It had to start somewhere. And where else than in Newcastle where, it seems that that Council really doesn't like it's working-class population to enjoy a drink:
Newcastle City Council has introduced a minimum unit price condition for all new licences and applications for licence variation across the on and off-trade.
Now, leaving aside the dubious legality of these proposals, this demonstrates just how little Newcastle Council understands anything other than signalling a disapproval of less well-off people affording to have a drink.
The sad thing about these proposals - and the Council gets round not having the authority to dictate prices by claiming they are 'voluntary' - is that the Council claims that this policy will help pubs. Quite how this works heaven alone knows - we could discuss the myth of "pre-loading" but no-one is listening. People in Newcastle - and everywhere else for that matter - aren't going to pubs because they can't afford it and they can smoke at home.
If the City Council as its spokesman, one Stephen Savage, claims this will help pubs why on earth is it the first Council to clobber those pubs with a late night levy.
Nope, this is government by gesture. It won't save a single life. It won't reduce the amount of booze drunk (because they can't impose the policy on supermarkets as they can afford the lawyers). All it will do is make a bit of extra margin for those signing up and piss off Geordie drinkers.