A health adviser to the government has formulated a cunning plan to tackle the UK's binge drinking epidemic which some claim has seen this green and pleasant land converted into a booze-fuelled version of a bad Saturday night in the Democratic Republic of Congo - simply ban the sale of alcohol in supermarkets.
According to the Telegraph, professor Julian le Grand, the chairman of Health England, insisted consumers should be obliged to make a "conscious decision" to buy a drop of the hard stuff "by going into a different shop" rather than having cut-price "adult candy" temptingly presented to them as they trudge round the aisles.
He said: "I am in favour of separate alcohol outlets. Certain states in the United States and certain provinces in Canada have separate stores. I would probably ban supermarkets from selling alcohol altogether."
Professor le Grand also called for a dramatic price hike for drink, noting: "The price of alcohol, particularly of the kind that is directed at the young such as alcopops, has been disgracefully low."
The retail industry has reacted with predictable anger at the ban proposal. Andrew Opie, director of nosh at the British Retail Consortium, decried: "This is ridiculous. No one buys alcohol accidentally. Supermarkets have the best record on preventing under age sales and are helping to drive a culture of sensible drinking."
The good prof is making a bit of a name for himself with his attempts to save the UK from itself. Back in October last year, he proposed a £200 annual licence for smokers, a suggestion which took a bit of a shoeing, according to the Telegraph. ®