Such a grandiose title leads to great expectations, and sure enough we will have a panel of experts and another of politicians, for all the world resembling an Any Questions media event, or even a hustings. So can we expect an inclusive meeting, where we all get to suggest how to overcome our national tobacco and alcohol issues?
Well – no. Only some of us get in, for a start.
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The Whisky and Spirits Trade Association spokesman Gavin Partington understandably has difficulty in having his industry treated by Alcohol Focus Scotland in the same way as ASH Scotland treats the tobacco industry. While I have sympathy (it is not nice to be sidelined from vital discussions about your industry's future), he has perhaps failed to realise how little of the health industry's agenda is about health. But it's perhaps hard to realise this without being at the sharp end of official efforts to exclude you from industry policy discussions and denormalise the users of your product.
I'll say it again: policy is a matter of reconciling interests. Policy isn't satisfactory when participants, the most knowledgeable players, are left out. There is no legitimate interest in keeping people out of health policy, be they doctors or tobacco magnates. Above all, public discussion should be open.
Well done to the Herald, for reporting the only newsworthy fact about this policy summit that has hit the mainstream media so far. The Scotsman can go to the bottom of the class.