Thursday, 1 April 2010

Licence to drink

In yet another attack on drinkers, The Publican reports that the government are planning to introduce drinking licences as a means of curbing binge-drinking and alcohol-related disorder.

As part of a move to cut binge-drinking the government is proposing that pub customers carry a card licensing them to drink outside their own homes.

The Publican has seen draft documents apparently drawn up by pubs minister John Healey in which he outlined proposals to ensure anyone over the age of 18 entering a pub carries the credit card-sized ‘drinking licence’.

Sources within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport confirmed that such a customer licensing proposal had been discussed with a view to tackling the UK’s binge-drinking culture.
“We are looking at several ways to curb irresponsible drinking, and this is just one of the options on the table.

“If everyone who wants to drink in a pub carries a licence of the sort we are considering, it will make the job of policing trouble-spots that much easier,” the source said.

Of course, in fact this was an April Fool. But, when we have seen genuine proposals to require people to obtain an official permit to buy cigarettes, and to be issued with personal alcohol ration cards, it is too close to the truth to be funny. In a few years’ time, will I be saying “You read it here first”?

Edit: And this is post #500! :-)


  1. I confess I didn't spot this as an April Fool. It has the ring of officialdom.

  2. Must admit, reading through various blogg sites, and newspapers web sites, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell if it is an "April fool" or not.

    Is there ANYONE out there that would trust the "Government" NOT to come up with such a proposal?

    Todays joke is increasingly becoming tomorows law!

  3. It's not that far fetched.

    They are, in all seriousness, talking about "personal carbon allowances" so why not this?

    They also love coming up with excuses why we need ID cards, one of them being that 'young people' will be able to prove their age when they go in the pub.

    And I'm quite sure that some of the bansturbators came up with a plan that you'd need a certificate from your doctor to be able to buy cigarettes.

  4. Yes, the idea of a smoking licence has definitely been proposed by Julian Le Grand.

    And from there, as with so many other things, it's only a short step to an alcohol licence.

  5. And I knew I'd seen a serious proposal for drinking licences somewhere before. It really isn't a joke any more.

  6. Five years ago,saying smoking would
    be illegal in every pub in Britain
    would also have been treated as the
    ranting of a scaremongerer..
    The Budget seem to imply a penny on a pint.
    My local Robinsons(Stockport Brewery) put 10 on a pint april 1st
    so I drank one pint less than normal and went home early.
    Two friends turned round went out and bought 2 eight packs of Stella
    and proceeded to a house party ,
    saved £20 and could smoke as well

    On July 1st 2007 I paid £2.05p
    for a Pint of Guinness in the same pub,yesterday £2.95 a pint.
    Inflation? or just to make up for the "new" custom that never materialised.

    Reality Fan

  7. I think you pub-goers worry too much about drink restrictions affecting pubs. There is one huge difference between tobacco and alcohol. It is very easy to make your own alcohol. The Government is not able to ban sugar and yeast and so cannot make alcohol much more expensive to buy, either in pubs or shops. The smoking ban has been disastrous for pubs. The Government now realises that pub closures are a vote loser and so would not introduce measures which would encourage people to brew their own or buy from shops, rather than visit pubs. Whether from pubs or shops, alcohol has to remain reasonably priced or else Boots will be selling winemaking equipment once again.


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