As I have pointed out previously, you can buy a bottle of 37.5% vodka in supermarkets for under £7. In alcohol terms this is equal to 12 or 13 pints of standard beer, and when you work out the pub price of that, it’s obvious where those who simply want to get completely legless are likely to go.
For many people, their local is like a club where they know the staff and other customers, where they are greeted by name, and can meet their friends. In contrast, drinking cheap supermarket booze at home on your own is a much less attractive activity and for vulnerable people likely to lead to worse binge drinking through isolation and depression.
Is this what “New” Labour really wants? Secret, unregulated binge drinking at home? Or sociable controlled drinking in company in pubs? The tax regime favoured by “New” Labour actively encourages the former.