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By Ray Fleming

ED Miliband's mocking wit can be very effective at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Yesterday, after listening to David Cameron trying to disguise the fact that plans for a legal minimum unit price for alcoholic drinks are likely to be dropped, Miliband asked: “Could the prime minister tell us, is there anything he could organise in a brewery?” Mr Cameron had asked for it. He was initially fully behind the idea of a minimum price as a way of reducing alcoholism and its cost to the country for necessary medical treatment, but he has recently met strong opposition in the Cabinet from the Home Secretary Theresa May, the Leader of the House Andrew Lansley, Education Secretary Michael Gove, and others who believe that regulation would be discriminatory and difficult to enforce. The evasive line now being taken by Downing Street is that further studies are necessary. Under the draft plan the minimum price in England and Wales would be 45p per unit -- 20p more than the cost of cheap beer currently widely available in UK supermarkets. Scotland is thinking of 50p. Yesterday the British Medical Association encouraged Mr Cameron “to be courageous and take this once in a lifetime opportunity to save lives and money”. It would, they said, be “bizarre to let it wither”. Not really, not bizarre. Just this prime minister's penchant for U-turns.