Saturday, 23 January 2010

Head still firmly stuck in sand

Here’s more of the usual delusional nonsense from CAMRA in this press release by Iain Loe: Missed opportunity to support pubs

However, there is nothing in the measures to ensure that these pubs will still be around in years to come when 52 pubs close their doors each week across the UK.
Now why do you think all those pubs might be closing in a way they never did before, Iain? Here’s a crossword clue: Reason for mass pub closures in Britain (7,3). So what did you do to fight it? Oh, nothing. So don’t be surprised at the results.
Minimum alcohol unit pricing would not hit the responsible drinker as claimed by Government.
So are you saying that every single person who has ever bought some off-trade alcohol for consumption at home for less than 50p a unit is an irresponsible drinker? Really?


  1. Re smoking ban: "This has been debated elsewhere ad nauseam". Who said this? Step forward ... Curmudgeon.

  2. RedNev: I give you this article from The Publican 2006

    "UK pub turnover to hit five-year peak in 2006

    Pub numbers are expected to increase by one per cent in 2006 to 60,331, according to the group, continuing the trend for growth in the number of pubs recorded each year since a three per cent decline in 2002."

    Supermarket prices in 2006 - about the same as now. Pub prices in 2006 - not much different from now.

    Northern Rock collapsed in early 2008, signalling the start of the recession.

    Pub closures in 2007 - 1409

    Whaddya think?

  3. What's your point? It's not as obvious as you seem to think it is. We've got a world recession and anyone who thinks it's had no impact on pubs is burying their heads in the sand. All kinds of businesses unrelated to the pub industry are going bust, unemployment is much higher than a couple of years ago, so to take the simplistic view that all pub closures are entirely due to the smoking ban is frankly myopic.

    But my point was NOT to comment on the smoking ban, but to point out that Curmudgeon has dismissed debate on this issue on my blog saying, "This has been debated elsewhere ad nauseam", and yet raises this (apparently) nauseating topic again.

  4. @RedNev

    Your argument is getting a bit tedious and repetitive, mate.

  5. Oh for heaven's sake, Curmudgeon, open your eyes: your last comment applies more to you than to me. You never stop banging on about the smoking ban. I challenge you to run your blog without mentioning the smoking ban for the next six months. Whether you agree or not, I'll do the same on mine.

  6. Red Nev
    Here we go again,somebody who
    wants the blogsites to only
    print what they want to read.
    At least Curmy is stating the
    blatantly obvious for the MAJORITY
    of closures.
    Get real and get your head out of
    froth or sand

    Earth Dweller

  7. "What's your point?"

    The point is that is quite clear that smoking bans close pubs in large numbers. The figures prove this conclusively.

    There was no global recession in 2004 when Ireland enacted their ban, yet they lost 15% of urban pubs and 25% of rural pubs in the following year.

    When Scotlad were suffering a ban a year before England, AC Nielsen studied pub closure losses north and south of the border. They concluded that 80% of Scottish pub losses were down to the smoking ban. England was a perfect control group and, again, no recession to muddy the waters for ban fans.

    "It's not as obvious as you seem to think it is. We've got a world recession and anyone who thinks it's had no impact on pubs is burying their heads in the sand"

    Well, the stats prove that it really is that obvious. In Ireland, Scotland and England.

    Tell me again. How does a global recession, which didn't materialise until 2008, kill off the Jolly Shillelagh in Ireland in 2004, the Happy Jock in 2006, and the Red Lion or the Dog & Duck in 2007?

    Keep clutching those straws Nev. ;-)

  8. As the s****** b** is one of the key themes of this blog, I don't think I'll be shutting up about it any day soon. It would be like not mentioning beer!

    Obviously you don't have to read it if it annoys you - I don't suppose, for example, that you're a regular follower of Frank Davis' blog.

  9. I'll just repeat myself: I was NOT commenting on the smoking ban (so most of the comments directed at me above have missed the point), but was stating that Curmudgeon had dismissed debate on this issue on my blog with the words, "This has been debated elsewhere ad nauseam", and yet has raised it again himself. One rule for me, apparently, and another for him. In case that still isn't clear, I was pointing out an example of what I see as double standards.

    As for those of you who throw a hissy fit every time someone has the damned cheek not to agree with every nuance of your position on smoking, you remind me of the looney lefties I used to come across occasionally when I was active in my union. Their attitude too was "you're either for us or against us", and they aggressively denounced any views they didn't like. Ring any bells?

  10. Lets have a round of applause for
    the heroic stalwarts of the anti
    smoking ,pro-ban brigade.
    Do they get a thrill, a surge of
    pride,a feeling of victory when they see old soldiers ,wet through in the British Legion car parks,
    when they stroll past elderly ladies
    huddled outside Bingo Halls,young
    women leaning against pub walls,
    the disabled wheeled out into
    freezing back yards,workers bunched
    around waste bins,their own friends
    and relatives treated like vermin.
    Are they really men or are they
    just puppets obeying the dogmas
    flaunted by the Establishment's
    Department of Control.

    Bless 'em. Roll on the Day of Reckoning

    Ps Can anyone name ONE PUB closed
    by the recession

    Saxon Observer

  11. "Ps Can anyone name ONE PUB closed
    by the recession"

    Er, yes. Unlike the smoking ban!

