Brothers and sisters, an interesting coda to my examination of various alcoholic beverages and other ‘vices’ is today’s announcement that the Office of Fair Trading has rejected the argument of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale), amongst others, that the big brewers are essentially running a protectionist racket that forces publicans to carry their landlords’ products – and no others – while maintaining cripplingly high rents – all of which essentially reduce most publicans to being a pimp for The Man. What happened to the supposedly capitalist ‘value’ of competition?
This is why your local might very well close soon, particularly if you live in a rural location. It’s currently projected that at least 1,500 English pubs will close in the near future. Many of these will have been at the heart of their community for scores, if not hundreds of years.
Pubs matter to local people, though. A community is always the poorer for losing a pub. Mark my words, the countryside will become a more desolate place in years to come. Villages and small towns becoming dormitories for white-flight arseholes and second-home wankers who can’t be bothered to invest emotion in the place where they’ve chosen to invest money in property, while pricing the locals out of a decent home.
Support your local Free House. It’s the Socialist thing to do.