A cross-party alliance of over 200 MPs has joined a British Beer and Pub Association campaign to save the traditional British boozer from oblivion. Pubs are being increasingly priced out of the market by tax hikes and cheap supermarket alcohol. The rescue charge is led by the Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, Bob Russell, who …
All it needs is for drunken behaviour to be properly penalised and let people drink what they want, when they want. Those who drink to excess and misbehave get fined/jailed, those who drink responsibly (or are lucky enough to be totally innocuous when blotto) do not. It's called personal responsibility, something which appears to be totally alien to our NuLab government.
As for taxes, we're going to get screwed on all the other taxes due to Brown's excellent measures, so none of us are going to have anything left to spend on alcohol whether it's going to be taxed more or not.
Get better landlords/owners
I've moved from the South to the North. Here every village - even places without a village - seems to have a thriving pub unlike where I came from. They serve good beer (5 on pump here) good inexpensive food, aren't owned by a faceless company determined to wring the tenant dry and have landladies and landlords who create an atmosphere that attracts all ages to make the pub the heart of the village. I can drop in at any time and be assured an interesting chat with people of all (legal ages). Dogs are welcome as well. They orhganise socials and even the vicar is having a service at Eatser there. Come to the Fox and Hounds in West Witton and see how a pub should be
Backfired did it?
But I thought the goverment wanted to close down all the pubs! Good old Nanny state always thinking about our health!
What with the smoking ban and the increase in beer prices, I'm constantly amazed at how many small pubs have closed by me and the ones that remain open are mostly deserted. I *Used* to go to pubs, but the goverment has forced me to stay home and drink supermarket booze now.
The pubs that have managed to stay open are the family friendly resturant pubs, I would go there for food maybe once every couple of months, but I wouldn't want to drink in them, what with all the kids running around.
So is this MP alliance thing going to bring back the idea of proper drinking pubs? You know the ones where you can drink and SMOKE in peace, where only grown-ups go.
Maybe the goverment will realise Social Engineering doesn't work, we are grown ups and don't need to be treated like children, all this has done is create a big mess.
My coat, used to hang on the coat rack in my local, you know, the one with a "For sale" sign hanging on it now...
And it has nothing to do with
the smoking ban. No. Never. Stoping people smoking in pubs had no bad effects at all. The people who said that is would were all wrong and this is all to do with supermarkets selling cheap beer.
To link to the Boddingtons ads featureing the delectable Melanie Sykes :-)
Sarah Parish was also featured:
PS Is there a petition?
I'd start going back to pubs if I didn't have to spend most of the night standing outside the fecking places freezing my nads off.
20p increase / unit in off sales
20p decrease / unit in on sales....
How hard can it be....oh I forgot..
£5bn database to keep a track of it all....
There's a real easy solution to that one. But I suppose all that smoking has killed the necessary brain cells that might have enabled you to figure it out.
My coat is the coat that says on it 'Let's Not Go There'.
www.axethebeertax.com - also failbook groups etc out there if ya interested :)
If the stupid, fat, ignorant gets -
hadn't banned smoking in pubs there wouldn't be a problem.
What's the point of going to a pub now, it costs you two arms and a leg and you can't smoke indoors.
I love pubs, but not enough to just go there to save them, I'd rather go to the offy, atleast I don't have to stand out in the pissing rain when I want a smoke.
The icon should say PUB, not REG
Can't see the point of going to the pub anymore...
Is this all down to taxation or should some blame be placed at the doorways of the greed of breweries and landlords?
In my local, 4 pints of Guinness is £13.40 (yes, that's three pounds and thirty five pence a pint) whilst I can buy a 4 pack in the local supermarket for £4.00. No contest really. The pub doesn't serve food and the landlords are off on their second skiing trip of the year. Go figure...
In my other local pub, a thimblefull of Jack daniels is £2.20, a "dash" of coke to go in it is £0.60, and it's £0.90 for a bag of crisps. Tough to see how they make a profit eh?
Combined with the fact I can't smoke without freezing my arse off makes the staying at home option a no brainer and I have no sympathy for those closing.
only the shit pubs dying?
