Vin ordinaire comes to Australia and the wowsers are fuming

France has had very cheap rough red like this for centuries without degenerating into a mass of drunks so why is it a problem for Australia? The only difference is that the Australian drop is a lot less ordinaire. Dan Murphy's cleanskins are pretty good

Health advocates want the price of alcohol capped at a minimum with a major liquor chain now selling bottles of wine for just $2 a bottle. Liquor giant Dan Murphy's promotion means its cleanskins are selling for 25 cents per standard drink.

Health campaigners say grog discounting has gone too far and insist a government-imposed price minimum should be considered. The Australian Drug Foundation's alcohol director Geoff Munro said heavy drinkers consumed more as prices fell. "It's not appropriate to treat alcohol as though it belongs in a $2 shop,'' Mr Munro said. "It's now cheaper than water.'' "This indicates that goverments should explore introducing aminimum price for alcohol.''

Wine has a 13 per cent concentration while alcopops - which have been hit with a controversial new tax - have concentrations of between five and nine per cent.

Mr Munro said cheap drinks encourged excess consumption. "Heavy drinkers will drink more as the price comes down,'' he said. "To be selling bottles of wine for less than $2 is going to encourage heavy drinkers, and possibly underage people, to consume more.'' "The price will make wine much more attractive to young people and we need to monitor that situation given that alcopops have increased in price with the tax.''

In Britain, a major supermarket chain had called for a floor price on booze, saying it is the only way to stop competitive discounting among retailers. Scotland is planning a floor price per unit of alcohol, based on concentration, to beat its binge drinking problem.


NOTE for overseas readers: "Wowser" is a traditional Australian term for temperance campaigners and killjoys of all sorts. Their headquarters used to be the Methodist church but Australia wisely abolished that church a quarter of a century ago. Such people now seem to infest the Salvation Army

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

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