I READ with interest Max Cruickshank’s excellent long letter (May 9) on the alcohol industry and its power. Big businesses – and they don’t come much bigger than drinks companies – have massive power in our capitalist society. Alcohol has long been peddled as a means of subduing (mainly) working people ... keeping them quiet and compliant, not to mention dependent on the product.

Consider the tax take: with every drink consumed, money is floated to the Westminster coffers. As if we didn’t pay enough tax already, an embedded drinking culture is an easy way of milking yet more cash from us. The smooth, flashy adverts on TV tell us how fabulous our lives will be if only we invest in their product. They don’t show the drunk-driving stats or the domestic violence perpetrated by people under the influence. The hypocrisy in criminalising tobacco use while giving free rein to drinks firms is typical of cynical politicians.

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I don’t see our drinking culture changing much, despite the well-intentioned pricing legislation brought in by the Scottish Government – the habit of throwing our hard-earned cash away on drink is too ingrained in our society. Pity.

Jim Butchart
via email