Sunday, 20 May 2012
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
I put my tuppence worth in on the Call Kaye programme on Radio Scotland this morning Call Kaye 10th Nov. 2010 first with Henry McLeish at the 19 minute mark, and secondly with Dr. Richard Simpson at the 29 minute mark.
The sound quality on my contribution was poor because my freedom phone battery was running low, and I unforgivably missed Kay’s query, after I said that I had spent 14 years in the alcohol industry - “In what capacity, Peter?”
I could have told her that it was as Personnel Director, Scottish Brewers, the wholesale trading operation of what was then Scottish & Newcastle and is now Scottish Courage. I also know the industry intimately as a management consultant and management trainer in the Scottish whisky industry for over twelve years, a lot of it with Diageo.
I was also born and brought up 100 yards or so away from Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow, and since the Tennent family have been brewing on the Wellpark site since about 1550, and are very close to Glasgow Cathedral and even closer to the Molendinar Burn where Fergus order Mungo to build a church, that makes me the Glasgow equivalent of a London cockney – born within sniffing distance of hops, malt and barley. But my first teenage drink was a McEwans screwtop …
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
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.