From my experience, the pubs I've seen close are the ones which sell poor quality food and the "huge" selection of piss-poor bland drinks - Guinness, John Smiths and Carling.
Good riddance to them and long may the ones that serve good pub grub and a wide choice of real ales continue, as they do around my neck of the woods. And it's standing room only at weekends, so you can't blame the smoking ban on that one.
Now they care about my business
Pre-smoking ban Pubs were a smoky place where my Wife, who has asthma, could not stay for more than a short amount of time. As a result we discovered that we were perfectly happy at home well away from the Pubs. The Pubs couldn't care less about providing a place that we'd be happy to visit because business was good.
Now times have changed and they are begging for custom. As far as we are concerned if they had cared enough about non-smokers earlier I'm sure we would still be going to pubs, but we found a cleaner and fresher place to enjoy a drink, our living room. As it is they are as much a part of our life as Woolies is.
Its so erm. "gratifying", ot know that our duly elected MPs are standing up for our right to live in a country where the beer is overpriced, warm and flat, where you can't sit down to drink it cos there are no seats, where you have to go and stand in the rain if you want a smoke, where drunks can gambol freely in the streets, harassing people, urinating on random objects and through letterboxes, and placing traffic cones on top of our cars.
Tossers! Remind me to stay at home during the next election.
Will you smokers ever stop whinging?
Look, I had the choice of go to a pub full of smoke or stay at home. I was a big enough man to put up with the smoke. Now the boot's on the other foot: you have the choice of going to a pub with no smoke or staying at home.
Let me tell you -- 80% of the discomfort of my pre-ban hangovers were caused by second-hand smoke. Even now I sometimes can't believe how white my eyes are or how nice my throat feels ever after an excessive 6-10 drinks.
You should try it -- it's incredible!
it never gets cheaper does it?
how about they reduce the tax on pubs if they're so keen on keeping them open? -oh no, can't make anything cheaper can we, let's just increase the price of everything else instead, fuckers.
as to quitting smoking so you don't have to stand outside sarah, i would suggest that the other alternative is to quit going to palces where it's not allowed any more. neither of which are very good solutions.
how about they give the landlords the option of being smoking or non-smoking premises, that way there would be a place for everyone! or is it too radical to allow people a choice these days?
Something else that is a touch irritating is that when VAT was reduced alcohol was excluded so we're already paying more tax on that than anything else. Any further tax increases are just taking the piss. We have 12 pubs where I am, 3 so far are boarded up with 2 more on the verge of closing.
Where do I sign up?
Typical pub economics
Really good pub in a metropolis helps house prices rise to the point where it becomes worthwhile turning the pub into flats...Same with parks, churches, pitches, post offices, butchers, fishmongers, grocers, markets, car parking spaces. It's the way to kill a community.
Sadly the only way to avoid this is for someone to decide what consitutes the basic fabric of an area and subsidise those businesses from local taxes, the equivalent of a local 'green belt'.
Mine's the one with the Marxist manifesto in the pocket.
What really did it
What *really* killed off the pub was the draconian smoking ban.
Seriously, what would have been wrong with simply allowing *landlords* to decide whether their pubs would be smoking or non-smoking?
Nobody was ever *forced* to allow smoking in their pub, anyway. The customers in smoking pubs *chose* to drink there; they were free to patronise a non-smoking establishment, if they so desired. The bar staff in smoking pubs *chose* to work there; they were free to take jobs in non-smoking environments, if they so desired.
If an area was not served by an existing non-smoking pub, then there was an obvious business opportunity: the non-smokers could have opened their own non-smoking pub. (And probably got a discount on the fire insurance, too.) And then the "Oh, just imagine, sweetie, darling, won't it be *lovely* to be able to go out to the pub, enjoy a pint of beer and not end up smelling of other people's smoke?" brigade could have gone *there*, and sat nursing their mineral waters, having their awkward, stilted conversations amid the odour of stale beer, sweat and toilets; while trying not to think about the fact that somebody, somewhere was enjoying a cigarette.
