Alcohol is firmly back in the sights of the disgruntled medical profession, following the surprise defeat of their much-touted scheme to outlaw killer chocolate in Scotland.
The government's Chief Killjoy, Sir Liam Donaldson, has today suggested that alcoholic drinks should carry a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol, in a poorly thought-out attempt to stop people from drinking themselves into an alcoholic grave, accompanied on their way by sporadic bouts of random violence and insensibility.
"Our Scottish counterparts failed in their attempts to outlaw chocolate because they foolishly forgot that most doctors nowadays are women," said Sir Liam. "And women - ever women doctors - will never vote to ban chocolate, which is better than sex, even if it is mildly poisonous."
The government is said to be very interested in the proposals, not least because any increase in the price of alcohol would be accompanied by a commensurate increase in the tax the government can rake in.
It has been widely reported that a bottle of wine would go up from £2.99 to £4.50, hitting moderate, middle-class drinkers like you and me in the pockets. Less well-covered, however, is the fact that a pint of cheap lager - the fuel of choice for the typical moron lying in the street - would actually come down to about £1.50 under Sir Liam's pricing scheme. This would hit off-sales of cooking lager in supermarkets, leading to a drop in shouting at the footy on the telly on council estates; however, it would represent a considerable saving on pub prices, promising a vast increase in exactly the kind of suicidal binge-drinking that the medical profession claims to be so keen to stamp out.
When it was pointed out to Sir Liam that his bright idea would see the price of a standard bottle of whisky soar to a staggering £42 he turned white, drained the contents of his hip flask in one gulp and headed off to Threshers to stock up before Gordon Brown did something stupid, like following his advice.
It is widely expected that the next target of opportunity for the medical profession to take a vindictive pop at will be sandwiches, mineral water or possibly Cadbury's Creme Eggs.