View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 2 March 2009

Monday 2 March

Pretty dismal day, with frequent showers, a stiff breeze and lowering temperatures. The sun tries to put in an appearance, but that doesn't really help.

Some good news this morning, in that the Scottish Government has announced it will act against the availability of cut-price alcohol. Alcohol mis-use is a major problem in Scotland, causing costs at least £4oo million a year for the NHS alone, not to mention the misery and death associated with it. In some shops, alcohol costs less than mineral water. The Scottish Government now seeks to introduce a minimum unit price and encourages a minimum age for purchasing alcohol of 21 - for local authorities to decide. A social responsibility fee will be levied on supermarkets. Of course, not everybody is happy about that. In certain quarters, getting drunk out of your mind is a rite of passage, and having that postponed to 21, tut.