Something must be done.
Twelve days ago, Labour's justice spokesperson in Holyrood, Richard Baker, described the SNP's drink proposals, including a minimum price for alcohol as "unfair, unworkable and unsupportable" at present. Despite concerns about European legality, presumably raised by the supermarkets, the UK Chief Medical Officer today floated a similar approach on behalf of the Labour government.
Moving on from Labour's internal problems ("they never write, they never call"), I'm not convinced that a 50p per unit price would deter many people, and the main problem still appears to be the widespread flouting of existing licensing laws. Until that legislation is properly implemented, which even brave Kenny Macaskill seems unable or unwilling to deliver, there's little point changing its scope.
No-one's arguing about the problems drink causes, but this idea looks like Yes Prime Minister logic. Something must be done. This is something. Therefore it must be done.
There is one credible argument in favour, though. Good beer will always cost more than that. Dire chemical-tasting cooking lager is all that can undercut it. Perhaps we should instead set a minimum quality for drink?
Update: See also Macnumpty's take on this.