I mean it. No drinking while reading. I've read over this and snorted whisky through my nose, and I already know what it says.
That 'beer cheaper than water' meme never seems to appear when the actual price of beer is mentioned. Isn't that peculiar? Why is that, I wonder?
For reference, two litres of own-brand supermarket bottled water is less than 20p everywhere I've looked in the UK. Assuming beer comes in 500ml cans, they must sell for less than 5p a can. Do they?
The Co-op is now offering drinkers a pack of four cans of its own-brand, mid-strength lager for 79p - a price industry experts said was probably the cheapest around.
No. They don't.
Couple of issues here. That own brand stuff is only 'mid strength' if the bottom of the scale includes sweating (ie fluid loss, a stage down from not drinking anything at all, not even water). Drinking that stuff, you will drown before you get drunk. Pub shandies are higher in alcohol content. To anyone who likes any form of beer, that stuff is pop. Not the best pop, either.
Next, are they 500ml cans, thereby coming in at 79p for two litres?
But watchdogs claim the price tag - the equivalent of 26p a pint - could encourage underage and binge drinking and also harm pubs already struggling to keep customers.
26p a pint. At a rough conversion of 2.2 pints per litre, that's 57p per litre or £1.14 for two litres. Therefore they are 300 0r 330 ml cans. They are also five times more expensive than the equivalent bottled water - and this is the cheapest beer ever reported. It has caused uproar at a price five times that of bottled water and still we hear 'oooh, they sell it cheaper than water'. They might as well. The water tastes better.
Binge drinking? The only effects you'll get from bingeing on this stuff are a night of continually getting out of bed and bladder muscles like the Hulk. It will prevent any bladder infection because nothing can cling on at that rate of flow. If you can get even tipsy on this stuff, you have lived a life utterly free of alcohol or you have a body weight less than two stone. No town-centre drooling imbecile ever reached that level of antisocial trouser-wetting punch-throwing ineptitude on Co-Op own brand lager. Or any other own-brand gnat's piss. If every binge drinker binged on this, there would never again be a drink-driving conviction in this country. There would be a lot of damp cars though.
Harm pubs? No pub would dare offer their customers this kind of beer. Well, not any more. I remember, many years ago, drinking a certain beer in Cardiff (not Brains, this stuff was fizzy and cold and weak, the evolutionary common ancestor of the supermarket own brands). We left the pub after two pints with no effects whatsoever apart from having to sit on a wall until we could belch the gas out. We never went back to that pub. Supermarket own-brand beers are no competition for pubs.
Underage drinking. This is the most idiotic part of the article, so I'll let an idiot explain:
'My little boy worked out that the beer was 21p cheaper than the bar of chocolate we usually buy at weekends,' Louise Mangan, 39, told the Sunday Express.
'It’s outrageous that youngsters are being enticed into drinking alcohol with cheap prices like this. That it’s happening at Christmas time makes the issue worse.'
Well, Lousie, were you planning to get the little lad a bottle of something better for Christmas? I have Bowmore tonight, and especially if he has ADHD, I recommend it. Or do you imagine the cheap prices will make him toss aside that Mars bar and grab a can instead?
The price may entice those children but it is not relevant. If they sold Gold Label for 1p per can it would be of no relevance. When your eight-year-old appears at the till with his pocket money in one hand and a pack of cans in the other, he'll be asked for ID. Then he'll be told to select a chocolate bar instead because HE CANNOT BUY ALCOHOL.
Not even the stoat drool that passes for beer in the world of own-brand. It doesn't matter how cheap it is. It doesn't matter if it's free. It doesn't matter if the shop offers to pay you to take it. Children still can't have it.
Just as with those anencephalics who insist that hiding cigarette packets will stop children smoking. You could put flashing lights and the theme from Count Duckula on the display and it makes no difference. You could have arrows pointing at it and recordings of Gregorian monks chanting 'Look at this, look at this' and it will make no difference because CHILDREN CANNOT BUY TOBACCO.
Put pictures of Bagpuss or the Woodentops or whatever kids watch these days (I suppose they've moved on to Friday the Thirteenth and Saw now, a bit more graphic but the plot is the same) - put those pictures on the packets and it makes no difference. They still can't buy them.
As an aside, did you know I was once the stunt double for Bagpuss? That time he yawned - that was me.
The problem is not the price. Not the display. Not the packs, although if you have a picture of Kiki the Frog dying in agony, I want a poster. Damn, she irritated me.
The problem is not the cheeeeldren getting hold of illicit things. I wanted illicit things as a child and I remember, still, at the age of five, being soundly battered for finding the sherry. It didn't hurt much until the next morning but I still look over my shoulder before drinking it now.
My parents had a simple technique when I was small and wanted to try tobacco or booze. It really was very, very simple. it required no Government intervention, no laws, no minimum demands for protection money, nothing outside their own voices.
They said 'No.'
There is no need for minimum pricing on booze because there is already a minimum age for buying it. There is no need to hide tobacco from those who aren't allowed to buy it.
What's needed is common sense and parental discipline and actual consequences for acting like a dick.
Unfortunately, all these are now illegal.