Whisky
The SWA's challenge is doing democracy a service. [Reuters]

Yesterday, Evelyn Gillan of Alcohol Focus Scotland wrote for the Scotsman under the headline "No good reason to delay setting minimum price on alcohol".

As you can imagine, considering her choice of title is already a lie in itself, the main body of the article was merely cherry-picked scaremongery, interspersed with carefully selected half-truths, statistical chicanery, emotional blackmail and wild misrepresentation of the potential benefits of minimum alcohol pricing. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that one of the modern plague of professional single-interest mouthpieces omitted entirely the much-studied, and widely accepted, benefits of alcohol.

But this part is stand-out, mind-blowing, 'nurse bring the pills' propaganda worthy of some backward banana republic:

By seeking to delay this vital health measure through legal challenge, the Scotch Whisky Association and its European counterparts are following their colleagues in the tobacco industry in putting profit before the public interest and showing a blatant disregard for the democratic process.

This is the chief executive of a body which is paid by the Scottish Government to lobby, err, the Scottish Government. There can surely be no greater abuse of democratic process than that.

By contrast, the Scotch Whisky Association is taking its case through the Scottish court system, which is recognised as an integral part of the democratic process in any respectable jurisdiction, and whose many roles include that of holding poor government to account. Judiciaries in responsible nations throughout the world have often ruled their parliaments to have broken their own laws, and sometimes the result has been historically significant.

The very fact that the SWA has a right to do as they are doing this week is proof that Scotland hasn't yet irretrievably slipped into an abyss of oligarchical dictatorship. 

In Evelyn Gillan's ideal world, it presumably wouldn't matter if the very few Holyrood representatives were proposing to burn all Catholics or bring back slavery; any opposition to the primacy of politicians (who pay her) is an attack on democracy. Government should be free to pass legislation and there should be no comeback, no appeal. Nothing. If you run to the courts, you're a dangerous subversive. 

There is only one person in this article who can be said to be attempting to blatantly disregard democratic process, and that is the author.

Dick Puddlecote is a roundly libertarian blogger with a particular dislike of social engineering policies.