    (Too easy that one. Too easy by far)

  12. Nev: I wouldn't ever try to oppose everything you say about the smoking ban. I am just exasperated by the general CAMRA view (as I have witnessed it) that seems to suggest that no pubs are closing as a result, which is quite clearly not the case.

    As I said, it's the very opposite, the figures are stark and unarguable, yet there is little acknowledgment of stats which are infinitely more persuasive than the passive smoking studies which led us to this illiberal state of affairs.

    Funny you should mention lefties and their insistence on 100% compliance though. The fact that Labour refused to allow even one pub in the country to be exempted would seem to prove that your point on loony socialists, who cannot tolerate differing options, is correct. ;-)

    Tyson: Twas indeed. :-)

  13. Oh, come on. Nobody, but nobody, could seriously describe this government as socialists. Let alone loony socialists. Talk about wearing your prejudice on your sleeve. I know libertarians are extreme, but you'd have to have gone so far right that you'd fallen off planet earth to really believe that.

    Whether they were right or wrong with the smoking ban, it certainly had nothing to do with being "loony sociialists".

    And they say Libertarians don't have a sense of humour:)

  14. On the contrary, Tyson. Labour's MO is distinctly loony left.

    Admittedly their economic policy has been centrist for a while, even perhaps right of centre at times, but that evaporated once the recession hit and 'Old' Labour re-emerged.

    The control and dictatorial attitude towards personal choices of their citizens is perfectly commensurate with the methods of the historical left.

    The idea that soshies know better than those who wish to live their lives as they deem fit is incredibly socialist and a staple of left wing governments throughout history.

    Control, hypocrisy of the governors, it's all there. Just as it was in Russia (at least they left alcohol alone until restrictions led to their downfall under Gorbachev) and still is in China. It's just a matter of how far they are allowed to go.

    BDSM pics amongst consenting adults banned in the UK? That's dictatorial lefty Labour. The IWF banning 1970s album covers for UK internet users? Socialist, we know better than you control.

    Ignoring manifesto commitments and ignoring the majority of the public? Stalin would have been proud. Valuing other people's health 'for the good of the state' over and above liberty and freedom of choice? Pure socialist thinking.

    Sorry, even Tony Benn wouldn't have gone as far as this lot.

    They are left as left can get. Fortunately for us, extremist governments, whether right or left, never last too long once they show their true colours, and we can but hope that the GE kicks them out for a generation to reflect, as the Tories were forced to in 1997.

    Perhaps then they will realise that oppressing large sections of society doesn't fit well with democracy and freedom, unless you have carte blanche like the Chinese. Another 5 years of this lot and we'll be further down that road.

  15. Well I gave you the chance to come up with some good examples of socialist dictatorship and “loony left” thinking-and there is some, but please. Russia? China? Is that the best you’ve got? The Bolsheviks separated themselves from Socialism long before they came to power and throwing China in the hat is plain laughable.

    Funny how you reckon they’ve gone to the left of (shudder) Tony Benn, but he doesn’t think so and neither does anyone else. So we’re back to only you thinking of them as “loony left”. Certainly after the dropping of Clause IV, no student of politics could accuse Labour of being Socialist in any serious sense. As I said, by all means call them authoritarian etc, but don’t wheel out the old “loony left” clichés. You’re better than that.

    “The idea that soshies know better than those who wish to live their lives as they deem fit is incredibly socialist and a staple of left wing governments throughout history.”

    I think you’ll find ALL governments think they know best-it’s certainly not confined to any one breed of politics.

    “BDSM pics amongst consenting adults banned in the UK? That's dictatorial lefty Labour.”

    Is it really? It’s dangerous to play the historical blame game, but hey, let’s play. A look back in anger shows that far from being dictatorial left policies, these erosions in liberty have their roots in the barking Right and illustrates on just which side of the bed the present government likes to lay its head.

    Let’s see. The ending of theatre censorship, the decriminalisation of homosexuality, legal abortion. All came about under old school socialist Labour as I recall. Perfect, they’re not, but at least I’ve never had my collar felt (there’s still time) under this government for exercising personal liberty. And yet, under that great champion of the individual-Mr’s T-and her successors, the Old Bill were always breathing down my neck.

    Let’s see. Under Mr’s T and her bastard offspring we got restrictions on the right of assembly, Section 28, compulsory wearing of seat belts and a crackdown on sex shops and brothels. Not to mention the largest piece of censorship for a millennium-the 1984 Video Recording Act. People were jailed for breaching that Act. Then last year, to add insult to injury, we discover it wasn’t ever lawfully enacted. So they weren’t even competent censors!

    Any mistakes Labour might make are their own, if not actually a version of 21st century Rightism and are as far from the left as you are. Well nearly, anyway:)

  16. Fair points, except this ...

    "Perfect, they’re not, but at least I’ve never had my collar felt (there’s still time) under this government for exercising personal liberty"

    I have, which means you haven't been active for a while. And strangely enough, that is entirely my beef with CAMRA. ;-)

  17. Well I'm not as quick on my heels as I used to be, but I suspect we choose to exercise different aspects of perosnal liberty anyway:) Have to say, though, it's not as easy to get collared as it used to be for soem things-it's a long time since I've been pulled up for not wearing a seat belt, for example.


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