Watch and listen to this Newsnight Scotland report – consider the weight and authority – and passion – of the various people and august bodies supporting the SNP’s minimum pricing for alcohol bill, pleading with the Labour and Tory Opposition parties in Holyrood to support it, and abandon their deeply cynical political posturing and absurd nonsense about caffeine and Buckfast.
I watched the Newsnight Scotland discussion, chaired by Gordon Brewer, with Michael Matheson for the SNP and Dr. Richard Simpson for Labour.
Yes, you read it correctly – Doctor Richard Simpson, a medical doctor, a GP from 1970 to 1999, according to his biography, a member of the British Medical Association, who lists his religious affiliation as Church of Scotland, Member of the Health and Sport Committee.
Doctor Simpson has undoubtedly clearly heard and clearly understood the arguments offered, and the full support given for minimum pricing for alcohol by the BMA, by the Church of Scotland, by the Police, by alcohol harm reductions agencies, and by virtually every authoritative agency and body involved in this urgent problem for the health and welfare of the Scottish people and the Scottish nation.
But he opposes the measure proposed and will doubtless vote against it today in Holyrood, as will every Labour MSP and every Tory MSP, unless some of them re-examine their consciences before today’s vote.
I find myself lost for words in the face of such actions, and feel a deep sense of sadness that fellow Scots can come to this in the name of politics.