Which ever side of the argument you sit on over the thorny issue of raising alcohol prices with the aim of reducing excess alcohol use, you have to be impressed with the SNP's willingness to take the issue on, make unpopular decisions and not shirk the responsibilities that come with the trappings of office.
I heard a member of the alcoholics excuse group (also known as The Portman Group), an organisation funded by alcohol producers to ... erm ... well let's be clear, their job is simply to promote alcohol whilst pretending to want people to drink less or, as they say "drink responsibly". This is the same group that tells publicans to promote very alcoholic cider by "pouring it in a long class with ice". Anyway, I heard him wetting himself with fright on the radio this morning because the Portman Group will now be found out one way or the other.
If Scotland does see a fall in alcohol related illness, if alcohol consumption does drop north of the border and the SNP are proven to be right, then the credibility of the Portman group will be destroyed.
If, however, alcohol consumption does not change and the only result of the price increases is more people paying more and the SNP suffering a backlash the SNP can, in the short term, rely on the unpopularity of the Labour Party and can expect to retain much of their support for this simple reason.
So although it appears to be a gamble, the SNP really don't have much to lose and, more than anything else, it shows them to be willing to take risks and think the unthinkable.
So I raise my glass to them with cheap English bought Port. Cheers !