3500 pubs closed under LabourWell, it would be start, I suppose, though I suspect Labour's militant puritan wing would rather shove conker husks up their sphincters than do anything for pubs.
Ministers today called for Labour to apologise for all the community pubs that closed their doors thanks to the Labour Government’s policies.
Official figures show there was a net closure of 3,530 pubs across England under Labour from 1997 to 2010.Sounds great! How you doing that then, fella?
[Grant Shapps, Minister for Local Government said] "Labour must apologise for the harm they did to community pubs across the country."
In contrast, the new Government is doing its best to defend local pubs:
- [...] the Government will allow communities to bid to take on [...] community pubs, where they are up for sale.Nice one, that'll save a couple of hundred. Sorry to interrupt, do carry on.
- More help will be given to firms to help them with business rates
- There will be a ban the sale of alcohol below cost price, helping protect local pubs from unfair ‘loss leading’ by some supermarkets.
- The Government is reforming licensing rules to make it easier to play live music in local pubs.
- The new Government has already scrapped the planned 10% rise in cider duties - the so-called "cider tax".
Oh, I see. You've finished.
And then it becomes clear why Shapps uses the 3,000 odd closures since 1997 instead of the scarier figure of 6,500 since the Licensing Act 2003, more than 5,700 of those since 2007 (pub stocks were rising until 2003). It's so he doesn't have to mention that law - highly relevant to pubs, oddly enough - which mustn't be mentioned in Westminster.
Two out of three Tory MPs voted against a blanket ban in the Health Act 2006, but now, with the ban happy EU lapdog Lib Dems ball-and-chained to all of their ankles, the elephant must be left to stomp around the hospitality industry unfettered.
So that's the coalition's miracle plan for pubs laid out, following hot on the heels of David Miliband's hospitality wonder cure, with not even a passing mention, in all their self-aggrandising hot air, of the issue which has caused as much - if not more - damage than all of the others combined.
These arrogant, self-serving, mendacious tax gobblers take the biscuit, the cake, and the whole fucking bakery, they really do. They have little regard for anyone but their clique of Westminster bubble lobbyists, civil servants and quangoes, and deserve nothing but our utter and eternal contempt in return.
Change? What fucking change?