Tuesday 3 August 2010

Pub Industry Sounding The Retreat

“When you have lost your inns, drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England.” Hilaire Belloc, Preface to The Four Men (1911)
Those involved in the pub trade have never been the most polished glasses on the shelf, but they're starting to plumb new depths of incompetence.

Alcohol Concern must be laughing into their prune juice at CAMRA's latest botch-job of an attempt at stemming the tide of anti-alcohol hysteria ... by toadying up to the very people who would like to see their enjoyment crushed.

Behold beer, the health drink!

Chief executive Mike Benner said: "It is great news to see the myth of the beer belly finally laid to rest. The main message we are putting forward today is that, as a low-alcohol drink, beer can supplement a healthy lifestyle if consumed in a responsible manner."
Are you holding your head in your hands and muttering 'Oh God, no'? Because I am.

For crying out loud. The very first rule when dealing the righteous is that you never, ever, apologise or show even a glimmer of guilt. Once they see that contrition, they have your nuts in a vice that Beelzebub would be proud of. Benner's comments - as is usual with CAMRA - are along the lines of "We're not as bad as the others".

Or, as a sage blogger once wrote:

It's like a bunch of folks on the scaffolds complaining that the other guy's noose isn't quite tight enough. Y'all might instead direct your attention to the hangman sometime and try helping each other cut those ropes.
Try some defiance, CAMRA, for fuck's sake. It's your only hope, especially since you're running out of people to hide behind.

Having said that, at least CAMRA are (badly) trying to defend beer. What about this quite unutterably ridiculous tool?

First it was the smoking ban – now Cardiff could have its first ever alcohol-free pub.

A former bar manager says he wants to open Wales’ only dry pub to help curb binge-drinking in the capital.

The idea is to create a pub-like experience, complete with bar, pool tables and music, for both under-18s and adults.
So, let's just collate the information here. Pubs are suffering because smoking is no longer allowed, and the answer is - evidently - to remove the alcohol too?

Establishments like the above used to be called 'youth clubs' in my day. But hey, to attract the adults, and keep obsequiously bowing to the health lobby, he could always install a few treadmills.

You know, like a gym but with a healthy bar attached. Oh, hang on, I think we've already got some of those.

I despair, I really do.


Pat Nurse MA said...

Head in hands:(

Bye bye Camra, bye bye pub, bye bye to all that's English. The days they are a numbered

Unknown said...

And if that's not bad enough DP the islamists want to rid us of pubs and their mucky alcohol. See Pats blog.

Paul said...

Are they fucking stupid? Alcohol Concern don't like pubs. They don't like beer. Ideally, they'd like to see it banned but making life increasingly uncomfortable and unpleasant for drinkers while they keep their hands in people's pockets will do for now.

They don't care about the damage, they among others, are doing to traditional British life.

The leaders of ASH and Alcohol Concern should be publicly hung for their wicked actions.

Citizen E said...

The Golden Rule of dealing with Governments.

1. Never ever agree to a voluntary agreement - They turn into bans.

2. Never ever sit round the table with those of opposite views to seek a solution, they will stab you in the back.

3. Never ever believe the statistics or studies that say your members will benefit from the proposed changes - They won't.

4. Never ever agree to a situation where your members undertake the role of policing or enforcement - you will pay the price eventually.

5. Say NO and keep repeating it again and again NO, NO, NO, NO,NO,NO.

6.Repeat stages 1 - 5 without wavering.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Citizen E: You got it sussed right there.

Leg-iron said...

Pubs that don't sell any alcohol? We have those here. We call them 'cafes'.

At least I assume we still have them. I haven't been in one for a few years now.

Curmudgeon said...

An alcohol free "yoof pub" of this kind was opened in a former pub in East Manchester a couple of decades ago. It was called the "Pop Inn". Needless to say, it was short-lived.

I would say Mike Benner is in reality aiming his message at his own troops, not at the Righteous.

Paul said...

LI: Of course, cafés in Europe freely sell alcohol. No, these hateful new creations are known as temperance bars. Mind you, the weaker and blander beer served in pubs get, the more difficult it is to tell the difference.

What use is being in a pub if you can't get pissed if you want to? That's the whole point of them. To give you that choice. Or not.

Anonymous said...

Oh bloody hell,another evening of
pleasant mind scraping blog
trotting completely bolloxed by the mention of the Hopwarts,
CAMRA and their life sized ,well used Thong Thing Benner.
This clog ,straw hat and whiskered
outfit need to be asked some
searching questions,whats their
point ,whats their Nirvana. Is their Raison d'etre just to gather in windy tents ,sniff at frothy
hopalong and fart Ode to Joy or
Keep the Red flag flying in
brotherly harmony.This bloated
set of corduroys has done more damage to the English Pubs than
Cromwell,the Luftwaffe and the daft
Pat Hewitt put together.

McAlpines Fusiliers

Anonymous said...

Good let him open his health pub. It will close. Good - as long as it's his money (and not out taxes) that are wasted.

My argument about anti-smokers and pubs was always that no-one was ever stopping them from opening non-smoking pubs. Of course, there just wasn't the market for them which shows what a hideous minority these people are.

That said, there were three non-smoking pubs within a 6 mile radius of me in 2006. Two of them are closed now, as they have lost their raison d'etre. So that's another two livelihoods to throw on the pile, the work of that rare creature, the self-starting Righteous - making opportunitues rather than relying on whining and funding, ruined forever.

Curmudgeon said...

Interesting that the guy who is opening the alcohol-free pub has previous convictions for cruelty to tortoises.

Does the one trump the other in the eyes of the Righteous?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Yeah, saw it at Brew Wales today. Good spot there - shames my research somewhat.