I've just discovered a press release from the Libertarian Alliance on that same day. Sean Gabb is never one to mince his words, and his statement here is a classic:
"The Government's proposal, and the welcome given it by Tesco's, amount to an attack on the poor. The ruling class politicians who continually whine about alcohol will not be affected by minimum pricing or the abolition of special offers. I might add that none of them can be affected by such laws. Income aside, anyone who lies his way into Parliament can look forward to round the clock drinking in the Palace of Westminster of untaxed alcohol.As on so many issues, the Libertarian Alliance perspective is uncompromising. They believe:
"But the measures will hurt poor people, for whom alcohol will become cripplingly expensive and hard to find. They have the same right to drink as the rest of us. Bearing in mind the problems willed on them by our exploitative ruling class, they often have a greater need to drink.
"The claim that drinking 'causes' public disorder is nonsense. Alcohol does not run about the streets. People do. If people are making nuisances of themselves, the police should be reminded that they are no longer New Labour's equivalent of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and told to start protecting life and property again.
"But, going back to Tesco's, this is also another attempt by a joint stock limited liability corporation - which has no right to exist - to limit competition and raise profits. We have no doubt the Company will use the good publicity got from supporting this wicked policy to win planning permission appeals to build more superstores. The incidental misery into which millions of our poorest fellow citizens will be thrown never crosses their privileged, high-salaried minds.
"On behalf of the Libertarian Alliance, I call on all progressive people of good will to boycott Tesco until it stops supporting this attack on the poor and on free competition.
"Drinking is not just for the rich."
It's refreshing to see such a principled stance, and I want to believe that a society based on these principles could also succeed on utilitarian grounds.
- That all the licensing laws should be repealed;
- That all controls on the marketing of alcohol should be repealed;
- That alcohol taxes should be reduced to the same level as the lowest in the European Union, and that there should be no increase in other taxes;
- That not a penny of the taxpayers' money should be given to any organisation arguing against the above.