Sunday, 20 June 2010

Beer is the lifeblood

Or so it should be, according to Simon Heffer.

I know drinking gets a bad press in other contexts these days. Anyone who ventures into our town centres on a weekend evening will see that it is justified. The establishments that service the binge-drinkers are not, in my definition, pubs: they are impersonal drinking factories where no conversation is possible, and where you will certainly not see men in cloth caps playing cribbage or dominoes. I wish the government would persecute these people instead of the harmless, moderate social drinkers. Let them sate their desires by imposing routine four-figure fines on those who behave badly after drinking. Let them remove the licence from, and fine, any establishment that serves them when drunk. The problem would soon stop.

Just as tyrants like Hitler created the impression that all nationalism was racist and evil, so binge drinkers and alcohol abusers offer apparently convincing evidence that all drinking is harmful and must be curtailed. Yet there is a positive, and socially important, drinking culture in our countryside that is focused upon the rural pub. I do hope that no government will be stupid enough to damage that, and rip the heart out of our villages.
One can imagine the joyless Puritans of New Labour taking delight in ripping the heart out of rural England. But, come on Dave, you’re supposed to be a Conservative. If you do it, you will never be forgiven in the Shires.


  1. Excellent stuff: will repost - at last, some clarity of thought.

  2. If only they'd enforce the laws we've got, rather than pretending they're doing something "successful" by creating more laws.

  3. I remember someone's signature on a web forum - "We have more and more laws, and less and less enforcement".

  4. "But, come on Dave, you’re supposed to be a Conservative. If you do it, you will never be forgiven in the Shires."

    I don't see why this would matter to him as the monied classes aren't big pub users.

  5. I bet a lot of the 33,973 people who voted for Cameron in Witney are, though.

  6. Martin, Cambridge21 June 2010 at 22:28

    Indeed PC, the proper pub seemed to be alive and well on a recent (pre-World Cup) visit to Witney and surrounds.

    Most of the pubs in the town seemed to be wet-led, good locals. Some areas of the country seem to support pubs more than others, perhaps due to disposable income but more likely due to the use of the pub as a social centre.


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