Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Britain and Traditional Ways

Reading Ross Clarks analysis on the “booze culture” in Britain got me thinking. I live in Spain and we don’t have the culture of getting completely legless here, unless it’s holidaymaking Brits of course. The pubs close when the landlord feels he’s had enough, some stay open until 1am, some later. This is how pubs have always operated in Europe, this is what they are used to.

He’s right in what he says about the nanny culture in Britain being hypocritical. For a government that attempts to control every aspect of ours lives including our children, for some insane reason, relaxing boozing and gambling laws was deemed acceptable.

Drinking and Gambling Laws have been relaxed in Airstrip One. Why?  Is it the EU dictating that we all have to work the same way or is it purely revenue driven? I must admit I am confused.

We have all heard the saying “If it ain’t broken then don’t fix it” in this case, the pub scenario comes to mind. We had a pub culture that essentially thrived before nanny interfered. There was the public bar for the “men” and the lounge for women and couples. Some also had a garden or family room. I still remember the “off sales”, a little cubby within the pub where my dad would send me to get his cigarettes when he ran out. If we returned to the traditional layout, we could easily use the public bars as smoking areas and the lounges as non smoking.

A few years ago, our pub system worked. The landlord called last orders at 10 to 11 and at 11 he called time. We inevitably felt the evening ended too early, but we accepted that this was the way things were. If we wanted to go on drinking, there were numerous nightclubs that were open until 2am, we could go back to someone house and continue, or there were lockups where we knew the landlord was cool. 

In his article, Ross Clark implies that “more education” is needed. The same sort of education that smoking has received. Of course that’s crap, it’s just more nannying. People are sick of re-education. It’s bordering on brain washing and it’s not healthy for the mind, body or soul

Has it occurred to anyone that all the rules and re-education might actually be driving people to drink? The latest figures show that, in the UK in 2007, there were 34 million prescriptions for anti-depressants, now that’s not normal. People are genuinely pissed off and can you blame them? 

Everything that this government has done, has undone the traditional systems we had in place for years, systems that dictated who the British were. We are an island and evolved a culture which was our own, one that was separate from the Europeans.

Parents and teachers were allowed to discipline children and the local bobby could “clip you round the ear” if you stepped out of line, indeed, a neighbour was allowed to tell you off without being taken to court! The discipline instilled in you as a child was carried through to adulthood. It taught you control and self respect.

People haven’t changed, laws have and there are far too many of them. Too many databases and too much interference.

We are continually fighting to keep our traditional way of life, our imperial weights, our currency and our customs. The Conservatives would do well to look into the past for answers for the future if they are to change behaviour patterns or they will only deteriorate. We can always take little steps from there.


  1. Blair the moderniser chucked the baby of tradition out with the bathwater of NuLiebore. As for the past, well we are soon going to be back to the days well portrayed by Hogarth.

  2. I agree on smoking. I don't see why we couldn't have had smoking areas and non smoking areas. Most pubs were happy to do this.

    I miss a fag with my pint, fortunately, we still have lock ins in my local.