The final death blow will come before the "Oh, just imagine, sweetie, darling, won't it be *lovely* to be able to go out to the pub, enjoy a glass of water and a fat-free, salt-free, taste-free vegan meal and not have to sit near to people drinking alcohol?" brigade get their way .....
You're right, there is a simple solution to it indeed. Let the landlords decide whether they want smoking in their establishments or not.
My guess is that if you got two proper pubs that were exactly the same and allowed smoking in one then one of these pubs would do very well and the other would stuggle.
Can you figure out which one would do well?
Are different pubs taxed differently?
The local paper had a story about a pub having difficulties. Its a city pub and was complaining about the usual , 'nobody wants to pay £3.10 a pint, when they can get supermarket beer'.
Then carried on ' we still get evening trade , its the lunch times that are quiet'.
Well no, nobody would pay £3.10 when they can get the same beers at £2.50 round the corner and how can supermarket beer be causing a drop off during lunch time , are they assuming the office workers are cracking open tins of lager at their desks?
If you want a pub to stay open, goto it! If you want cheaper beers , goto the pubs with cheaper beers! Hardly rocket science.
I always avoided pubs because I didn't want to inhale all that smoke and end up with the foul, stale smoke smell the day after. However, that's had the side effect that I've structured my life so that it doesn't include regular pub visits, and that has persisted even though the smoking ban is now in force. You'll need to train up a new generation of people who don't expect to smoke in pubs or are hardened enough to stand outside without complaining.
If the anti-smoking brigade are soooo sure, why not license a few pubs to allow smoking (in specific, well-ventilated, child-free rooms) and see what happens?
I'll bet their turnover will go through the roof!
I too used to hang mine in a pub but now sit at home.
The pricing of alcohol is completely ridiculous. It went out this weekend and the prices went something like this:
Traditonal pub, playing decent music at reasonable volume:
Weatherspoons pub, playing horrible dance music at maximum volume, also full of chavs:
2 pints of fosters and a coke for £4.70.
The places which cater to people who want to go out for a sociable drink are amazingly expensive, and the places for people who want to go out and get wasted and usually follow steyotypical 'antisocial behaviour' practically drink for free. Then the government complains that there is too much antisocial behaviour and introduces some new law or restriction that only restricts the sensible drinker further.
Brewing companies own fault
Ever since back in the late 80's the government saw a quick way to make a buck out of allowing the brewers to start buying each other out and replacing the competition with their product,pubs have been on the decline. Its an envitable outcome that people have lost interest in the mass marketed corporate compliance looking beer houses.
Bring back the Firkin pubs I say!
Of course, all the surveys about banning smoking in pubs showed an overwhelming number of the population in favour of the ban. I wonder what the results would have been if they had surveyed just those people who actaully go into a pub now and then, rather than the ones who sit at home reading the Daily Mail and working themselves into a lather over something that will never affect them directly.
It's all very well saying "let's not go there", but the fact is that the smoking ban HAS affected pub trade (I don't smoke by the way).
All those people who said "I'd go more often if they banned smoking" don't go there more often. Still, that's the way some of us prefer it, because the once-a-month "two shandies please" brigade were a miserable bunch to start with.
Well in the past there used to be seperate rooms for smokers and non-smokers, but eventually smokers took over the entire pub and non-smoking area's were either dropped or put in stupid areas (often raised platforms at the very back of the pub - you know, so all the non-smokers would be lifted into the blanket of smoke up above, and forced into the hot smoky unventilated section so they could suffer more).
Just be glad you still get the nice sunny deck-chairs in the summer - while the non-smokers either put up with it blowing in their face, or stay inside all warm and sticky again.... well for the one week of sun anyway! :)
Personally, I've started using the pub more since the smoking ban, now I don't need to change and immediately wash my clothes then grab a shower when getting home from a nice relaxing night out with friends. Meals are also alot more enjoyable... but hey, I'm not one to impose my beliefs on others, if smoking came back, I'd just stop going... not winge and moan about how hard done to I am that smokers rule to pub once more... :p
Did I read that correctly?
"To axe plans to increase beer tax even further...To enforce existing laws - not create new ones - to deal firmly with irresponsible drinkers and premises"
Good God, a hint of common sense from Westminster. Must be an election in the offing.
