Monday, September 08, 2008

Five a day

When the government suggested implementing a smoking ban that would include pubs they were warned that this would have disastrous consequences for the great British pub - and so it has.

Pubs are now closing nine times faster than in 2006 and 18 times faster than in 2005, the figures, compiled by market researcher CGA Strategy, show. A total of 1,409 pubs closed during 2007.

These are not the town centre drinking warehouses which are closing - flashy, noisy, soulless places full of flashy, noisy, soulless people drinking themselves into a stupor as quickly as possible. The ones that are closing are the pubs which were, once, the social centres of communities and neighbourhoods - the village pub and the pub on the corner. Places where it was once possible to meet your neighbours - not necessarily the ones next door - and have civilised discussions over a Sunday lunchtime pint of ale and a cigar.

I'm sure many people will not be bothered by the loss of the great British pub, but I am. They are a vital part of British culture and heritage the loss of which will be sorely missed as a civilising influence and social gathering place. Their demise will only speed up the break down of communities and lead to an ever more fractured society.


JuliaM said...

Don't think you can stay home and have a quiet fag there for too much longer, either....

Stan said...

Well it's a short, but inevitable step in my opinion. I don't actually smoke, but I'm tempted to start just to give two fingers to the nannying nazis. S'funny - the two finger salute is supposed to originate from the Battle of Agincourt when English archers showed the French that they still had their arrow holding fingers intact. The modern myth could be smokers demonstrating that they can still hold their fags!

TheFatBigot said...

Another fine example of how a baseless theory is turned into a nannying law without a sideways glance at the consequences to real people and real lives.

As always with "progressive" policies it is the poorest who lose out. Did they give a thought to Bert and Fred whose weekly treat was Saturday at the Swan and Ferret with one pint they bought and two bought for them by other villagers? Bert and Fred have smoked all their lives, it's part of their culture and it goes with their pint, it goes with their game of darts, it goes with their old tales told to the others who have heard them fifty times before but listen because they see the pleasure the old boys have in telling them.

I want to know where the people are who were prevented from going to pubs because of smoke. They figured large in the debates, a mass of unpubbed folk desperate to spend an evening in the local but put off by puffing health hazards. Pure oratorical fiction.

Result? Nowhere for Bert and Fred to go except each other's houses where they talk to each other and no one else.

Appalling puritan bullies, the lot of them.