. The way in which drink is marketed and discounted and displayed in stores is frankly wrong. I regret to say that Tescos are one of the worst at this - including my own store in Hexham. It is not right to have cases of alcohol literally as you walk into the shop.
Finally it is clear that without some help the British Pub will die: stopping the discounting will clearly help the pub and give responsible licensed drinking in pubs a better chance to thrive.
I am absolutely behind the government on this measure. You will also not find a single policemen, doctor or ambulance driver who is satisfied with the status quo. This is the right thing to be doing.