So, with all their beautiful labels and bottles under threat, the Scots are finally waking up to their government’s plans to kill off any pleasure and profit to be had from alcohol, one of their leading exports and industries.

Following calls for tobacco-style regulation on the promotion and packaging of booze, the Herald reports that a former government advisor on licensing – backed by craft brewers and distillers, as well as the nation’s big players – has intervened.

Jack Cummins has warned such moves would not just lead to unforeseen consequences in society (as the baccy ban has). They would also consign all the glorious brands and traditions that are so much a part of national life to a sort of ‘sin bin’, unable to distinguish themselves and obstructing the discriminating drinker from exercising his taste and choice.

Cummins said calls on the government to implement promotion-bans and plain-packaging would lead to laws as ‘liberal [as those of] North Korea’. In response, craft distiller Paul Miller was by comparison restrained, merely saying that his aim was to encourage greater appreciation of alcohol, not its ‘functional’ consumption.

But neither cut any ice with Monica Lennon, MSP who insisted ministers should ‘get on with implementing the recommendations’.

Of course, those neo-Calvinist Scots have form in this department. We have reported before on the Glasgow MP calling for plain packaging on baby milk (honestly). And we’ve already pointed out that Holyrood’s plans for minimum pricing on alcohol are impracticable, economically illiterate and an invitation to crime.

No matter. With the implementation of anti-smoking laws, these little Hitlers have seen that they can treat every consumable as a potentially harmful drug. One day, you’ll need a prescription in Edinburgh for a pint of lager and a packet of crisps.

Come back, Doctor Findlay!

by Robert King