In a rare outbreak of common sense, ministers are axing plans for a minimum alcohol price. The hardest-up and responsible drinkers would have been clobbered, with supermarket booze rising sharply. It was always a misguided solution to alcohol abuse. It is not the job of governments to set shop prices.
Sun editorial, 12 March
Even if the case for drink pricing were not medically overwhelming, it is obvious that any decent person would prefer to be on the same side of an argument as Dr Sarah Wollaston, the admirable Totnes MP, as opposed to the wheedling teen-poisoners of the drinks industry.
Catherine Bennett, Observer, 17 March
The mentality and behaviour of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help they have no hope.
Russell Brand, Guardian, 9 March
Increasingly, the shame is being taken out of poor-shaming. It didn’t seem so long ago that most people would think twice about denigrating fellow citizens who were having a hard time. These days, it appears to have been sanctioned as a new national bloodsport, regularly slipping under the PC-radar as little else manages to.
Barbara Ellen, Observer, 3 March
This is the tedious narrative. Poverty is sinful, and it must be punished… And so the state must shrink to a nub, because the humans who need it don’t deserve it. Not that the government will say this publicly yet; it is still better, at this stage, to lie to parliament, to the media, to us all.
Tanya Gold, Guardian, 25 March
Still the welfare bill keeps rising though the coalition has repeatedly pledged to reduce it… Work must be seen to pay and a life on welfare must be made to seem infinitely less attractive than it does now. Until that fundamental change occurs, the bills will keep going up.
Express editorial, 26 March
Many of today’s parents smoked weed; quite a few will have snorted coke, but nervously, in a nightclub loo. For their children, however, the taboo against drugs is weaker than at any time since Victorian ladies injected themselves with morphine at tea parties.
Damian Thompson, Telegraph, 2 March
If drug ‘addicts’ can give up their drugs by using self-control, then ‘addiction’ doesn’t exist. They can stop if they want to. Obvious, isn’t it? Not to my old foe Russell Brand, now pontificating grandly on the subject in the Spectator, the Guardian and the Sun. This alleged comedian, in his designer rags, is fast becoming the voice of the Establishment. Perhaps the Tory Party – in its endless quest to be fashionable – could skip another generation, and make him its next leader.
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 10 March
The brutal indifference towards the bedroom tax indelibly shames ConDem ministers… Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith married money and lives in wife Betsy’s ancestral home, with its swimming pool and tennis court. He should hang his head in shame for the pain he’ll inflict on families which are less fortunate than his own.
Kevin Maguire, Mirror, 6 March