Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Forever changes

Recently, another blogger, who shall remain nameless, berated me (indirectly) for having a “fear of change” and displaying a negative attitude towards what he regarded as positive developments in the licensed trade. He didn’t extend the courtesy of linking directly to me, so I will reciprocate.

Perhaps I am guilty of being resistant to change, but isn’t that what a curmudgeon is supposed to do anyway? If you don’t like what it says on the can, don’t reach for the tin-opener.

But I think at times the nostalgic aspect of this blog rather passes people by. I may well think it’s a sad thing that the Colliers Arms at Hartshead Pike is no longer with us, but I wouldn’t hold it out as a model of how a pub should be run in 2011. And (whisper it softly) I may occasionally be guilty of exaggerating a tad for effect.

Back in 2003 I wrote a piece musing on change, in which I said:
Change is an unavoidable feature of life, and it often seems that the pace of change gets ever faster. It’s also part of human nature that as you grow older, you will recall with regret the things that have been lost, while viewing with suspicion any new-fangled innovations. Thus people become, well, a touch curmudgeonly. People’s view of the world tends to be formed in the period when they entered the world as young adults, and they view any deviation from that state of affairs in a negative light.
And to some extent that will always hold true.

But it often seems to me that those berating others for “fear of change” are themselves just as guilty of cherrypicking between those changes they approve of, and those they don’t. You wonder whether those who say that people should accept the smoking ban and move on would take the same attitude towards the Beeching Axe or the current government’s tuition fees policy.


  1. Ah yes, l posted on that thread. The thing that amazed me was as the owner of said bar in which he said he suffered from the second hand smoke and had to use an inhaler ... refused to change.

    He easily could've changed his bar to smoke-free and at that time when there was no smoking ban in place he no doubt would've made a fortune as all the non-smokers would've flocked to his bar :)

    'Change' must be only ok if someome else makes the changes for you. Mustn't make the change by yourself as that obviously fills one with fear ... of change.

  2. Change too often involves throwing the baby away with the bath water. I think few of us fear evolution but thoroughly hate those occasions when all that went before is wilfully destroyed for the sake of 'a new order'.
    Typical of this was the destruction of the Grammar/Secondary Modern education system and more recently the smoking ban.
    Did pubs serve a social function and did they provide privacy for many adult behaviours? I think it is sad to see activities such as smoking forced out of the privacy of 4 walls into the full view of all. Even controlled social drinking has been driven out of those same 4 walls due to horrific pricing (£3.15 for a pint of Tetleys) and is replaced with soulless, uncontrolled but much cheaper home drinking.

  3. Trouble is Mudgie, the nostalgia it too often rather well hidden by all the hand wringing doom and gloom.

    Don't Curmudgeons ever lighen up a bit?

  4. When something improves, John, I'll let you know...

  5. There's nothing wrong with "change" per se, but change for the sake of change? I'm with you Mudgie.

    I can never understand why people after buying say a victorian house and then proceed to knock out the chimneys, remove internal walls to make open plan, remove all the decorative mouldings, put in suspended ceilings to "modernise".

    If people want to live in a modern house, buy a new build up the road.
    There's nothing wrong with a little modernising if it's in keeping with the over all style, but some of the remodelling is akin to stone cladding, pvc gutters, and a raft of sky dishes on the exterior of Buckingham palace.

  6. Oh dear, the reactionaries are all out in force today.

  7. Reactionary = someone who doesn't support banning everything


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