Nicola Sturgeon’s continuously draconian Covid-19 policies have so often been the sounding board for Johnson’s Junta. As she announced Scotland’s pubs would be going alcohol free and have to close by 6pm, it should therefore scare every publican in the land. What happens in Scotland affects us more than we think.
Who could ever think that the licensed trade would be asked to survive on non-licensed products sold in the quietest hours of their trading day? In restaurants too, alcohol is banned apart from daytime service outdoors. Outdoors? In winter? In Scotland? Well, that’s going to be popular! Clearly Ms Sturgeon thinks the virus is going to aim for people risking a glass of wine with their pizza instead of those opting for a sensible mineral water.
Brewers Greene King have already announced the closure of 79 sites based on the data from existing restrictions. Another 800 jobs are to be lost, possibly forever. How many of Scotland’s pubs will actually reopen?
The SNP won’t be the first to blame alcohol for many of society’s problems, the prime one currently being the spread of a disease that, in Scotland at least, has an average age of death in excess of life expectancy. Pubs, a social haven for men and women to escape the house for a few social hours, are now viewed by many, especially politicians, as a place of debauchery and evil.
What on earth will be next? It would take a brave man to say that smoking doesn’t worsen lungs. Poorer breathing affects the ability to overcome a respiratory disease. Can you imagine a government brave enough to ban tobacco? Would you bet on it right now?
We currently have the most totalitarian government in the history of the United Kingdom. Did you worry about Tony Bliar introducing the nanny state, quite apart from going to war on a lie? Did you fear “Call me Dave” was just a blue version? Was Mrs Maybe too intrusive for you? I bet very few readers ever envisaged Boris being even worse.
Prohibition in the States drove drinking and alcohol underground, creating a split society where the rich could still obtain what they desired and gangsters thrived in its production and distribution. Sturgeon’s measures are unlikely to create quite that extreme, but they will drive drinkers to homes, socially gathered, with infinitely worse ventilation and no regulation.
Good licensees ensure drunk people are not served. Can the authorities assume that will be the case as mates take cases of Special Brew round to each others homes? No, thought not. It’ll be the time of back doors and blackout curtains. In short, prohibition does not work. The Libertarian Party opposes its imposition.
Martin Day – Party Secretary