Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Will teetotaller Corbyn close down pubs?

Is this the only beer we'll have
under a Corbyn dictatorship?
In recent weeks, a few people have been saying to me: "You do know Jeremy Corbyn doesn't drink, don't you?" Well, yes, I did actually, and I'm not particularly worried. If he becomes prime minister, we will not be entering a new era of Prohibition. Although he has strongly-held political principles, he is a consensual politician who will not be setting murderous Stalinist gulags, as Toby Young ludicrously but indisputably insinuated on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions. In the 70s, Corbyn's politics were not particularly far to the Left of what was then the centre ground: we have all slept while the so-called centre ground has moved sharply to the Right.

I see no threat to pubs, drinking and real ale if he should take power, for the same reason that if I were in a position to become prime minister, sport would be safe, even though I have no interest in it whatsoever. Corbyn's teetotalism is a personal choice, not a political principle. Only zealots and bigots try to limit other people's legitimate pleasures simply because they don't share them.

The Morning Advertiser has published an article showing how over the years he has supported a wide range of pub-related motions in the House of Commons during his career, pointing out that: "In the last parliament, he was a signatory for many of Save the Pub group chair and Liberal Democrat MP, Greg Mulholland’s early day motions. Broadly speaking, he has put his name to parliamentary business which is against large pub companies, and has been a signatory for motions supporting licensees, music in pubs and community pubs in general."

I appreciate that not all drinkers will want to vote for Corbyn, but I don't see that anyone needs to be worried about pubs and beer should he win a General Election.

The full article listing many specific measures he has supported can be found here.


  1. Sir Les Patterson - Never Trust A Man Who Doesn't Drink

    I think it rather unlikely that he will ever become Prime Minister, but equally I can't see him doing anything to face down Labour's lifestyle fascists.

  2. All I'd say to that is that most of the lifestyle fascists, or nanny statists as I call them, are no longer on the Labour front bench.

  3. RedNev makes a good point, actually. I don't think the focus of the hard left is on lifestyle issues like that at all. It's one of their redeeming features, in fact.

  4. Yes, I'm surprised at PC making that schoolboy error. Perhaps too much time spending reading the right-wing nonsense he links to? Anyway whilst I agree it's more likely to be a theoretical poser than any future government policy, i do think it's only fair to get it right. New Labour-right of centre by any definition-were labelled puritanical and prohibitionist by their political rivals and many others as well. Fair enough. Now Corbyn's take on the left may leave him open to many criticisms but puritanical and prohibitionist is not one of them.

  5. "Perhaps too much time spending reading the right-wing nonsense he links to? "

    Otherwise known as the truth?

    But I take the point that lifestyle regulation is very much a "Fabian" thing, and isn't likely to top the Corbynista agenda.

  6. The teetotal thing is a myth anyway he celebrated his victory with a glass of red wine!

  7. Hmm, or maybe not...

    "he’s surrounded himself with similarly censorious finger-waggers against fun and the masses."

  8. Consider where that comes from: "The Spectator is a weekly British conservative magazine." - Wikipedia.


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