And I have to agree with John Loader. Loud muzak, ice-cold gassy piss and soulless corporate branding do not a nice drinking experience make. I once got chucked out of a pub for lobbing beer into the speakers when they cranked the volume up to 11 and ignored our requests to TURN IT DOWN A BIT PLEASE, even though me and three mates were the only people in the place. I've done plenty of stupid things when on the sauce, but that's something I don't regret.
The rozzers require CCTV in every pub now, who the hell wants to go get drunk on camera?
The rozzers require details of every performer for a live music license, their backgrounds, the type of music to play, ethnic group, target audience, who the hell would book a band that would need the approval of your local police force for the license? So music in your pub is restricted.
Face it, the people in power have defined booze as anti-social and hence pubs as antisocial.
Higher prices and the smoking ban have put me off. I can put my feet up at home, get hammered on a tenner and smoke myself to death with the music of my choice on. Why on earth would I want to go to a pub anymore?
There's a local round my corner that has a little late night lock-in where the odd ashtray seems to magically appear but generally the pub is no longer a pleasure.
Oh and Sarah - the other solution would be to allow a public house to apply for a smoking licence where up to 50% of the indoors may be a designated smoking area. Everyone is happy and the large portion of punters that smoke can continue supporting the local pub.
what is the world coming to?
"my coat is.."
Has Ms Bee succumbed to the commentard syndrome? Inquiring minds want to know.
I for one ..(no..I'm not going there either)..prefer to go the pub since it became non-smoking. However, I'm not the hard-core 'regular' drinking type so i believe they've lost more than they've gained, certainly in the short-term.
Now, if they could just ban smoking in public places I can walk from A to B behind a line of smokers and only have to put up with the occasional fart rather than the total lack of cancer-free* air that I currently have to put up with.
*Normal air pollution not-withstanding.
Now if only the great unwashed and their MP's could get worked up about state intrusion into our lives in its myriad forms as much as they get worked up about the price of a beer, then we would be in a free-thinking, free-wheeling society sooner than you could say 'how much?'.
Pubs are failing because...
...they sell shit beer. Go into any pub and the choice is 3 of Stella, Kronenburg, American (fake) Bud, Miller or regional-wank-lager (e.g. Tennents). Plus 1 of Guinness, Heavy or John Smith's. Cider optional. And that's it. In every pub.
I put it to you that most of those drinks are rank piss-water not fit for a dog. So why bother going to the pub when I can go to the supermarket/offy and buy a decent clutch of beers to enjoy at home with friends?
The other thing pubs in the UK get spectacularly wrong is food. It comes out of the microwave and tastes like fermented baby puke. Simple, tasty food (which is all people want from a pub) is not hard to do at all. The rest of the world seems to be able to do it (using local produce too). Why are UK landlords so friggin' useless at it? I blame the likes of "Brewer's Fayre" and "Greene King"
Note: Pub != Bar. A bar is where idiotic trendies with more debt than sense go to look swank, drink, puke and get into a fight. A pub is where normal people would like to go to meet friends, relax, and have a good time if the pub wasn't shit!!
There are a few exceptions of course, but these tend to be out of the way, family run real-ale type things.
Respectfully, Sarah, 'Let's Not Go There' has been the media's battle cry all along regarding the smoking ban and it's relation to pub closures. I've hardly seen a mention of it in the rags I frequent, and yet it's bloody obvious at the same time. It's not just the pubs, look at the bingo halls. Everyones's freaking out, but Don't Mention The Smoking Ban! are the orders.
A properly air-conditioned environment that takes smoking into account will NOT leave you smelling like an ashtray. Both smoking and air conditioning have been around long enough to have solved that problem. However, something like that will always cost more than opening a window, so lot's of establishments never bothered. Design restrictions on old buildings wouldn't have helped, either.
So now, the civilised thing to do would be to create Smoking Licenses for rooms or areas that are able to meet a certain standard of ventilation. Do you really believe that if something like that actually happened, it wouldn't be massively over-subscribed?
