The great British pub has been an institution for centuries, serving as Inns and rest overs for weary travelers, places of commerce for those selling and buying and of course somewhere to enjoy a drink among similar types. We have seen many changes over the ages, including licensing and standard measures, and becoming successful businesses. The introduction of family friendly public houses, the lifting of opening restrictions and the banning of smoking have all added to the overall experience.
So why the demise of such meeting places?, and at such a rate? Some would immediately blame successive governments for tax increases and the smoking in public place ban, or is it simply that they are not needed as much in our modern societies?
When one does close and becomes the shell for a retail outlet or other opportunity, where do the loyal patrons go? With so many closing, the pubs lucky enough to survive should be filled to the rafters, but in reality they are not. Our street footprints are changing, whether for the better remains to be seen, and the fact it is happening nation wide can not be ignored.
Imagine you are 21, physically fit and healthy, there is no law stopping you from going for a swim and you have no impediments other than you are unable to swim any distance safely.
Also, you are a relatively healthy 69 year old and there is no law stopping you driving 200 miles or more.
In both scenarios the choice is down to the individual to make a choice based on common sense and morality, because, that decision may have implications for not only you, but of those around you. If someone was to get injured rescuing you or as a consequence of your actions, hiding behind the fact that it was not against the law is of little comfort to anyone.
As children we rarely see the dangers in what we are doing, but as adults we should be able to make sensible judgements.
Once again the sheer mention of guns has the anti-everything club waving their hands in a desperate plea for us to think the way they do, and this time is no exception. The decision not to increase the firearms license fee has been met with equal furore as the endless argument of gun ownership. It has been reported that the current £40 fee does not cover the administration costs of issuing to the 250,000 holders in Hampshire and will do little to stem the flow of weapons within the county.
But, I may have found a solution that would hopefully calm the opposition and also serve my fellow gun owners, at present a license covers the holder and allows them to possess any number of rifles as the police deem fit, so simply, have each firearm requiring a license. So if you have 5 guns you pay five times more than if you only had one, and thus increasing the revenue for the department and discouraging stockpiling of unused weapons.
It has been suggested in one of the “red top” newspapers today that the conservatives were the best party to be in power under the threat of terrorism, and this lead me to think back to previous situations.
Winston Churchill has often been noted as “a wartime prime minister” after being voted in during the second World War and more or less dropped like a hot rock at its conclusion. Indeed Margret Thatcher, though not the most popular leader of the UK, managed to bring the country together during the Falklands conflict, whilst you are left wondering whether her predecessor or successor would have just handed it over.
The late “Iron lady” had the stamina for war, but not the mind of a peacetime country favourite, just ask a colliery worker !