Saturday, 3 June 2017

Turning Back The Clock

'Chucking Out Time' by Edward Foster
The good old days UKIP wants back
Why does UKIP still exist? The UK has now voted to leave the EU, so you'd think they'd just have a victory party and disband. Not a bit of it.

Continuing as a party, even though it has lost its main raison d'ĂȘtre, requires it to produce policies on a variety of issues, even though everyone knows they will never be enacted. This is why they have produced a policy on pubs. Their manifesto includes plans to "reduce the density of alcohol outlets and restrict trading times" for pubs and bars, and to replace the Licensing Act 2003 with new, more restrictive legislation. This is a good few steps away from the frequent image of a smiling Farage standing outside a pub, pint and cigarette in hand. I have no time for Farage, but I have to concede that bit of PR was quite effective.

UKIP is at one with the anti-alcohol brigade in that they see pubs and bars as the root of all alcoholic evil. Control them and you control the problem. This point of view takes no account of the huge growth in recent decades of drinking at home, a trend that has been encouraged by the disproportionate mismatch between on- and off-sale prices. As long as the problem is out of sight off the streets, they don't care much. The fact that drinking on your own at home can lead to problems associated with isolation, such as depression, doesn't seem to cross their minds. Not all home drinking is solitary, of course, but even drinking in company at home eliminates interaction with people outside your immediate group.

I'm uncertain what restricted opening hours UKIP would favour. They would have to be standardised, otherwise when one pub closed, drinkers would simply be able to drift to another that was still serving, thus defeating the purpose of restricted opening. Standardised hours would bring back the old closing time rush that led to virtually all the drinkers in a town centre being discharged onto the streets at the same time. In the past, this was often blamed for public order problems, and is thus at odds with UKIP's professed aim to "protect emergency workers from abuse" from drunks. While I fully agree that people should not suffer abuse or assaults for simply doing their jobs, the party hasn't done any joined-up thinking here.

As for reducing the density of pubs: how would they achieve that? Will businesses be forcibly closed? Will they be taxed out of existence? Because if the latter, going out for a drink would become a pastime only the rich could afford in a small number of expensive outlets. Anyone else who wanted to drink would have to do so at home.

As Kate Nicholls of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers has said of UKIP's opening hours policy, "Any return to the old system would be a hugely retrograde action and unhelpful for pubs, restaurants and bars. Thankfully, there is little chance of UKIP sweeping to victory at the general election."

Quite.

7 comments:

  1. "Why does UKIP still exist ?" you ask...Well, probably for the same reason that the SNP exist - who had a referendum on independance, lost it, and still carry on. Why moan about UKIP carrying on ?

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    1. Oh, Oswald you really are rather silly. The Leave vote won, or didn't you notice? To make it clear to you: we are leaving the EU. UKIP got the result it wanted, so it's job done, surely.

      The SNP did not get the result it wanted, and while I disagree with them, I can understand while they are carrying on.

      By the way: the correct spelling is 'independence'.

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  2. They have found a gravy train and why on earth should they get off! There will certainly be no guards to rein them in!

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  3. Ha Ha. you fell for it, sucker !!!

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  4. Fell for what? You getting your facts wrong? Grow up.

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  5. UKIP members are a weird bunch. Even Farage, their founder and former leader, said they were not the sort of people you would want to spend a lot of time with.

    They appear to have an agenda which wants to take the country back to the 1950’s, as they believe this is some sort of mythical “golden age”. They have been aided and abetted in this by Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily (Hate) Mail, who apparently has similar views and loves to spoon feed this sort of tripe to the paper’s eager audience of “Little Englanders”. (His ghastly paper has also spent the past few decades churning lie after lie about the “Nasty EU”, thereby further poisoning the minds of DM readers.)

    I fully expect in the future, to see demands from UKIP to abolish metric measurements, in favour of Imperial ones, and to bring back Pounds, Shillings and Pence. Oh, and while they’re about it, why not bring back hanging, for good measure?

    In other words, a complete and utter bunch of fruitcakes, who have been given far too much publicity and who, by their insidious campaigning, have led the country down the road to economic ruin, by taking us out of the European Union.

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