You see, don't you, the short slippery slope between your dismissive 'why not just give up the fags' well-meant nannying statement and genocidal dictatorship? Surely?
So now, when I stand on the wind-and-rain swept train station platforms of my life, or in the toilets at the airport, I feel again the illicit thrills of my schooldays. Smoking is exciting again.
Erm, given that my experience is the exact opposite, I can only conclude that you moved from a shit area in the South to a nice area in the North and that I don't get out to the nice parts of the North nearly enough.
Damn right the problem is cheap booze flooding in from the supermarket. The other day I managed to get a bottle of wine for cheaper than a pint, just goes to illustrate what the problem is here.
The Supermarkets have long been killing off the small businesses such as your local butchers for years, pubs have been next in line for ages being undercut and are unable to compete against the supermarkets with their sick profits.
What sort of society will we live in without pubs? Everyone buys their booze and drinks at home? probably alone as well right? yep that's a good social life right there, far be it for you to actually go to a place where you can talk to someone while you drink.
Stop drinking cheap supermarket alcohol at home guys!
I'll get my coat, the one with change remaining in it for a pint down my local.
Bemoaning the death of the pubs is like whining about pimps not being able to bring in slaves from eastern Europe. The scum who sell overpriced piss poor beer to children and pensioners alike should have been bulldozed years ago. It's a pleasure to see them going under and hopefully see a decline in families ruined by the bastards.
Ooooohhhhh..... Have the Vintners Ass. joined forces with the Recording Industry Ass. of America and the Motion Picture Ass. of America, home drinking is destroying the pub business.
No it's not you morons, its the prices you charge.
What's next, a campaign to a campaign to "Save the Emulsified High-Fat Offal Tube"….. eh Sausage…..
Paris, 'cos she knows how to save a sausage
That smoking ban....
....has led to me going round to my local quite regularly, because now I can drink in there without gasping for breath and coming out smelling like an ashtray, never mind with my lungs full of carcinogens! I'd actually also rather like that law to say that it is not permitted for the terminally dim cretins to stand smoking outside the entrance as I have to walk through that to get in, but I've found that an easy way to deal with that is not to enter the pub when they're there, so sometimes I decide not to pop in for a beer or two and hence don't put any money in the publican's pocket.
What I've noticed in our village is that the number of people actually in the pub is little changed, they still all drink in there so there has been little change in that respect. But a lot of the people in there now who don't smoke comment on how much nicer it is, and they go there a lot more often.
AC, well you can guess. I'm all for people doing what they want, but smoking is the one common pursuit that doesn't just affect the smoker and it's way past time that the consequences for them came home to roost.
Wetherspoons don't play any music at all.
Smoking debate was unavoidable, and the 'let's not go there' was a feeble slap in the face of the inexorable. But anyway - you don't have to quit smoking to enjoy pubs if you don't like the standing-outside bit, you just have to develop sufficient willpower to go for an hour or two without sucking on your nicotine dummy. Or get an electronic cigarette. Those things are brill.
@Dave, Remember the poor,,,,,
The trouble is that ... Party A says Drink is good, Party B says Drink is Bad, Party A then says, increase Tax, Party B says Remember the poor, how could you deprive them of their cheep drink in a time of recession, one of the few pleasures they have. Party A says oh dear we hadn't thought of that we'll do nothing.
In fact there are so many circular arguments going on about the rights and wrongs of drinking, I've lost track of who has said what, and I think they have as well.
Yes lets have a minimum price for alcohol, which should be at least the Duty, and preferably the cost price at the producers gates. But, there are other factors involved like, the four pubs in my village are pretty much the same, sports pubs, so I'd have to drive somewhere, as the public transport in the evening is non-existent, and £50 for taxis, well, that's a very expensive pint.
We also shouldn't forget that people are becoming more insular anyway, for a whole host of reasons, not least that my working day and commute precludes going to the pub, or doing much of anything in the evening, something which seems to be the case in the south, more than the north where people seem surprised that going to work takes between 1 & 2 hours for a lot of us in London, when they think 30 minutes is a long commute.
