In recent weeks there have been a few examples of representatives of anti-alcohol groups such as Don Shenker of Alcohol Concern praising the “controlled drinking environment” of the traditional pub. Of course this is just weasel words, as in reality they are playing divide and rule with the drinks trade, and their underlying objective is to see, if not total prohibition, then a massive fall in alcohol consumption and the number of pubs, and an equally massive rise in the price of drink.
But you don’t have to scratch very far below the surface to appreciate that they don’t really have a clue what pubs are all about. Take, for example, this ludicrous call from so-called “alcohol expert” Dr Lynn Owens for pubs in Liverpool City Centre to be turned into cafés. This breezily ignores the basic economic principle that the market will provide the kind of outlets that people want. If there was a demand for cafés, there would be cafés. And what right has she, who has probably never run a business in her life, to seek to dictate what kind of businesses there should be? Perhaps next she’ll be demanding that tanning salons be replaced with wholefood shops.
There’s more evening food served in pubs now than at any time in living memory – just look in your local Wetherspoon’s – plus a huge rise in the number of restaurants in city centres. The world has changed, and in reality we have a lot more of that café culture than many give credit for.
These people just don’t get the idea of “going out for a drink”, and never will, and stories like this just serve to underline why there’s no point in trying to compromise or reason with them. They also seem to have no time for the concept of letting others live their lives as they see fit.
(h/t Dick Puddlecote)