Given that Michael Gove is reported as leading the charge against Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol I thought it may be helpful to point to his views (see page 21) on the use of evidence for developing policy.
Gove says that he is a fan of evidence based policy and points to the report that Ben Goldacre produced for the Cabinet Office calling for more rigour in the evaluation of social policy. But he adds a caveat:
it is outside my bailiwick, but there was a discussion in the last Parliament between Alan Johnson and Professor Nutt about drugs policy. The professor said, “This is the evidence for the effect of drugs”, and Alan Johnson said, “That is fine. I am the politician, I am responsible. I have taken account of it, but I take a different view.” I think it is possible to do that. On the whole I prefer to rely on the evidence.
With thanks to my Mentor colleague Liam for pointing me at the quote.