Prior article - link below this artcile "Beer 4 quid/pint"
Has been €4 (£3.80) for 500ml - LESS than a pint - here for awhile at my local. €5+ in the city, except in 'Happy Hour' - (10:00-16:00 - go figure) where it's €2.80 in a couple of places - one where oddly smoking is still permitted at the table. Of course, you can guess the 'clientele' but it's packed. Till about 16:10, when there's a mass exodus to Peppers, where it's H/H till 17:00. Then bugger off home.
Even in employment, I got about ½ salary compared to what I got in UK.
Since the recession bit - hard, places are pretty deserted. If my local Vietnamese-run boozer didn't have a restaurant/takeaway, they'd be bust.
Only time there's plenty of folks here is at "KELA Payday" (KELA's the dole centre here) and a couple of days after. Then, everyone goes to Lidl to get a "Mäyräkoira" ('badger dog'=12 pack).
Sitting in the pub here all day myself, helping owner get his new WiFi switch working and tidy the network - obviously works now - and I've seen 5 people here from 11:30 till now (14:45). One drank coffee and another water. Very different a couple of years ago.
-Smoking restriction has had a major effect in my opinion, still-smoking pubs are considerably more popular, but that ends in June. The beauty of having both smoking* and non-smoking pubs is that you can SEE a direct correlation that smoking bans kill pubs. It aint subtle, believe me! Forget the BS that the Gummint fed you brits. As I said, it is very obvious. Two pubs side-by side, one allows smoking, one doesn't. Beer same price. Guess which one's practically empty.
A poster above complained about freezing his 'nads off outside, but here we just got above freezing for the first time since November. -10C, -30C not unusual.
Sorry, Moderatrix, but maybe you need to visit more bistro's not boozers.
*they got a 2-year exemption if their air-conditioning met strong criteria. It ends in June for all. Middle of a recession? Nice one, Minister for health Hyssälä!
unfortunately being 42 with no pension & still renting and having a non-fatal but debilitating incurable illness, the last thing I need is to reach retirement age.
They want to trust responsible adults to make informed choices - sounds good. They want to end the irresponsible promotion of alcohol too. Is that because adults can't be trusted to make informed choices? Or does it perhaps have more to do with supermarket offers cutting into pub profits?
the smoking ban has had fuck all effect around my usual haunts apart from the fact i have to run the gauntlet of the lung cancer club at the door but i find holding my breath and barging through helps get my point accross. so stop immediately blaming that, nicotine nancies....
if anything where we go now is a lot nicer for it.
if you ask me its to do with the decline in juke boxes...
Why do people go up the pub anyway?
Socialising? Isn't that what Farcebook is for?
Drinking? Don't need to leave the house for that.
Pulling? Oki, you might have a swift drink or two in the pub before the clubs open.
There's more to it than just the smoking ban or booze prices... honestly, a better "night out" can be had by staying in, get a few mates round, a few crates and a particularly bad, Japanese movie or three - just need to dial out for pizza and jobsagudun. If it's a more musical night out you want, clubs and gigs are far better than pubs anyway.
Oki, I am a smoker but I wouldn't actually _want_ to drink in some pubs now, without the tobacco smoke you can smell the stale sweat, stale beer and even staler urinals.
Let's try a little survey:
Over the next month or so (to be fair, because the weather is going to be warm enough to stand outside without freezing anything off) count the number of people in the pub and then count the number of people go outside and smoke. Divide one by the other and get a ratio.
Now consider what the pub would be like for all those inside who *aren't* smoking, don't want to breathe the stuff or end up reeking of it simply to enjoy an evening with their friends, but would be forced to endure it if there wasn't a smoking ban.
I entirely support the right of individuals to make their own lifestyle choices, but not when they force those choices on others out of selfishness.
>Wetherspoons don't play any music at all.
That's not true, btw.
Some don't, most around here do though.
Those would be the electronic cigarettes that are being considered for their own ban?
The 'smoking debate' my arse. There has only ever been one side and the new laws are built on some pretty bad science and statisitics.
How bad? I'd love to know. If only I could find some kind of Technology/Science/Current Affairs website that would Go There....