Friday 22 February 2008

Tesco and Alcohol

A suprisingly responsible call from Tesco to ban them from selling cheap alcohol Here
Obviously made me laugh as they are one of the companies that introduced it in the first place, and have probably been responsible for a high proportion of the drunken yobs that inhabit most areas every day.
But it seems they are finally taking some of the blame, and are being honest enough to say they won't stop selling unless their is a law as it would be "commercial suicide" for them to come out on their own.
The cynical part of me says that no company does anything these days unless there is a profit in it!, just look at anything marked Organic or environmentally friendly or even Healthy eating, they always cost a lot more than the basic label as so many people just swallow the con (pun not intended) .
They are trying to do away with plastic bags 'for the environment' of course, nothing to do with how much money they can save by not giving away free bags, while still overpackaging almost every item in their stores.
I've struggled on some occasions to buy loose tomatoes, Leeks and potatoes as a lot of stores only have them in polystyrene clingfilmed packs, surely if they had an environmental conscience they would scrap all unnecessary packaging.
The other thing I thought about was if you've been to a 24 hour supermarket, they have to employ extra security staff to deal with the abusive drunks who usually turn up late at night to buy their "fix" after the pubs and corner shops have closed.
So by not selling cheap beer they could up the prices for the regular customers while saving many wages by cutting back on security staff as it would surely lead to less drunken behaviour from the undesireables.
A win win situation possibly?
But I could be wrong and maybe they should be applauded for making an effort.

Rant - I like a pint and have been drunk on more occasions than I should admit to, but I can't understand why drinking and getting drunk seems so socially acceptable unless it's done by youngsters, whereas smoking now seems to be almost a criminal activity.
NHS figures quote -
There are 1.2 million incidents of alcohol-related violence per year.
40% of A&E admissions are alcohol-related, Rising to 70% between the hours of midnight and 5AM.
This costs the NHS £1.7 billion per year.
Obviously banning cheap supermarket alcohol won't solve the problem on it's own, although possibly helping with the amount of street corner drunks we all have to endure.
The whole culture of acceptable drinking has always amazed me, every soap opera on TV is based on the local pub with everyone in the local most nights drinking, virtually every programme on TV shows people getting home from work and having a stiff drink to relax? and just about everyone pulling out a bottle of spirits at the drop of a hat.
Maybe it's just my upbringing? but feeling the need for alcohol in everyday situations is alien to me, and just says dependency or addiction.
Alcohol is just another drug after all, but no other drug is promoted and accepted like it, and then people wonder why the young after years of indoctrination into the culture of acceptable drinking feel the need to go and get drunk?

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